CNN political analyst Van Jones on Friday said that the angry demonstrations in Minneapolis aren’t only about the killing of George Floyd, but about years of pent-up frustration and anger from black Americans who are fed up with being treated as second-class citizens.
During a panel discussion with CNN host W. Kamau Bell, Jones explained that many white Americans simply don’t understand that incidents like the George Floyd killing are all too common for black Americans.
“I think that’s the hardest thing I think for my white friends to understand… is that this is every day,” he said. “Black people being choked off from dignity, from opportunity, from humanity, from understanding, from empathy.”
Jones said that many Black Americans are particularly angry that none of the police officers involved in Floyd’s death have yet been arrested given the clear-cut evidence of police misconduct shown on video.
“What we saw was a lynching,” he said. “That’s what a lynching is. We saw a white man deprive a black man of his life in public, with the entire community staring — horror struck. The world witnessed a lynching. There have been lynchings happening in America for hundreds of years. This is what we have lived with.”
Jones also said that the problem wasn’t just with hardcore racists, but with many white people who think of themselves as progressive but who will nonetheless not hesitate to call the police on black people who ask them to put their dogs on leashes.
“It is not the racist white person who is in the Ku Klux Klan that we have to worry about,” he said. “It is the white liberal Hillary Clinton supporter walking her dog in central park who would tell you right now — you know, people like that, ‘I don’t see race, race is no big deal to me, I see us all as the same, I give to charities’ — the minute she sees a black man who she does not respect or who she has a slight thought against, she weaponized race like she had been trained by the Aryan Nation.”