Political News

Van Jones says it's 'beyond insulting' for White House to lecture black people on patriotism

Posted June 5, 2018 11:53 p.m. EDT

— CNN's Van Jones on Tuesday responded to President Donald Trump's decision to disinvite the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles from the White House, saying he does not require patriotism lessons from this White House.

"I am a ninth generation American, Chris," he said, speaking with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. "I am the first person in my family that was born with all my rights recognized by this government... I don't need anybody to tell me what this flag means and what it represents."

"People in my family, people who look like me have put blood in the ground, have put martyrs in the dirt in this country to have it be liberty and justice for all," he continued, speaking on "Cuomo Prime Time." "[I]t is beyond insulting for people to lecture us about patriotism."

Jones was responding to Trump's decision Monday to cancel the Eagles' White House visit over the controversy over standing for the National Anthem at NFL games.

"The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow," Trump said in a statement Monday. "They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."

Speaking later in the interview, Jones suggested the rhetoric from the White House displayed an ignorance of the role African Americans have played throughout American history.

"There is a level of patronizing ... from this White House and from others ... that somehow African Americans are ungrateful, that we somehow don't know what this country is about," he added later in the conversation with Cuomo. "We have fought in every war. We have sacrificed more for that Constitution than most people."