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Van Jones commends Tim Scott, says he’s stunned by NASCAR decision

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CNN analyst Van Jones on Wednesday commended Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) for taking on the issue of systemic racism “head on.”

“Great conservatives like Tim Scott — you can be conservative and still believe in limited government and individual rights and liberty — but face facts: Tim Scott is a strong conservative. You can’t be more conservative than he is,” Jones told anchor Erin Burnett on Wednesday night.

“He’s willing to address the issue head on,” Jones added of Scott, the only African American GOP senator. “Jack Kemp was willing to address the issue head on. There now needs to be a reckoning inside the Republican Party.”

Scott has been tapped by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to craft a plan for police reform and submitted a draft of a proposed “Justice Act” on Tuesday.

Kemp, the former vice presidential candidate on then-Sen. Bob Dole’s (R-Kan.) ticket in 1996, advocated tax-free zones as an anti-poverty program for America’s poorest urban neighborhoods as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President George H.W. Bush.

Jones also said he did a “double-take” upon learning NASCAR had decided to eliminate Confederate flags at its events.

“It was stunning. I was on a Zoom call and I looked down on my phone, and it said that NASCAR is going to get rid of the Confederate flags,” Jones said. “I literally did a double take. I’m like, ‘Am I awake? Is this real?’ I mean, NASCAR is, you know, Confederate flag-friendly, I’ll put it that way, most of the time. Good folks, hard-working folks, but it’s not a bastion of racial justice or agitation by any stretch.”

“The Messy Truth” host also said the killing of unarmed African American George Floyd while in police custody marks a turning point in the country’s history. 

“Something has touched the conscience of the human species when you see a lynching — and that’s what that was,” Jones said. 

“We’ve been lynched for 400 years here. But nobody — at no point could a billion people see it at the same time on their cellphones. And something has touched the conscience of the nation, of the human species and NASCAR says we don’t want to aid and abet any of the ugly history and present, we want to move in a different direction.”

Floyd died on Memorial Day after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Three other officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, who were at the scene of Floyd’s death, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Tags CNN Confederate flag George Floyd protests Mitch McConnell NASCAR police reform Tim Scott
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