CNN's Van Jones says that Laura Ingraham's commentary on Fox News about the "changing demographics" in the US is the same argument made by white supremacists.
From Friday's New Day on CNN:
JOHN BERMAN, CNN: It's not just an issue of the law, it's also a question of what is America. And there are also people who support the President on cable television who are saying things publicly. They're not hiding, they're saying it out loud. And Laura Ingraham, who's a host on Fox News, had this to say the other night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: In some parts of the country it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist any more. Massive demographic changes have been hoisted upon the American people. And they're changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don't like. From Virginia, to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed.
Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration that of course progressives love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So Laura Ingraham fight (ph) a backtrack in a way over night saying it was about the border, but --
VAN JONES, CNN HOST AND COMMENTATOR: She didn't say a word on that. Listen, I know her. I've thought well of her in the past. That was racial. She -- listen, if she wants to talk about the border, she want to talk about security, she wants to talk about terrorism, she wants to talk about, you know, she's welcome to do that. She did not mentioned any of that stuff. In that thing, she talked about demographic change.
It doesn't matter if you're smart, if you're good, if you're law abiding whatever, the demographics, the racial demographics are the issue. There's no other explanation with the word demographic.
And so, that does not sound like anything but white nationalism. And I -- listen, I don't like to come out here and saying that kind of stuff because it's -- I always look for a better explanation if I can find it and you know I do. There is no other explanation for her comments. Then she's talking about the changing racial makeup.
Now, listen, conservatives always tell me we're color blind, we don't see color, why do you guys always raise the issue?
She raised the issue with no even pretence that there was some other dog whistle. This is -- you're seeing now mainstream media adopting the rhetoric and the rationale of white nationalism and nobody is doing anything about it. This is one of the worst things I've seen on cable television.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST AND COMMENTATOR: I think it was one of the most cogent articulations of a viewpoint that exists among Trump supporters that explains his election in 2016, the unsettled nature in some people's minds, that Van is describing, as to the changes that they see in the country.
I see it in stark political terms. Laura Ingraham's articulation is what explains I think the why in which states like my own in Pennsylvania and other (ph) Rust Belt, Michigan, Wisconsin States, Ohio ended up going for Trump. People that she's speaking to are worried about the changing complexion of the country. What this country will look like in 2040 if not sooner.
So, I don't agree with it, but I appreciate in a sense the way, OK, it's not now out in the open. And let's talk about what really drives some of these voters.
JONES: And my point about it is, up until now they've tried to pretend that there's other issues. A more noble issues, more issues you could may be understand. What we're concerned about here is we're gangs or something like that. You can say it's all about safety which is where she tried to rant (ph).
But if we're going to literally now have the conversation, we just don't like having more brown people around. We just think having more brown people around makes us makes us feel weird and bad, then let's have that conversation. But you can't then say that and then turn around and say, every time a black or brown person says I feel like there's racisms here you're paying the race card.
I think you got to pick your lane. You -- either the country is beyond racism, we don't care about color anymore and it's the progressives making the issue, or actually progressives' right. We don't like you here and we we're going to defend the fact we don't like you hear, but you can't have it both ways.
ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: I think also too in that and this really is part of what both of you are saying. But in terms of this changing demographic and that things look different, which is what she's pointing out, you can't ignore the fact too that she's also -- she's tying it to legal and in her words -- illegal and/or legal immigration.
BERMAN: And legal, yes, and that's --
HILL: And that's where we need to like, as you're saying, as you're bringing this all back together, this comes back to more people from Norway. This come back to, you know, I want people who are better without actually taking to look at not only -- I mean, forget where people are coming from for a minute, how about taking a look at the measure of the person and what they may need.
BERMAN: Or what they may have to offer.
HILL: And, you know, do they need asylum? What they have to offer? All of these things and all of that, too, getting loss in this conversation which becomes about this. I mean these gut moments that are truly the worst of the country.
JONES: Sarah Sidner --
SMERCONISH: But it's really -- Erica, if I could just say this. It's really not immigration that is changing the nature and character of the country as she articulates it. If really you want to talk about how America will be -- whites will be majority -- minority in 2040. I said that incorrectly, how the country will be comprised of whites who are now in the majority by 2040? It's more about birthrates than it is about immigration. So, this is a canard on which Laura Ingraham is playing.
JONES: Yes. And throughout the west, you're seeing this challenge where, you know, once you get that westerns in the living, you don't want to have one a bunch of kids. You tend to have, you know, one or just have a dog and then that tends to have sort of (ph) them. So, we get to --
HILL: I think they're a lot easy.
JONES: Yes, sometimes they are. But, listen, I thought -- I thought that we cross another line with that commentary. Sara Sidner had resuggest (ph) went out into, you know, some of the tough parts of America and heard NAZI saying this very point.
BERMAN: You know, we have that sound (ph) here, let's listen to it.
JONES: Yes, OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DABIEL BURNSIDE, ULYSSES RESIDENT: The rural America spoke up when they elected Trump. Rural America, we're starring down the barrel down here in white America. There's still 193 million white Americans.
Yes, the vast majority of them are in their 60s and 70s, will be in the ground in the next 20 years. And therefore, we have the possibility of becoming a minority in our own country, a possibility of becoming a minority in America.
SARA SNIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like you're afraid of being me and being me is great.
BURNSIDE: This is my country.
SNIDER: This is also my country.
BURNSIDE: You guys didn't win the culture war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So, you have a guy he knows that he has a NAZI swastika on his chest, making the same argument that Laura Ingraham was making on cable television to millions and millions of our neighbors and fellow citizens. There is no difference between the argument that the NAZI made and the argument that she made, that having too many brown people is a problem. Not because their criminal, but because they're brown, not because they're cherished but because they're brown, not because they did anything but literally just because they're brown.
There is no other way to describe that argument than racist. I don't come on this station and call people racist. I don't -- I find any area I can to get people credit, I'd rather have a more dignified debate. But that is racism, period and point blank. It doesn't matter if its' coming from a NAZI standing in front of this trailer or from Laura Ingraham on Fox News.
If you say people coming here are a problem because of the color of their skin, because of where they came from, that is racism, period point blank. And it has no place in our country. I agree that it's good that it's out there.
But then now let's finally have the conversation, is somebody absorbing too much light through their skin a problem? Is that a crime? Is there something wrong with that? Or is there something more important about that person, about that child, about that father, about that mother that we might want to be remind ourselves to look at? Because I'm raising children in this country.
And Kindergarteners are taught better than Laura Ingraham. Third graders, kids going to college are taught better than how Laura Ingraham and that NAZI are performing in our country and it's wrong. And if we can't say that it's wrong, to say that somebody shouldn't be here literally just because the way they look, we are far down the rat hole in this country.