I don’t like Van Jones’s politics, but I respect him for crossing the line when needed and saying the things that everyone needs to hear.

The left first went after him when he dared to say that blacks need to worry more about the “white liberal Hillary Clinton supporter.”

Now they’re attacking for having the nerve to work with President Donald Trump’s administration on police reform.

On June 16, Trump “signed an executive order aimed at guiding police reforms after weeks of nationwide unrest over police killings of unarmed black Americans.” From Politico:

The order would create federal incentives through the Justice Department for local police departments that seek “independent credentialing” to certify that law enforcement is meeting higher standards for the use of force and de-escalation training. Trump specifically noted that those standards would include banning the use of chokeholds — an especially controversial tactic that has led to the high-profile deaths of multiple African-American men — “except if an officer’s life is at risk.”

Trump’s order would also incentivize local departments to bring on experts in mental health, addiction and homelessness as “co-responders” to “help officers manage these complex encounters.” And it would encourage better information sharing to track officers with “credible abuses” to prevent them from moving from one department to the next.

The text of the order directs the Justice Department to create and maintain a database to track when officers have been terminated or decertified, have been criminally convicted for on-duty conduct or faced civil judgments for improper use of force. It notes that information-sharing related to use-of-force complaints would not apply in “instances where a law enforcement officer resigns or retires while under active investigation related to the use of force,” and emphasizes that the database would track only episodes in which an officer was “afforded fair process.“

Protesters and Democrats denounced the order because it did not go far enough for them.

Jones hyped up the executive order on CNN’s noon show Inside Politics:

“The executive order is a good thing, mainly because you saw the support of law enforcement there… There is movement in the direction of a database for bad cops. We have never had a federal database for bad cops, that’s why all these cops go all over the place doing bad stuff… The chokeholds, that’s common ground now between Nancy Pelosi and Trump. Good stuff there.”

Jones praised the order hours later on Anderson Cooper 360:

Hours later, Jones doubled down on Anderson Cooper 360—again without disclosing his role advising the Trump White House. “What do you make of this executive order?” Cooper asked him.

“I think it’s pushing in the right direction,” Jones told the CNN anchor. “What you got today is, I think, a sign that we are winning,” he added. “Donald Trump has put himself on record saying we need to reform the police department… We are winning! Donald Trump had no plan a month ago to work on this issue at all. The fact that we are now in the direction of moving forward, I think, is good.”

However, CNN and Jones did not disclose that he worked on the police reform order with Trump and advisor Jared Kushner:

According to a knowledgeable White House source, who expressed satisfaction that there were zero leaks, Jones and California human rights attorney Jessica Jackson, who runs #cut50, a prison-reform group that Jones also founded, actively participated with law enforcement officials and White House staffers to help fashion the order and guide the politics of the discussion to what they considered “the sweet spot” between law enforcement and “the reasonable middle” and “the reasonable left.”

Should Jones have disclosed that he worked on the reform? Yes, but I don’t see a problem with it overall.

Jones has no problem making friends with the right. He is friendly with Meghan McCain, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and S.E. Cupp:

“Van is solution-oriented,” Cupp told The Daily Beast. “So he’s not all that interested in the politics of where that solution comes from, or even optics…Very few of us in the pundit space can claim actual policy wings, so I think his willingness to hear anyone out is a virtue.”

Jones even worked with Republican Sen. Tim Scott on his Justice Act.
What the left and the right forget is that open communication is how to solve problems:

“He goes places where others fear to go, and he is crucified in many ways for the decisions that he makes, but understands that this work is the work of our Creator,” said prison reform activist Topeka Sam, who met Jones at a Google event and began to work with him in 2016 after serving three years of a 10-year sentence on a federal non-violent drug conspiracy conviction. “We have to work with each other in order to get things changed, and have a better and just society.”

But alas, the left has slammed Jones for his actions. Several associates said he “is motivated as much by personal advancement, fame and access to power and money as by altruism.”

Others claim Jones is only doing this because he did not achieve fame and fortune when he served as President Barack Obama’s green advisor. He has found that recognition within the Trump administration.

NY1 anchor Errol Lewis disagrees:

“He’s a Bible-believing Christian,” Louis told The Daily Beast, citing Jones’ speech in which he talked about his sheltered small-town childhood in Jackson, Tennessee, the son of educators; he described himself as a bookish “nerd” who weighed 87 pounds and wore glasses; his resolve to fight injustice, he told the audience, came from his experience of being bullied.

He never drank alcohol or did drugs, he said, and he was so shocked when he got to Yale and witnessed his law school classmates doing so much of both, among other things, that he phoned his grandmother—because he was too afraid to talk about it with his strict and straitlaced father—to ask what he should do about such rampant sinning.

She said “pray,” Jones recounted.

Here are what some people are saying on Twitter:

 

 
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