Ben Jealous On Race Relations In The U.S. Today
In this interview with CBSN, Ben Jealous reacts to some of the prominent events and issues around race relations in the United States.
First, he is questioned about a recent poll that indicates that almost seven-in-ten Americans think that race relations in this country are bad. Jealous points to the unprecedented sadness and rawness that characterized the 2016 presidential debate.
Next, Jealous addresses the Black Lives Matter movement. He sees BLM as a continuation of many of the early civil rights movements - with a tradition of truth telling and shedding light on localities that are not performing morally in order to "take our country to a higher and better place." When asked why BLM does not have a unified message, Jealous points out, that when you step back from the individual protestors and individual tweets, the BLM movement has a very strong message: that "Black Lives Matter" and that the police killings have to stop.
When asked about celebrities talking about this issue, Jealous supports their actions. Many people, especially children, look to athletes and celebrities as their heroes. Jealous states that for these "heroes" to come out and say "I am afraid too" can help galvanize people who look up to them - "I am your hero and now I need you to be my hero and join with all of us to help move this country forward."