By Daniel Kreps
Jay-Z talked Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick, #MeToo and more as guest on the first episode of CNN’s Van Jones Show. The rapper’s appearance also elicited a Twitter response from the president Sunday morning.
With unemployment among African-Americans dropping under Trump, Jones asked Jay-Z whether the president is actually delivering what the Democrats have long been promising.
“It’s not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn’t equate to happiness, that’s missing the whole point,” Jay-Z said. “Treat people like human beings, that’s the main point. It goes back to the whole thing, ‘Treat me really bad and pay me well.’ It’s not gonna lead to happiness.”
Like Trump misinterpreting the National Anthem protests, the message behind Jay-Z’s unemployment remarks escaped the president, who fired off a tweet Sunday morning, “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!”
Van Jones countered on Twitter later, “Someone needs to inform @realdonaldtrump that I ALREADY asked Jay Z whether black employment figures redeem Trump’s presidency. And Jay’s answer last night on the #VanJonesShow was POWERFUL !!!”
The rapper also discussed Trump’s “shithole countries” remark, which Jay-Z called “disappointing and hurtful.” “Everyone feels anger, but after the anger, it’s real hurtful. Because it’s looking down at a whole population of people, and it’s so misinformed, because these places have beautiful people and beautiful everything. This is the leader of the free world speaking like this,” Jay-Z said, comparing the president’s attitude to former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. “Somewhere along his lineage something happened to [Trump]. Something happened to him, and he is expressing it in this sort of way.”
As for the #MeToo movement, Jay-Z said, “For women to go to work knowing that this sort of abuse was happening every day, you can look logically and say, ‘Why would you stay there?’ What is the alternative? You have to survive in America. In order to survive you have to normalize it… So for it to get uncovered and the world to correct itself, this is what has to happen.”