Spike Lee to ‘Punk-Ass’ Jared Kushner: ‘Come to Harlem Talking That Mess’ About Black People

Lee slammed comments from Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law that Black Americans need to "want" to be successful.
Spike Lee attends the New York Film Critics Circle Awards at TAO Downtown on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Spike Lee
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Filmmaker and civil rights advocate Spike Lee joined SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” on Friday to denounce implications made earlier this week from President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner that Black Americans lack a drive to succeed.

“I am so tired of white folks telling us what we need to do,” Lee said on the radio program. “How could this guy, how could this punk-ass say what Black folks need to do? You know, it’s like there wasn’t 400 years of slavery, systematic racism, go on, list, list list list […] this guy to say to Black people, that we don’t wanna succeed? Hey, let him come to Brooklyn talking that. Let him come to Harlem talking that mess.”

Kushner faced instant backlash on Monday after an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” where he defended his father-in-law’s relationship to Black voters. “I think we’ve seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about. But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful,” Kushner said.

Lee added, “First of all, that guy’s a punk. Second of all, our ancestors with — here’s how America was built: The United States of America was built by the stealing of the land from the Native Americans and the genocide Americans coupled with slavery. So we built this country! So what the hell is he talking about? We don’t want to succeed?! He’s nuts!”

Earlier this week, former President Barack Obama also blasted Kushner’s comments during a campaign rally supporting Joe Biden in Orlando. “[Trump] loves to talk about Black unemployment, ‘Look how low Black unemployment’ — well, you know what, unemployment was really high when I came in and we brought that unemployment low and it kept on going low,” Obama said. “And he wants to take credit for it, says he’s the best president for Black folks since Abe Lincoln […] His son-in-law says Black folks have to want to be successful, that’s the problem. Who are these folks? What history books do they read?”

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