Ellen DeGeneres invited attorney, activist and CNN correspondent Van Jones to her show for the first time last week to discuss the racial climate in America. After the two exchanged pleasantries, DeGeneres fighting back tears spoke of the many unarmed African-American men killed by law enforcement and the embarrassment she experiences as a white person every time there’s a new death.
“I can hardly talk about it without getting emotional. I’m furious. As a white person, I’m ashamed. I see what’s going on and I say ‘how is this possible that this keeps happening? There’s just blatant racism and it hurts me.”
The talk show host then mentioned 14-year-old Brennan Walker who missed the bus to school and while walking, got lost and stopped to ask for directions. After knocking on a door, a white man then shot at him. The teen fled and was not harmed.
Jones said as a father of two boys their safety is something he worries about constantly. but noted that the deaths of black men isn’t just about police entirely but also how the nation views African-Americans.
“We’ve got some malware glitch going on in our brains. I spent my 20s in a drug infested den of inequity called Yale University where kids were doing drugs all the time. None of them got shot, none of them went to prison nobody called the police. They said these kids are doing drugs, let’s put them in rehab,” the 49-year-old said. “Four blocks away in the housing projects, kids were doing drugs and they all went to prison. They were the same age group within eyesight of each other. But we have this brain glitch that says when a white kids does it, meh, maybe they need a little bit of help. If a black kid does it, we’ve got to punish them.”
Watch Van Jones explain to Ellen what’s wrong with police in America.