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Ava DuVernay, Van Jones Discuss ’13th’ Film, Donald Trump

Ava DuVernay, Van Jones Discuss ’13th’ Film, Donald Trump

Ava DuVernay, Van Jones Discuss '13th' Film, Donald Trump

Ava DuVernay, Van Jones Discuss '13th' Film, Donald Trump
Photo by Eric Charbonneau

This past Sunday Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey and Van Jones got together to discuss DuVernay’s documentary 13th and Donald Trump‘s impending presidency.

Held at the home of Netflix chief content officer Ted Serandos, the discussion (moderated by Winfrey) initially served as an event to encourage Academy members to vote for 13th as one of the five selections for the Feature Documentary category.

But considering the content of the film (there is one such scene in which audio from a Trump speech is synchronized with archived footage of black people being mistreated by white people) it was inevitable that the occasion would turn to discussing the President-elect Trump at some point.

“I went to Ohio. I went to Michigan. I went to Pennsylvania and I think Trump is much worse than people believe,” Jones said, referring to his CNN special The Messy Truth where he traveled across different parts of the country to meet Trump supporters. “But I think his supporters are much better than people understand. I think there is a lot of hope in that.”

“I think liberals and conservative are on trial,” he continued. “Can we love all our folk…and the coal miners? If so, I think we will be all right. Can conservatives actually be conservative and do something about this crazy person? If so, I think we will be all right. If not, we have big, big problems.”

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DuVernay, however, disagreed, saying:

“For me right now, I don’t have a lot of empathy for someone who chooses to put their name next to, raise their hand for, someone who represents violence to another human being. I’m challenged that we are not holding people accountable for their vote, for where they are right now. I can’t get with the, ‘They were left out of the circle so let’s help them come back from the dark side.’ It’s what marginalized people are often asked to do.”

Trump has most recently come under fire for lashing out against Rep. John Lewis, who said that he did not see Trump as a “legitimate” president in an interview with NBC News. Trump took to Twitter to respond to Lewis, saying that the civil rights leader was “all talk, talk, talk – no action or results.” Trump received plenty of backlash for his remarks, considering they were made towards a prominent figure in America’s civil rights movement, during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.


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