Van Jones found himself catching a bit of flak on social media due to the comments that Jones made about First Lady Michelle Obama directly after her speech on the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. After Mrs. Obama gave a rousing speech on Monday, July 25 — wherein FLOTUS spoke about her deep gratitude to be able to live in a country wherein an African-American woman like herself could wake up each morning in the White House that was built by slaves — Van admitted that he cried during the First Lady’s speech, because it was so moving.
As a result, Van’s name began receiving lots of tweets from some who were outright angered or confused about what Jones meant.
However, Jones took to his own Twitter page to clarify that Jones does indeed find First Lady Michelle beautiful. Van explained that he was referring to how dark-skinned females were viewed as less attractive by society generations ago.
“Of course, First Lady is classically beautiful!! I meant how our dark-skinned sisters were dissed generations ago.”
Jones touched on a deep wound within the African-American community by mentioning Michelle’s dark skin and coupling it with a statement that didn’t make it totally clear initially that Van was speaking about the way societal views have been over time. Jones went on to explain that his wording might not have been totally clear at first about Obama, because Van had just finished crying — his emotional reaction to Michelle’s moving speech, which garnered plenty of praise on social media.
“I’d just stopped bawling. Maybe didn’t come out right.But was thinking of my own dark-skinned sister, teased so bad.”
Van explained that he was thinking of his sister when making those comments. Jones wrote that his own sister has dark skin — and was teased for that fact.
Meanwhile, as the comments roll on about Van and Michelle on Twitter, others are still reeling with their responses to Obama’s speech — a speech that featured FLOTUS not mentioning the controversy about Melania Trump’s speech once. Instead, Michelle waxed nostalgic about watching her and President Obama’s two children grow from curious girls to fine young ladies that enjoyed the benefit of playing with their dogs on the White House lawn — and all the implications that made about the great country in which the citizens of the U.S. live.
A sampling of the comments about Van’s FLOTUS thoughts can be read below.
“It was messy phrasing related to his personal context of his sister…don’t crucify him. He [loved Michelle’s] speech.”
“Wait, in praising speech, did Van Jones call Michelle Obama ‘not a classically beautiful woman?’ Why talk looks? And really?”
“I spoke w/ @VanJones68 just now. He absolutely was not saying Michelle isn’t classically beautiful. Was speaking of hate from previous times.”
[Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP Images]