Actor Jason Jones – the husband of President Donald Trump “resistor” Samantha Bee – is opposed to a move that would introduce further integration into the couple’s children’s school, but says his opposition should not be interpreted as “racist.”
In June of last year, education media Chalkbeat reported on parents’ protests against rezoning plans for New York City’s wealthy Upper West Side. The story went virtually unnoticed, but after a weekend of Bee promoting her alternative White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) event, Jones’s comments went viral as critics accused the liberal Bee of hypocrisy.
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) April 18, 2017
The city’s proposal in the case of P.S. 452 was to move the school from the building it shares with two other schools on W. 77th Street to one on Amsterdam Avenue and 61st Street that is now occupied by P.S. 191 and is adjacent to a housing project. P.S. 191 would then move one block west into a newly constructed building.
P.S. 452’s student population is three-quarters white and Asian, with only eight percent black and 13 percent Hispanic.
The mayor [Bill de Blasio] has expressed support for school diversity, but he also has said the city must respect parents’ real-estate investments (a statement that at least one P.S. 452 parent repeated this week), while Chancellor Carmen Fariña has warned against forcing integration “down people’s throats.”
To city education officials, the rezoning battles reinforce a belief that they must move slowly and carefully to promote integration, letting individual schools lead the way.
Most of the parents opposed the move, reports WNYC, insisting their objections were not based upon resistance to integration, but upon the ability to keep their own neighborhood schools.
“To portray any opposition as classist or racist is as bad as it can get,” said Jones, a former Daily Show comedian.
“It disheartens me to wake up in the morning and see that the Upper West side is divided,” he also stated. “We are not divided, we are absolutely united in wanting what’s best for our children.”
Jones complained about what he referred to as “rhetoric” from some parents that, he thought, might indicate they were “terrified” of having their children’s school moved to a building near a housing project. He said such representation was “dishonest at best and slanderous at worst.”
“So I urge you, to stop talking to the press,” he added. “This is a private matter, I think, from our community. This story doesn’t exist without your quotes.”
Bee, the host of TBS’s Full Frontal, made headlines for her assessment of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton last November, in which she asserted that “white people” have ruined America:
In the coming days, people will be looking for someone to blame: the pollsters, the strident feminists, the Democratic party, a vengeful god. But once you dust for fingerprints, it’s pretty clear who ruined America: white people. I guess ruining Brooklyn was just a dry run. The Caucasian nation showed up in droves to vote for Trump, so I don’t want to hear a goddamn word about black voter turnout. How many times do we expect black people to build our country for us? White people, this is the worst thing we’ve ever — no, I’m sorry, that’s a very high bar. But holy shit, and don’t try to distance yourself from the bad apples and say, “It’s not my fault, I didn’t vote for him, hashtag not all white people.” Shush. If Muslims have to take responsibility for every member of their community, so do we.
More recently, Bee issued an apology after mocking an attendee at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for having a haircut that resembled that of a Nazi.
“This year, the bow ties were gone, replaced by Nazi hair, Nazi hair, Nazi hair,” was the comment about 20-year-old student Kyle Coddington, who, as it turns out, has a shaved head because he is battling State 4 brain cancer.
Writing at the Resurgent, Erick Erickson observed Jones’s comments about the rezoning of his school district, and how a conservative or Republican parent with similar remarks would have likely been called out for racism:
I’m sure Jason Jones a/k/a Mr. Samantha Bee has reasons other than race. It could be as simple as the new location would be further from his home. But can you really imagine Samantha Bee or her husband, who worked for the Daily Show, ever giving a Republican the benefit of the doubt on this issue? And, as one parent notes, “the needs of the community outweigh my own personal convenience.” Not for Samantha Bee’s husband.
Forced integration, in fact, is also not necessarily welcomed by minority parents, as many white progressives have decided it must be.
“Neighborhood schools before integration worked well because students made important connections with the school family and their community, despite the access and equity issues of the day,” Dr. Deborah De Sousa Owens, education leader at the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) told Breitbart News in 2015.
Owens bemoaned the interference of government in neighborhood schools, especially those for low-income families.
“At the end of the day, it is parents and communities who really help students, especially low-income students succeed in school and life,” she said. “What we need are more educational options for families and a concerted effort to involve more churches and community members in the education of students, particularly low-income students.”