*This article of mine is published on Medium.*
Jared Kushner calling the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic a “great success story” is exactly on-bullshit-brand for the First Son-in-Law of the United States.
Appearing on Fox News on Wednesday, Kushner boldly declared that, “We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this, and I think that we’ve achieved all of the different milestones that are needed.” President Trump’s senior advisor went on to praise how “the federal government rose to the challenge.”
Kushner’s reckless remarks in the midst of the hell that is the coronavirus has me thinking about how we have no problem being condescending towards brilliant and overqualified women of color, like Stacey Abrams or even Kamala Harris, while letting mediocre White men fail up their whole lives.
“Jared Kushner is so dead inside, the president calls him ‘Melania,’” late night TV host, Jimmy Kimmel joked on his show. “Jared Kushner looks like if white privilege had a baby with raw cookie dough. Jared Kushner looks like a PEZ dispenser of Young Sheldon. Even Jared from Subway is like, ‘this Jared gives me the creeps!’ The idea that Jared thinks things are going great is nuts.” While Kimmel could not be more on the money about Kushner, Ivanka’s hubby’s latest twilight zone moment actually offers women of color a masterclass in the kind of delusional confidence only mediocre White men in American can get away with.
Just look at how the media is treating Stacey Abrams for being open and vocal about wanting to be Biden’s VP pick. Not only are there countless articles questioning Abrams’ qualifications but CNN’s Jake Tapper even asked her point-blank why she was being so blunt about her ambitions. “I’ve been asked this question since last year,” Abrams told Tapper. “I was brought into the national conversation and I’ve been very honest about my willingness to serve. As a young Black woman growing up in Mississippi, I learned that if you don’t raise your hand, people won’t see you and they won’t give you attention.” And she did not stop there. Abrams went on to clarify that she wasn’t seeking the attention just for the sake of being Biden’s running mate, but also for “making sure that my qualifications aren’t in question.”
Can we get an “Amen” for Stacey Abrams? Not only was her answer pure perfection, she took the opportunity to stipulate and remind Tapper and viewers that she is in fact qualified for the VP position. She has the qualifications. And in a world that is constantly challenging and questioning the spaces women of color are allowed in, we are too used to asking women like Stacey Abrams why she raises her hand, but not question what business or qualifications Kushner has to predict that the country will be “really rocking again” by July.
As it is, women of color disproportionately suffer from imposter syndrome, and we are constantly second-guessing ourselves, while all the while Kushner’s delusional confidence remains unshaken, even with over 60,000 Americans dead and counting from the coronavirus. Why is that? Because only a White man in America could try to spin this administration’s coronavirus response as a “success story” and even attempt to get away with it.
While it’s great that Jared thinks “that’s what really needs to be told,” reality unfortunately begs to differ. It’s no secret that Kushner, like his father-in-law, is notoriously detached from the truth and facts. In her latest piece, Salon’s Amanda Marcotte even cites a report detailing how Kushner’s “famously unshakable belief in his own judgment” led him to repeatedly tell federal officials that there was no need to take the coronavirus too seriously. Marcotte describes Kushner as nothing less than a con:
Jared Kushner’s softer voice and ability to dress himself fooled many political observers into thinking he would be a moderating presence on his father-in-law in the early days. But by now even the most appearance-bamboozled pundits must accept that in all ways that matter, Jared is virtually identical to Papa Trump: He’s as arrogant as he is incompetent, he’s assured of his own expertise on matters he has barely paid attention to, he’s shameless in his lying, and he’s fully confident he can bulldoze his way past his myriad failures simply by declaring himself successful.
But even for Kushner, trying to spin this administration’s handling of Covid-19 as a “success story” and a “great” one at that, during the week when the United States exceeded 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, the death toll hit over 60,000, and 30 million Americans filed for unemployment, is seriously stretching it. And it also means we cannot afford to ignore how dangerous Kushner’s dumb confidence actually is.
“May you have the confidence of a mediocre White man” is how the saying goes and if you ever had any doubt it was true, Jared Kushner is here to remind you that nowhere is it truer than in the United States of America.
*This article of mine is published on Medium.*