Jared Kushner says Black Americans must 'want' to succeed

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner criticised athletes and others who have protested against US racism on social media and basketball courts and suggested that Black people had to want to succeed for policies to change.

In televised remarks that drew criticism from the Democratic Party, Kushner, the Republican president's son-in-law, spoke about Trump's "Platinum Plan" to create jobs and opportunities for Black Americans if he is re-elected next month.

"So look, there's been a lot of discussion about the issues that were needed in the Black community for the last years but particularly, it intensified after the George Floyd situation," he told Fox & Friends.

A Black man, Floyd was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in May, sparking widespread protests over racial inequality and police brutality organised by Black Lives Matter and other groups.

"And, you know, you saw a lot of people who were just virtue signalling. They'd go on Instagram and cry or they would put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court. And quite frankly, that was doing more to polarise the country than it was to bring people forward."

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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the UK
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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the UK
Ivanka Trump (L) and her husband special advisor to the US president Jared Kushner (R) watch during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of the US president and First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOBY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, (C) and her husband Jared Kushner (L), special advisor to the US president, accompany the US president and US First Lady during a visit to Westminster Abbey in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of the US president and First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner stand on a balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Ceremonial Welcome in the Buckingham Palace Garden for US President Donald Trump on day 1 of his State Visit to the UK on June 3, 2019 in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump and her husband Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Jared Kushner view displays of US items of the Royal Collection with Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York at Buckingham palace at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - MAY 23: Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on May 23, 2017 in Rome, Italy. PHOTOGRAPH BY Marco Ravagli / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Marco Ravagli / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend a Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace on June 03, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Ivanka Trump (C-top) and her husband special advisor to the US president Jared Kushner watch from the balcony a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of the US president and First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
(centre window) Ivanka Trump (centre) and Jared Kushner (right), with (right window) Sarah Sanders (right), Donald Trump's press secretary, and John Bolton (2nd right), National Security Advisor of The United States, during the Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of his three day state visit to the UK. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump look out of a window of Buckingham Palace during the Ceremonial Welcome in the Buckingham Palace Garden for US President Donald Trump on day 1 of his State Visit to the UK on June 3, 2019 in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Ivanka Trump and husband, special advisor to the US president Jared Kushner, look on during a visit to Westminster Abbey on June 03, 2019 in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/ Getty Images)
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Trump's plan would achieve more, Kushner said, acknowledging that the Black community overwhelmingly supports the rival Democratic Party.

"President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about but he can't help them be successful more than they want to be successful," Kushner said.

"President Trump may not always say the right things but he does the right things," he said.

The Democratic National Committee issued a statement assailing Kushner for suggesting that demanding accountability for the deaths of Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement was just "complaining."

"This dismissive approach to the issues that Black voters care about is indicative of Trump's callousness and disregard for the lives of Black people," said the statement issued by DNC national press secretary Brandon Gassaway.

After Floyd's death, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that a growing majority of Americans understood "why Black Americans do not trust the police," companies pledged billions of dollars to address inequalities in the United States, and some professional athletic events were cancelled.

On social media there was widespread condemnation for Kushner.

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