The last part of the discussion had Noah asking Jones a question that “many black Americans” are asking: “How many times do I have to be doing the right thing?”
Further, Noah presses: “Why do you feel the need for yourself to be reaching out? Because you could just say no, this country is racist, I don’t care, I’m out. But how do you justify it to yourself? Why engage?”
Jones says he’s inspired by Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ella Jo Baker who’ve been through “much worse” than him but never give up.
“I have one bad election and some bad tweets and quit? I can’t do that. And I will tell you: You cannot, especially this younger generation. They can’t quit either. I am a ninth generation American. A ninth generation American,” Jones says, emphatically. “I’m the first one in my family born with all my rights. My relatives didn’t quit and I’m not going either and neither should these young people. We’re just getting started.”
In conjunction with these statements, Jones said ― a recent interview with Esquire ― that we need to have “more authentic conversation.”
“Disagreement is fine. Conflict is fine. But let it be authentic. Let it be true, which starts off with: nobody is perfect. None of these candidates are perfect. None of these political parties are perfect,” he says. “It’s this whole mess that we’re in. You know, what can we honestly discover together? That’s a constructive conversation. That’s the conversation I want to have.”
Jones’ special “The Messy Truth” airs on CNN on Dec. 6th at 9 p.m. EST.