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CNN’s new program The Van Jones is off to an amazing start. The inaugural episode aired Saturday night with a guest appearance by legendary hip-hop mogul Jay Z, who addressed a wide range of issues, including the rise of the #MeToo movement.
“I believe everything happens for a reason,” Hov said when asked about the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations. “Everything is a learning experience—you know, the good, the bad, the ugly. This had to happen to purge itself […] It has to happen. This movement and everything that’s going on and what we're finding out, it's like racism—it existed the whole time. It's almost like we normalized it. It's the normalization of the things we do to survive. For women to go to work knowing this sort of abuse was happening every day; because you can look and logically say, ‘Why would you stay there?’ [But] what’s the alternative? You have to survive in America.”
Jones later asked Jay about his two daughters and whether he was concerned for their safety in a world where sexual misconduct is rampant. Jay insisted he wasn’t worried.
“I’m hopeful for my daughters,” he explained. “The amount of information that we’ll give them and the amount of love, between those two things, they’ll be fine.”
Jones also asked Jay about Donald Trump’s alleged derogatory comments about African nations. The rapper said the reported “shithole” comment was “disappointing and hurtful.”
“Everyone feels anger, but after the anger it's really hurtful because he's looking down on a whole population of people and he's so misinformed because these places have beautiful people,” he said.
But Jay insisted the comments weren’t surprising. He reminded Jones that this kind of racist rhetoric has been spewed for as long as he can remember.
The conversation also touched on Colin Kaepernick and his role in highlighting racial injustices in America. Jay said the former 49er shouldn’t worry about inking a new contract, as he now has a much more important purpose.
“Would you rather be playing football, getting your head dinged in, or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life?” Jay asked. “We confuse the idea of having a job with fulfilling your purpose.”
You can check out other notable clips from Saturday's episode below. The Van Jones Show will air bi-monthly on CNN.