Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys spoke alongside social justice activist Van Jones at a POLITICO-sponsored panel near the Democratic National Convention’s opening night on Monday to talk about criminal justice reform, high incarceration rates and crime statistic discrepancies in the United States.
“I feel that crime has been decreasing year after year, so it’s not this country that he’s describing,” Keys said when asked about her thoughts on Republican nominee Donald Trump’s recent statement that he is the “law and order candidate.” “I feel that much of his campaign has been blowing the dog whistle.”
Jones, founder and president of social justice accelerator Dream Corps, highlighted why crime statistics and the language around criminal justice are often misinterpreted. “The Democratic National Platform didn’t have criminal justice reform just four years ago,” he said. “It’s a bipartisan disaster that resulted in mass incarnation … [President Obama is] trying to clean out a barn that’s been filled with bad policies for a long time,” Jones said.
While Jones and Keys praised the president’s efforts on diminishing national crime rates, both said criminal justice reform is far from perfect and requires a smart strategy. Earlier this week, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver also addressed the way the Republican National Convention. Watch below.