MSNBC host Tiffany Cross claims some Black media faces are 'not necessarily Black voices'

The “Cross Connection” host focused her monologue on notable Black figures like political commentator and Democratic activist Van Jones, ESPN anchor Sage Steele, and Ozy founder and former MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson for supposedly not being “Black voices.”  

“Okay, Carlos Watson, Sage Steele, Van Jones. What do these three folks have in common? Well, they’re all people who’ve been prompted up by wealthy or powerful White Americans, and yet we, the keepers of the culture, don’t really rock with any of them like that. Now obviously, the three of these folks are definitely Black faces. However, they are not necessarily Black voices. And there’s a difference,” Cross said. 

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She referenced the incident last week when ESPN’s “SportsCenter” host Sage Steele was pulled off the air for her comments about former President Barack Obama.

“If they make you choose a race, she’s like ‘What are you going to put?’ And I go, ‘Both.’ And she’s like, ‘Well, you can’t,'” Steele said. “She goes, ‘Barack Obama chose Black and he’s biracial.’ And I’m like, ‘Congratulations to the president.’ That’s his thing. I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found and his White mom and grandma raised him, but hey, you do you. I’m gonna do me.”

Cross also called out Van Jones as “Jeff Bezos’ Black friend” for supposedly going easy on former President Donald Trump in his 2017 State of the Union address.

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“He became president of the United States in that moment,” Jones said at the time. 

Although Jones previously complimented Trump for “the good stuff he has done for the Black community,” the CNN host has also been critical of the former president. In 2016, Jones referred to Trump’s election as a “White-lash against a Black president.” In 2019, two years after the clip Cross showed, Jones referred to Trump’s State of the Union speech as “a psychotically incoherent speech with cookies and dog poop.”

Despite this, Cross criticized people like Jones as a “modern day minstrel show” promoted by wealthy White people. 

“I’m sure someone is giving themselves a diversity pat on the back by having that modern day minstrel show. Sage, Stepin Fechit on the airwaves, spewing her continued nonsense,” Cross said.

Near the end of the rant, she called on the “rich and powerful” to prop up people like her who “make [them] uncomfortable.” 

“A word of advice to the landscape of the rich and powerful: perhaps instead of investing in people of color who make you comfortable, you may want to give a second look to those of us who make you uncomfortable. After all, we’ve been uncomfortable for a mighty long time,” Cross said.

Conservative media watchdog NewsBusters noted Cross has made the “minstrel show” slam before, using the derogatory term for speakers of color at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

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