Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., is the latest prominent voice on the left to call for a “truth commission” in the name of combating extremism in the United States.
In an appearance Sunday on CNN media affairs show “Reliable Sources,” Jacobs criticized “conflict entrepreneurs” who “take existing fault lines in our society” and “mobilize around them, using the enabling environment of our media ecosystem and our lack of trust” in institutions.
Host Brian Stelter brought up her interview last week with The 19th, where she first called for a “truth commission” to reckon with the nation’s fraught racial past, and asked her to expand on what she meant.
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“Part of what we’re seeing now is because we haven’t really done the reckoning with the racial injustice and white supremacy of our past that we need to do,” Jacobs said in the clip flagged by The Daily Caller. “A truth commission, a lot of people will think of South Africa … It’s communities all the way up to the national level having conversations about both the gory and the glory of our history and what happened, both throughout the history of our country and leading up to and on January 6, so that we can come to a common narrative, moving forward, of what we want our country to be.”
“Do you think the House and Senate leadership have the stomach for that?” Stelter asked.
“I think so. Look, we all were victims of this attack in addition to being the lawmakers of this country,” Jacobs said. “This is very personal … I think there are a lot of us who know that this impeachment trial was just the start of holding Donald Trump accountable.”
Stelter, who has called for cable companies to potentially remove some right-wing outlets, promoted Jacobs’ segment in his Sunday newsletter, praising her for calling out “conflict entrepreneurs.”
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At one point, the CNN chyron alerted viewers that Jacobs had “studied extremism overseas, now finds it at home.” Jacobs was elected to the House in 2020 and is one of its youngest members at 32.
Jacobs isn’t alone in her idea. Former Clinton administration Secretary of Labor Robert Reich called for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in October, in the name of naming and shaming former President Donald Trump’s enablers.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also said in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that there had been congressional discussion of an investigatory commission to “rein in our media environment.”
“I can say, there is absolutely a commission being discussed but it seems to be more investigatory, in style rather than truth and reconciliation, so I think that’s an interesting concept for us to explore, and I do think that several members of Congress, in some of my discussions, have brought up media literacy because that is a part of what happened here and we’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Ocasio-Cortez said on an Instagram live stream last month.