Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) is the youngest member of the California caucus in the House, and it shows. At 32, she has gone to college, worked for not-for-profits, and engaged in politics. After running and losing in 2018, she went to a different district in her hometown of San Diego and tried again. This time she got a boost from her tech billionaire grandpa, Irwin Jacobs, the founder and longtime CEO of Qualcomm. Jacobs and his wife are longtime Democrat megadonors and funded a new super PAC called Forward California.
Through the PAC, they funded about $1.5 million of their granddaughter’s campaign. The Qualcomm heiress put in $1.5 million of her own despite never having had a real job that would allow a 32-year-old to have that kind of money lying around. Her apartment is in the Banker’s Hill area of San Diego, where the average home costs over $800,000 and the average rent is $2300. Not bad for a woman whose last gig was running a not-for-profit.
In an interview with the George Costanza of CNN, Brian Stelter, Jacobs said she wants a “truth commission.” It was quite a buzzword-palooza:
Stelter: You wrote a letter to Speaker Pelosi about this subject. You said there is a media ecosystem in place for conflict entrepreneurs. Can you help us understand that term, conflict entrepreneurs?
Jacobs: Yes. So, lots of countries, lots of places have ideologies that are extreme people who believe ideologies that are extreme, have conflict, have disagreements within their community. But there are only some areas where that actually turns into violence. And that’s the role of conflict entrepreneurs. Or in other words, leaders. So, basically leaders take existing fault lines in society, in our case white supremacy and racial injustice, and mobilize around them using the enabling environment of our media ecosystem and our lack of trust and decreasing trust in our institutions.”
Well, that’s about as clear as mud. But if Jacobs was looking for an enabler in the media, she sure found one. The head tattletale—who reads the Media Matters briefs on Fox News hosts and YouTubers who stomp his ratings and leads the push to limit their reach—is undoubtedly a Democrat enabler.
Jacobs compared what happened at the Capitol on January 6 to genocides in Rwanda and Burma and said believes white supremacy is a huge problem. For groups with this explicit ideology, there are 124 in the entire country tracked by the SPLC. Being that it is the SPLC, this is likely an overestimate and indicates a few thousand closely followed members. There are also no explicit links between that ideology and the rioters at the Capitol, other than in the Democrats’ heads. President Trump expanded his minority vote in 2020, so the link to “Trumpism” is also pretty off base.
By contrast, the Anti-Defamation League tracked over 2,100 crimes related to anti-Semitism in the United States last year, the highest since they began tracking in 1979. The Anti-Semite of the Year for 2019, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee with Jacobs. The president from her party is snubbing Israel. The entire party has an anti-Semitism problem. Maybe she ought to clean her own house first.
But Jacobs is as determined as Stelter to remove far-right-wing media from the airwaves. Jacobs praised him for stating that the “Big Lie,” a genuinely offensive term to explain the perception some had of voter fraud, was fed by it. I would encourage her to read the recent expose in Time, not because it excuses what happened. Instead, it explains why so many Americans felt something was wrong with the election. Even the author said President Trump was correct, in a way, because there was “a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes.”
Stelter asked Jacobs if she was referring to “whitelash,” a white Christian backlash, to a changing country. Jacobs enthusiastically nodded. When he asked her what a truth commission would be, Jacobs responded:
So, I think part of what 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. And so, a truth commission—a lot of people will think of South Africa—we’ve used them in countries around the world. And basically, what it is, is 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 6th.
This statement is some next-level insanity. Who exactly is around to speak to anything much before the end of WWII? Does she understand how many white, predominantly Christian people fought for abolition and died in the Civil War? And how many joined in the fight for civil rights? Does she know apartheid only ended in South Africa about 30 years ago? And that violence is erupting as land is confiscated from white farmers, with no compensation, to equalize land ownership?
Do we get to include the nationwide riots that started in 2014 and raged all last summer? Liberal democracies are open to productive criticism aimed at a problem they can fix because they want to become better societies. These random accusations and collective assignment of guilt are not how we do that.
If this trust-fund baby wants to help heal the nation, she should learn a little history and stop the inflammatory rhetoric. If she feels guilty about the $1.5 million she dumped into a campaign and did very little to earn, she needs to find a different way to assuage it. Most Americans have families, jobs, and many are struggling during the pandemic. And what she and Stelter refer to as “whitelash” is a problem of economics that crosses racial and ethnic lines made up of those left behind in a global economy that put their prosperity and security last. If they keep trying to make it about race, a completely different kind of backlash is inevitable, and it won’t end with a few internet pranks like GameStop. It will be decisive at the ballot box and the cable box.