Van Jones’s longtime CNN sparring partner Jeffrey Lord marveled over the “miracle” that was Donald Trump’s unexpected success in the polls Tuesday. But Jones himself was seemingly living through a full-on “nightmare.”
Close to 1 a.m. on the East Coast, early Wednesday morning, with several states that were believed to be part of Hillary Clinton’s Midwestern firewall too close to call, Jones brought himself to congratulate Lord on his candidate’s impressive showing. But, as he said, there’s “another side to this.”
“People have talked about a miracle. I’m hearing about a nightmare,” Jones said. “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, don’t be a bully. You tell your kids, don’t be a bigot. You tell your kids, do your homework and be prepared. Then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight. They’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of, how do I explain this to my children?”
Jones appeared to be on the verge of tears as he talked about Muslim friends who texted him tonight to ask if they should leave the country, immigrants who are “terrified” of what might happen to them under President Trump.
“This was a rebellion against the elites, true. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it’s true,” Jones said. “But it was also something else.” Turning to the issue of race, he said, “This was a whitelash.”
“This was a whitelash against a changing country,” Jones continued. “It was a whitelash against a black president in part, and that’s the part where the pain comes. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside.”
He added, “This is a deeply painful moment tonight. I know it's not just about race. There's more going on than that, but race is here too and we have to talk about it.”