CNN commentator Van Jones offered an emotional response late Tuesday night to election results indicating a likely win for Donald Trump.
“People have talked about a miracle,” Jones said. “I’m hearing about a nightmare. 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.’ And then you have this outcome, and you have people putting children to bed tonight, and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of, ‘How do I explain this to my children?’ I have Muslim friends who are texting tonight saying, ‘Should I leave the country?’ I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight.”
Jones continued: “This was many things. This was a rebellion against the elites. True. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it’s true. But it was also something else,” he added. “We’ve talked about race, and we’ve talked about everything but race tonight. We’ve talked about income, we’ve talked about class, we’ve talked about region, we haven’t talked about race. This was a white-lash. This was a white-lash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes.”
Jones was a former environmental adviser to President Barack Obama and has Democratic Party ties. But he called for Trump to assuage feelings felt by voters marginalized by his rhetoric.
“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,” Jones said. “When you say you want to take your country back, you got a lot of people who feel that we’re not represented well either. But we don’t want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal more deeply to others. 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 got to talk about it.”
Jones’ speech resonated with many viewers, including celebrities, who posted their support on social media. “Van Jones just made me cry,” producer Mark Ronson tweeted. “Wow. @VanJones68 is articulating a lot of American people’s pain tonight so beautifully,” actress Rosie Perez noted.
Listen to Jones’ comments and see more reactions below.