WASHINGTON — CNN commentator Van Jones was one of many on-air personalities tasked with calling the 2016 presidential election Tuesday night, but he was the only one who stood out in such a powerful manner.
Jones, over the span of about two minutes, discussed the ramifications of a Donald Trump presidency from the eyes of a parent. In the video, the commentator appears to struggle keeping his emotions in check, particularly when he brings up the supposed “whitelash” that he believes swayed the election.
“People have talked about a miracle. 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 are afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of — how do I explain this to my children?
“I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying ‘Should I leave the country?’ I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight. This was many things. This was a rebellion against the elites, it’s true. It was a complete reinvention of politics, of polls, true. But it was also something else. 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 whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country, 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 these people who he insulted, and offended, and brushed aside. When you say you want to take your country back? You’ve 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.
“So this is a deeply painful moment tonight — I know it’s not just about race, there is more going on than that — but race is here too and we’ve got to talk about it.”
The monologue briefly stole the show of a shocking election, and its message only became more powerful as the night turned to morning.
Follow WPGC on Twitter