CNN commentator Van Jones decried the election of Republican Donald Trump as "a white-lash against a black president" and wondered how some Americans — specifically minorities, Muslims and immigrants — will explain to their children what happened at the polls Tuesday.
"People have talked about a miracle. I'm hearing about a nightmare," a dejected 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." When 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 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. True. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it's 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.
Then Jones hit hard, saying sharply that Trump's victory was a "white-lash."
"This was a white-lash against a changing country. It was a white-lash against a black president, in part," he continued in clipped tones. "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."
Recalling an often-stated election phrase that "you want to take your country back," Jones added, "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."