Supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were equally surprised and emotional over the outcome of the election. Van Jones, a CNN commentator who has worked on multiple bipartisan initiatives, tried to bridge that divide early Wednesday, and explain how Clinton supporters – especially minorities – were feeling.
“This was a white lash. This was a white lash against a changing country,” Jones said. “It was a white lash against a black president, in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes.”
Jones said though some people described Trump’s win as a miracle, “I’m hearing about a nightmare.” He also said it’s “hard to be a parent tonight,” because mothers and fathers are worried about breakfast and wondering, “how do I explain this to my children?”
“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,” Jones said. “I know it’s not just about race, there’s more going on than that. But race is here too, and we’ve got to talk about that.”
Jones said Trump needed to reassure people that he would be a president for everyone, even those he “insulted and offended.”
Jones’ remarks resonated with many people.
In his acceptance speech, about an hour after Jones’ remarks, Trump said it’s, “time for America to bind the wounds of division.”
“I say it is time for us to come together as one, united people,” Trump said. “I pledge, to every citizen of our land, that I will be president to all Americans.”
Many thanked Jones on Twitter for speaking his mind, including NBA star Stephen Curry, tweeting, "Van Jones.nothing but respect!"
Trump’s speech wasn't enough to change the feelings of many who agree with Jones.
As David Remnick wrote early Wednesday morning in a New Yorker piece titled "An American Tragedy," Trump "will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted. The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other."
On Wednesday morning it appeared that, to some, Trump already has.