In 2016, Jones asked how he could explain a Trump Presidency to his kids. This year, he could tell his children something more helpful.
CNN host Van Jones had an emotional reaction to the announcement of President-elect Joe Biden's victory on Saturday. After several days of counting past Election Day, the whole country waited with great anxiety to find out who would assume the position at the White House. Of course, it was a tense few days for all American citizens. However, as a Black parent, Jones was particularly anxious to find out who his next President would be. When he realized Biden had won, he burst into tears on live national television. What many would think of as a sign of weakness was, in reality, a powerful moment that many others resonated with.
In 2016 CNN's Van Jones responded to Trump's win by asking "how do I explain this to my children?"— The Guardian (@guardian) November 7, 2020
Trying his hardest to hold back tears, here's how he responded today when Joe Biden's win was announced. pic.twitter.com/TM44K2uyIC
"It's easier to be a parent this morning," he said, choking up. "It's easier to be a dad. It's easier to tell your kids that character matters. The truth matters. Being a good person matters." He claimed Biden's victory was "vindication for a lot of people who have suffered under this administration." He proceeded to list all the communities of people who could rest a little easier now. He said, "If you're Muslim in this country, you won't have to worry about the President not wanting you here. If you're an immigrant, you won't have to worry about your babies being snatched away. If you're a Dreamer, you won't have to be worried about getting sent away for no reason."
"When George Floyd was murdered, he said, 'I can't breathe,'" he continued. "Over these past four years, too many of us have felt like they couldn't breathe." While a Biden Presidency will not automatically solve the deeply rooted issues of police brutality, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and more, there is some hope that it is possible to restore decency to American politics. After all, President Donald Trump did lose by a relatively small margin for all the hate and bigotry he propagated. The Trump administration, nonetheless, has been an exhausting nightmare for many of us.
"Waking up every day to this President's tweets has been exhausting," Jones explained. "Going to the store while people get nastier and nastier as they become less and less afraid to show their racism makes you tired. Being worried about if your sister can just go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying offensive something to her—it's not okay. We've spent so much of our life energy just trying to hold it together over these past four years." Therefore, the CNN host claimed that Biden's win was "a huge deal."
Regaining his composure, Jones concluded, "The character of the country matters again. Being a good man matters again. I want my sons to look at this and understand: it's easy to do things the cheap and easy way. You can get away with that for a while. But eventually, it comes back around. That's a good thing for this country." He said Saturday was a good day for a lot of people. He also made sure to mention that it was time for people to get some peace and reset. As Biden undoes the damage caused by his predecessor, Americans everywhere are reenergizing themselves to get back into action on the ground and elsewhere.