Activist and political commentator Van Jones may have delivered one of the most eloquent and heartbreaking evaluations of what a Donald Trump win means for the United States when he broke it down for his fellow CNN panelists during the network's election night coverage.
While Trump supporters may be calling the election results a "miracle," Jones said, a possible Trump victory means a "nightmare" for others. He continued:
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.' Then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight. They're afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of, how do I explain this to my children.
Jones also spoke about the current of fear running through the communities that Trump has derided, mocked and threatened during his campaign. "I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying 'Should I leave the country?'" Jones said. "I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight."
Then Jones got to what he identified as the root of the energy behind Trump's support among the American people — whiteness. "This was a white-lash," he said. "This was a white-lash against a changing country. It was a white lash against a black president, in part, and that's the part where the pain comes."
"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 have to talk about it."
Jones' point is crucial: If whiteness is what elects Trump, then our country must talk about race. But, if history has proven anything, it's that that conversation has been incredibly difficult to have.