Van Jones Shares Impassioned Reaction to Election on CNN: "This Was a White-Lash"

The Hollywood Reporter

CNN's Van Jones had an impassioned reaction to Donald Trump's major electoral lead on Tuesday night.

While speaking on-air as votes continued to be tallied, Jones expressed strong disdain for what a Trump presidency could mean for average Americans, calling the election a "white-lash" to President Barack Obama's eight years in office.

"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," 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."

Jones continued, "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."

Read more: CNN's Van Jones on Bill Maher, Prince and That On-Air KKK Debate

The pundit shared that he had immigrant friends who were "terrified" that they would need to flee the country if Trump won: "I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying, 'Should I leave the country?'"

Jones also noted that Election Night results may be difficult for parents to relay to their children.

"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,'" he said. "And then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight, and they're afraid of breakfast. They're [asking], 'How do I explain this to my children?'"

Later in the evening, Jones got into a heated argument with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski when Hillary Clinton opted not to deliver a speech to her supporters as final votes were tallied with Trump in the lead.

Calling Lewandowski a "horrible person" for slamming Clinton's decision, Jones said, "Where is the grace going to come from? Where is the understanding going to come from? Tomorrow at work, when we go and look at people who we don't agree with, this can't be the interaction."

He urged viewers to "treat people like human beings," adding, "Tonight, Hillary Clinton is a human being. Give her a break, let her come out tomorrow and do a good job."

Jones' passionate reaction to Trump's lead in the polls was quickly praised on social media. Ben Stiller, Chance the Rapper and more celebrities shared his sentiments on Twitter. Jones himself tweeted shortly after, "Welcome to the #WhiteLash."

Welcome to the #WhiteLash.

- Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 9, 2016

Respect to @VanJones68 for being so articulate and passionate about what so many are feeling.

- Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) November 9, 2016

Wow. @VanJones68 is articulating a lot of American people's pain tonight so beautifully. @CNN #ElectionNight

- Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) November 9, 2016

If you wanna cry watch Van Jones give the first cognizant minority understanding of the election on CNN tonight. He just made it real.

- Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) November 9, 2016

Van Jones is a class act

- Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) November 9, 2016

Van Jones….nothing but respect!

- Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 9, 2016

What do we do now? Nausea has turned to tears. Thank you @VanJones68 for your articulation

- Aaron Tveit (@AaronTveit) November 9, 2016

Van Jones just made me cry.

- Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) November 9, 2016

Seriously. @VanJones68 just spoke the loudest truth of the whole election. I am so sorry. Even Jeffrey Lord is hearing him. #whitelash

- Julie Plec (@julieplec) November 9, 2016

@VanJones68 Thank you for reminding everyone on @CNN of the reality for us.

- Kristin Davis (@KristinDavis) November 9, 2016

Well put, @VanJones68
Thank you for articulating so well at a moment when most of us can't. Please watch this. Rashida Jones (@iamrashidajones) November 9, 2016