CNN commentator Van Jones was moved to tears on Saturday when it became known that former Vice President Joe Biden had defeated President Donald Trump in the presidential election.
Jones, who has been a vocal critic of the president since day one of his inauguration, had previously coined the term “whitelash” to describe what he believed was a movement of white Americans who supported Trump to push back racist progress in the U.S.
“That was a white flash,” he said in 2016, when Trump was on the verge of winning the presidential election. “That was a white lightning strike against a changing country. It was in part a white strike against a black president. And this is the part where the pain comes.”
On Saturday, Jones gave a moving speech in which he stated that Biden’s victory represented a major character change for the country – one that, he said, would promote truth and acceptance for all Americans.
“It’s easier to be a father this morning. It’s easier to tell your children, ‘It’s character that counts, being a good person,'” Jones began, throwing back tears.
“And it’s easier for many people. If you’re a Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry about the president not wanting you here. If you are an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president is happy that your baby was kidnapped.
Today is a good day.
It’s easier to be a parent this morning.
Being a good person MATTERS.
This is a big thing.
It’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with things, but it comes back.
Today is a good day. #PresidentBiden#VotersDeciding pic.twitter.com/h8YgZK4nmk
– Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 7, 2020
Jones went on to discuss the riots that black Americans under the Trump administration have faced, calling Biden’s victory “a justification for many people who have really suffered.
“‘I can’t breathe, it wasn’t just George Floyd, it was many people who felt they couldn’t breathe,'” Jones said, alluding to an increase in bigotry felt by many Americans under the current president.
“This is a big thing so that we can get some peace and have a chance for a fresh start. It’s the character of the country that counts. And it is important to be a good man. I want my sons to see this… It is a good day for this country. I am sorry for the people who lost, but for most of them it is a good day.
CNN and other major news channels such as Associated Press and MSNBC announced the victory for Biden on Saturday morning as the former Vice President maintained his lead over Trump in Pennsylvania.
Biden is expected to deliver his acceptance speech tonight at 8:00 p.m. alongside Vice President Kamala Harris.
On Saturday, the Trump campaign issued a statement that the President will not give up the race.
“The simple fact is that this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been confirmed as the winner of any state, not to mention the highly contested states that are headed for forced counts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could decide the final winner,” his campaign said in a statement.
“Starting Monday, our campaign will begin to pursue our case in court to ensure that the electoral laws are fully respected and that the rightful winner takes his or her place.
Washington Newsday asked the Trump campaign to comment, but did not receive a statement for publication in time.