CNN’s Van Jones Brought to Tears Over Biden Victory: ‘It’s Easier to Tell Your Kids Character Matters’11/13/2020
Just as CNN called the presidential election for Joe Biden on Saturday morning, one of the more emotional moments came from commentator Van Jones, whose on-air response brought closure to concerns he expressed four years ago. Jones broke down crying while celebrating what Trump’s ouster will mean for families around the country: “It’s easier to be a dad, it’s easier to tell your kids character matters — it matters,” he said.
CNN, along with NBC News and other networks, called the election for Biden on Saturday morning based on Biden winning Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes. Jones spoke moments after the network made the call.
Jones reflected on the racism and bigotry that has defined the last four years of Trump’s presidency. “This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered. ‘I can’t breathe’ — that wasn’t just George Floyd. A lot of people felt like they couldn’t breathe,” he said. “This is a big deal for us, just to get some peace and have a chance for a reset. The character of the country matters. Being a good man matters. I just want my sons to look at this, look at this, it’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with stuff.”
Jones’ reaction Saturday — and his reference to Muslims and immigrants who suffered under Trump — was an explicit callback to his comments on CNN four years ago, when he described the then-likely election of Trump as a “white-lash against a changing country” and reflected on the difficulties parents would have in reconciling how Trump could have won in spite of his lies and hateful rhetoric. (Jones himself has two children.)
“It’s hard to be a parent tonight, for a lot of us,” Jones said four years ago. “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.’ You have this outcome, you have people putting children to bed tonight and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘How do I explain this to my children?’”
Jones finished that speech by saying Trump had a responsibility to come out and say he would be a president for all people, including those he derided and offended. That, of course, never happened.
Here’s the complete text of Jones’ Saturday morning comments:
Well, it’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters — it matters. Tell them the truth matters. Being a good person matters.
It’s easier to a whole lot of people. If you’re Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry if the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president is going to have your babies snatched away or send dreamers back for no reason.
This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered. “I can’t breathe” — that wasn’t just George Floyd. A lot of people felt like they couldn’t breathe. Every day you’re waking up, you’re getting these tweets and you just don’t know. You’re going to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism are getting nastier and nastier to you. You’re worrying about your kids and you’re worrying about your sister: Can she just go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying something to her? You spent so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together.
This is a big deal for us, just to get some peace and have a chance for a reset. The character of the country matters. Being a good man matters. I just want my sons to look at this, look at this, it’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with stuff. But it comes back around, it comes back around. It’s a good day for this country. And I’m sorry for the people who lost, for them its not a good day. For a whole lot of people it’s a good day.
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