Van Jones Chokes Up on Live TV Talking About His Relief from Joe Biden's Win: 'Character Matters'
CNN's Van Jones grew emotional on Saturday while talking about his reaction to Joe Biden's projected victory over President Donald Trump.
Jones, his voice thickening as he wiped tears from his eyes, said the Democratic nominee's win was less about policy than it was a vindication of the importance of "being a good person."
“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. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters," said Jones, 52.
But it wasn't just that, in his view: Trump's loss was a loss for Trump's inflammatory style and long history of targeting immigrants, Muslims and other minorities. (The president has insisted he is "the least racist person.")
Jones, choking up, said on CNN his relief was surely shared by others.
“And it’s easier for a whole lot of people: If you’re a 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 that the president is going to be happier to have babies snatched away or send 'dreamers' back for no reason.
"This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered," he continued. "You know ‘I can’t breathe’? That’s wasn’t just George Floyd. That was a lot of people who have felt they couldn’t breathe. Every day, you’re waking up and you’re getting these tweets and you just don’t know — and you’re going to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism are getting nastier and nastier to you. And you’re worried about your kids. And you’re worried about your sister and can she just go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying something to her? And you’ve spent so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together."
Life under President Trump was life spent consumed by such sharpened worries, Jones said. A Biden administration promised none of that.
“This is a big deal for us just to be able to get some peace and to have a chance for a reset. And the character of the country matters. And being a good man matters," Jones said.
He went on: “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. And it’s a good day for this country. I’m sorry for the people who lost. For them it’s not a good day. But for a whole lot of people it’s a good day.”
Video of Jones' comments quickly went viral on social media, earning widespread praise including from former First Lady Michelle Obama.
"Van, thank you for expressing the sorrow and relief that we all feel," she wrote on Twitter. "My hope is that those who hoped for a different outcome will take a moment to empathize with the pain so many of us have felt over the past four years."
Others, however, criticized Jones for what they called hypocrisy because he had worked with the Trump administration on criminal justice reform.
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