News & Politics

Van Jones: 'This Was a White-Lash ... Against a Black President'

On CNN, liberal activist Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones emphasized that Donald Trump’s presidential victory on Tuesday was “a white-lash against a black president.” He attacked the media for minimizing the race issue in the election, arguing that it was one of the driving factors behind Trump’s victory.

Jones did not say that the election was all about race, but he had some politically charged comments on the issue.

This was many things. This was a rebellion against the elites — true. It was a complete reinvention of politics, of polls. We’ve talked about everything but race tonight. We’ve talked about income, we’ve talked about class, we’ve talked about region, we haven’t talked about race.

This was a white-lash. 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 did not only speak about race, he also addressed the personal and moral failings of the president-elect. “Donald Trump has the 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.”

The liberal activist also launched into a heartfelt complaint about the problems parents face in explaining this election 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 we 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 to my children?”

Jones does have a point. Trump did insult his challengers in a petty way, he did appeal to racist elements of the electorate (the alt-right), and he did not “do his homework” as he arguably should have.

But the liberal activist is wrong on many different points.

Next Page: Why Van Jones is so wrong.

First off, parents should have explained to their children that Clinton’s corruption is a serious problem. No matter what the outcome of the election, America was likely to have a morally corrupt president.

More importantly, conservative Americans do not dislike President Obama because he’s black. President Obama is a liberal ideologue who has done significant harm to this country. His IRS targeted conservatives, he opposed free speech in Citizens United v. FEC, and he frequently pushed his edicts over the laws of Congress and the will of the American people.

While Obama arguably emerges as a more moral leader (in personal terms) than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, he has done serious damage to the rule of law in this country and to the authority of Congress and to the Constitution.

This election was not a white-lash, although the alt-right may be. This election was a backlash against the liberal governance of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The liberal media is struggling to explain it, and I expect them to overemphasize the impact of the alt-right in that story. My many friends and family members who voted Trump reluctantly, and those who wholeheartedly supported Trump from the beginning — not at all for reasons of race — prove to me otherwise.

Also, there are many reasons why the alt-right did not emerge before this election. Racial tensions have worsened following the Black Lives Matter movement, despite some very legitimate grievances in that movement. Barack Obama has furthered those divisions and the political correctness which has gone awry on college campuses (one group even shut down a bridge, preventing white people from crossing it). Attacking “white privilege” has pushed many white people who would not identify with their race to do so.

It is this backlash, not a racist revolt against a black president, which fueled much of Trump’s support and is also responsible for the uglier aspects of it.

Trump called for the nation to come together after this election and promised to be president for all Americans. I pray he keeps this promise, and I will be praying for him for the next four years. I still harbor grave doubts, but hope and pray that I will be proven wrong.

Check out the video on the next page.