Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, a reality that has yet to truly sink in for many around the world, and has left Americans to scramble for answers.
In the midst of last night’s election data coming in more and more in favor of Trump, CNN political commentator Van Jones offered a poignant statement which reflected the fear and confusion among the American people:
“People have talked about a miracle but I’m hearing about a nightmare. It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. 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.’ Then you have this outcome and 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. I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying, ‘Should I leave the country?’ I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight.”
Jones went on to say that Trump’s victory signals a major shift in the political landscape, with a relative outsider going against the establishment elite and succeeding. But Jones also pointed out the underlying meaning of this upheaval for the citizens of our country:
“This was many things. 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 have talked about everything but race tonight. We have talked about income, class, religion. What we haven’t talked about is race. This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president in part, and that is part of where the pain comes. And 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.”
There is no doubt that this election cycle has come at one of the most divisive times in the history of our nation, a divergence that has only grown in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory.
Despite the differing opinions on the outcome of the election, it is imperative that we stand together as a country and continue the effort to close the gaps that divide us, racially, politically, economically or otherwise, and form a bond based on humanity. The road ahead may seem foreboding, but the only progress that can be made is to be made together.