As millions of Americans were overcome with joy after Joe Biden's defeat of President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race, CNN correspondent Van Jones embodied the sentiments of many while on live television.
“It’s easier to be a parent this morning, it's more easy to be a dad,” Jones said, with tears coming down his face as he reacted to the news. “It’s easier to tell your kids that character matters. It matters. Telling the truth matters, being a good person matters.”
Van Jones was emotional talking about Joe Biden becoming the next President of the United States pic.twitter.com/KaqhSR4sHG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 7, 2020
The CNN correspondent has been a constant critic of the Trump administration, calling out the president for racist policies and inflammatory rhetoric. Four years ago, Jones' devastating reaction to the results of the 2016 election also went viral.
"It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us," he said at the time. "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."
Van Jones, looking choked up, somehow manages to sum up the fear and pain that many are feeling tonight. pic.twitter.com/K7eiJdO8Aj
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) November 9, 2016
Four years later, he's able to sing a different tune.
“It's easier for a lot of people," Jones said after Biden's win. "If you're Muslim in this country, you don't have to worry if the president doesn't want you here.”
Noting Trump's controversial approach to immigration reform as one of the troubling examples of his presidency, the 52-year-old said recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals can be breathe a little easier.
"You don't have to worry if the president's gonna be happy to have your babies snatched away, send back Dreamers for no reason," he said.
Jones also noted Trump's disregard for the ongoing social justice effort of Black families who are tired of seeing their loved ones die in the hands of police.
"A lot of people really suffered," he said. "You know, I can't breathe. You know that wasn't just George Floyd. That was a lot of people that felt they couldn't breathe."
Like the millions of Americans celebrating on Saturday morning, Jones is happy to know that he doesn't have to wake up every day and see racist dog whistles being tweeted out by the president.
"You're waking up and there are these tweets and you just don't know," the former environmental adviser for Barack Obama said. "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."
Jones and a vast majority of Americans can now look forward to the tenure of Biden and Kamala Harris, who will become the first Black, first female and first South Asian vice president.
"This is a big deal for us – just to be able to get some peace and have a chance for a reset," the analyst said. "And the character of the country matters and being a good man matters. You know, I just want my sons to to look at this."