Politics

US election 2020: why Van Jones’ reaction to Joe Biden’s victory is going viral

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Lauren Geall
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Joe Biden supporters celebrate his victory in the 2020 US election

As people take to the streets across the US to celebrate Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, CNN reporter Van Jones’ reaction to the news has gone viral for summarising what so many people are feeling right now.

It’s been a long week, hasn’t it? After voters took to the polls in the US election on 5 November, people all around the world have been anxiously waiting to see who would claim victory in the surprisingly close race.

And now, after three days spent glued to our social media feeds and watching the rising vote counts in the key battleground states, Joe Biden has finally claimed victory. Although Donald Trump has yet to concede the race (and has made it clear he has no plans to do so), people all over America have taken to the streets to celebrate Biden and Kamala Harris’ big win.

But no moment has made the meaning of this victory quite so clear than CNN reporter Van Jones’ emotional response to the news. 

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The video, which has since gone viral on social media, sees Jones’ speak openly about the impact Donald Trump’s presidency has had on minority communities across the country, and the relief he feels that the hate-filled, divisive rhetoric that has dominated Trump’s leadership might finally be replaced.

“It’s easier to be a parent this morning, it’s easier to be a Dad,” Jones begins. “It’s easier to tell your kids, ‘Character matters, being a good person matters – telling the truth matters’. And it’s easier for a whole lot of people.

“If you’re Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry that the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president is happy to have babies snatched away or send dreamers back for no reason.”

He continues: “This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered. ‘I can’t breathe’ – that was not just George Floyd. There were a lot of people who felt like they couldn’t breathe.”

Going on to speak about his experience as a Black man in America, including how people who were previously “afraid to show their racism” were emboldened by Trump’s presidency, Jones says Biden’s victory was a “big deal” because it gave the country “a chance for a reset”.

“You know, I just want my sons to look at this,” he continues. “Look at this – it’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with stuff, but it comes back around.

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“This is 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.”

Although the end of Donald Trump’s presidency does not mean the fight against the resurgence in far-right politics is over, Biden’s victory is a reminder that change is possible when people come together – and that is something to celebrate. 

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