On Wednesday evening, CNN political commentator Van Jones joined a panel on “Anderson Cooper 360” to discuss America’s election of Donald J. Trump. Jones informed the panelists who supported the bombastic self-proclaimed billionaire that they would now have to face the fear many are living in because of Trump impending presidency:
“If you talk to the actual people at the base, here is what you hear. Terror. Terrified Latinos. Terrified Muslims. I had a Muslim mother asking me,”Should I leave the country? Are they going to intern us?”
Trump supporter and fellow panelist Kayleigh McEnany interrupted Jones and claimed that he was “stoking fears” by accurately relaying the feelings of many groups. Jones was having none of that nonsense and said,”You need to back off. You need to have a little bit of empathy and understanding for the people who are afraid because your candidate has been one of the most explosively provocative candidates in the history of our country, and there is a price to be paid for that.”
The conservative panelists on “360” refused to face this and continued to interrupt Jones as he spoke, but he refused to be silenced:
“Hold on a second. I am not finished. I’m not going to be talked over tonight, I’m not. You have people who are terrified and you have to take some responsibility for it. I am not spreading the terror. I am trying to damp it down. You have people, Latino families, who say,’This guy has said that he’s going to deport millions of people.’ They don’t know, should they sell their homes? They are terrified. That is real fear. You have Muslims who have heard him say nothing good about the Muslim community the entire campaign. That is a real fear.”
Indeed. Trump ran his entire campaign by stoking the fears of scared, racist white Americans. His platform was one of hate. Hate of Muslims. Hate of women. Hate of immigrants. Hate of African-Americans. His supporters, in turn, lashed out at those groups. Now, the minorities who were so callously used as scapegoats for almost two years are terrified that all of that hate is going to manifest itself into policies. So while Trump voters may want us to “unite” now and support their chosen one, that will never happen unless the right owns the fear that that have created.