Despite the fact that Donald Trump received fewer votes than his opponent, Hillary Clinton, he’s the victor from Tuesday’s election and his supporters aren’t handling it well. The worst have behaved deplorably, with hate crimes on the rise. You’ve probably seen the less violent Trump supporters on social media, where they have been smug and sometimes verbally abusive. The takeaway, though, at least to them, is that there is still only one group of voters who matter in this country, and that’s the white working class. The rest, according to Trump voters, should just bow down.
This was the sort of behavior on display on Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, where the guests included right-wing shill Mary Matalin and liberal icon Van Jones. Needless to say, Jones didn’t let Matalin go far with her condescending and downright insulting whitesplaining.
After the election, Jones emotionally called the election what it was, “whitelash.” Here it is:
The right, who could have chosen the magnanimous route and addressed Jones’ concerns, instead chose to belittle him. Matalin did just that by telling him how, as a successful and educated black man, he should ignore racism and simply tell his fellow African-Americans that they too should bow to the white working class. Here’s the transcript and video via Media Matters:
MARY MATALIN: Van has, to my mind, retracted your whitelash with what you just said — No, that we have to not focus totally on the toxic stuff — OK, but you should, and if you don’t you’re wrong. You are not — that’s not the path for progressives. We’ve all agreed at the outset of this show that the path, which is Ellison’s message, you say, is to go back to the rust belt and the rednecks — you’re not going to get there with climate change and Putin and all the rest of —
JONES: Now listen, I said and stand by it. I said that race was a part and there was a part, that alt-right part, it was a part of a whitelash. If you listened to the whole quote you would agree with what I said, so I don’t take that back —
MATALIN: I did listen and you said “what do I tell the kids.” What I would tell your kids, “I’m a black man in America who went to Yale, who’s written books, who served a president and now –”
JONES: And I’m a ninth generation American man and I’m the first one in my family born with all my rights. I’m a ninth generation American, and so we have not escaped, because I went to Yale, all the problems of this country.
Matalin went on to say that Jones should be a racial reconciler, not a polemicist. That’s when Jones very politely and very quietly lost it.
JONES: You should be ashamed of yourself for attempting to say that to my face. I have spent more time —
MATALIN: Would I say it behind your back would be better?
JONES: I spent more time than you have trying to be a racial reconciler in this country.
MATALIN: Really? How do you know that? Do you know anything about me?
JONES: Apparently you don’t know anything about me.
Here’s the video:
Trump voters need to know a few things. First off, only about a quarter of Americans voted for their candidate. Secondly, his election does not give them the moral high ground, and they certainly have not behaved well enough to lecture us on our behavior. Not that they’ll listen to me. The implication with Trump’s election is that for the next four years, discussions of racism and inequality are off the table. That’s frightening. Any progress we’ve made over the last several decades will go up in smoke.
If Van Jones were any less a man, he probably would have lost his temper, and really, who could blame him. Instead, he handled being whitesplained to with class and elegance. That’s so much more than Trump voters have shown him or the rest of us.
Featured image via video screen capture.