On Sunday’s edition of ABC’s “This Week,” conservative commentator and strategist Mary Matalin demanded that political commentator Van Jones retract “whitelash” statements he made in the wake of Donald Trump’s election night victory.
Jones set social media ablaze after attributing the New York City real estate mogul’s win to a white backlash of rage. During CNN’s election night coverage, he said the white working class felt that the Washington establishment did not serve its interests.
” … We’ve talked about everything but race tonight,” Jones stated. “This was a whitelash – this was a whitelash against a changing country. It was whitelash against a Black president, in part …”
The two engaged in a heated exchange during the Nov. 13 broadcast, with Matalin saying she believes Jones’ statements are unfounded and off base.
“I said — and I stand by it — I said that race was a part,” Jones said.“That alt-right part, that’s part of the whitelash. And if you listen to the whole quote, you would agree with what I said.”
But Matalin interjected while he was making his point. “You should tell your kids that you’re a Black man in America that went to Yale, who’s written books,” she said.
Jones countered: “I’m a ninth-generation American man and I’m the first one in my family born with all my rights.”
Despite the personal jabs, Jones continued to make his case.
“George, this is the problem we’re having right now. It is in fact the case that there was a populist revolt in this country — both Sanders and Trump. But one of them was marbled through with this alt-right stuff,” Jones said. “If someone like myself who is married to a white woman, who has spent my entire life building bridges can’t point out the alt-right ‘whitelash’ reaction without being accused of being a racial polemicist, we’re going to have a big problem in this country.”