"You tell your kids don't be a bully, you tell your kids don't be a bigot... and then you have this outcome," the CNN analyst said early Wednesday morning. "You have people putting children to bed tonight and they are afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of 'How do I explain this to my children?'"
Jones said his Muslim friends were texting him, asking him if they should leave the country.
Acknowledging many voters were rebelling against a system they felt had failed them, Jones said there were ugly racial sentiments at work as well.
"This was a whitelash against a changing country," Jones said. "It was whitelash against a black president in part. And that's the part where the pain comes."
Social media reaction to his remarks was mixed.
A woman named Monique tweeted from San Antonio, Texas: "Time for my #VanJones moment. Need to reach out to the ppl I care about. What do I say to my baby sister? I'll start w/ it's going to be ok."
Actress Rashida Jones tweeted: "Well put, @VanJones68 Thank you for articulating so well at a moment when most of us can't."
But Dana W. wrote on Twitter: "So sick of #VanJones saying this was a #whitelash against a black president. YOU sound racist. This was a lash, but against current policy!"