WATCH: Trump vote was a "whitelash against a changing country"

The Republican candidate looks set to sweep to a surprise victory in the Presidential election

WATCH: Trump vote was a "whitelash against a changing country"

Image: Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

Donald Trump is close to claiming an unexpected victory in the United States Presidential election. 

Before voters cast their ballots, polls suggested that his path to the White House was a very narrow one, and that the Democrats and Hillary Clinton was all but guaranteed to win. 

Instead, Trump is a mere handful of electoral college votes away (at time of writing) from winning the Presidency, while the GOP will also retain control of Congress.

As the results began to take shape, activist and CNN panelist Van Jones spoke emotionally about the new reality facing those people in America who had been insulted by Trump, and the fear gripping many people around the country in the wake of what looked like a likely victory for the Republican.

"People have talked about a miracle, I'm hearing about a nightmare. It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us You tell your kids: 'Don't be a bully.' You tell your kids: 'Don't be a bigot.' You tell your kids: 'Do your homework and be prepared.'"

"You have people putting children to bed tonight and they're afraid of breakfast, they're afraid of how to explain this to their children. I have Muslim friends texting me tonight asking: 'Should I leave the country?'"

"This was many things," Jones added. "This was a rebellion against the elites, true. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it's true. But it was also something else. 

"We've talked about everything but race tonight. We've talked about income, we've talked about class, we've talked about region, but we haven't talked about race.

"This was a 'whitelash' against a changing country. This was a 'whitelash' against a black President in part, and that's the part where the pain comes."

Jones continued, adding that Donald Trump would need to reconcile the country if he does indeed win the election.

"Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the President of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside," he stated.

"When you say you want to take your country back, you've got a lot of people who feel that we're not represented well either. But we don't want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us, to appeal more deeply to to others.

"This is a deeply painful moment tonight. I know it's not just about race, there's more going on than that, but race is here too and we've got to talk about it."