Only a week after sending waves of outrage throughout the Democratic Party, Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones has announced that he will leave office effectively immediately.
“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in a statement. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020. I intend to help the Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative. I endorsed the White guy (Donald J. Trump) that let Blacks out of jail, and they endorsed the White guy (Joe Biden) that put Blacks in jail.”
In comments on a local radio show, Jones said that while he was resigning from office, he would not leave the party.
“I don’t plan to leave the Democratic Party because somebody’s got to be in there to hold them accountable —hold them accountable to how they are treating black people and root out the bigotry,” Jones said.
In remarks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week, Jones said that his endorsement of Trump is a no-brainer.
“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” said Jones. “There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before. When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
But Georgia Democrats, known for their difficulty understanding basic facts, were beside themselves, calling for his ejection from the Democratic Party.
Speaking to the AJC herself, State Sen. Nikema Williams disparaged Jones as an “embarrassment” to the Democratic Party.
“Never has that been clearer than this moment, when he chose to stand with the racist president who has made an all-out assault on black Americans, who has tried to rip away American health care and who has failed our country in its greatest time of need,” she said.
Jones may no longer represent the party in electoral politics, but his voice will be an important one going forward. Black Democrats are starting to realize – slowly but surely – that President Trump has their backs in a way that their own elected officials never have. Jones, Kanye West, and other defecting black Democrats are canaries in the coal mine. If enough black voters decide to switch sides in November (and it won’t take that many), Biden’s presidential aspirations are as good as dead.