Black Georgia Democrat resigns after Trump endorsement backlash: ‘I have left the plantation’

Georgia Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones announced Wednesday morning he is resigning from his seat after last week endorsing President Trump’s reelection — a move that quickly earned him backlash from Georgia Democrats. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones told The Rashad Richey Morning Show, a talk show in Atlanta, that despite his resignation he would not be leaving 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.” “Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in a separate statement officially announcing his resignation, according to the Journal-Constitution. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.” State Sen. Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, issued a statement soon after Jones’ endorsement of Trump calling Jones an “embarrassment,” adding, he “does not stand for our values.” Jones’ Atlanta-area district includes parts of DeKalb and Rockdale counties. Democratic parties in both counties planned to censure Jones for the Trump endorsement, according to the Journal-Constitution. Jones, after his original endorsement, told the paper that “President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign.” Jones seemed to foreshadow this resignation in a Monday night tweet. “I’ve seen more Democrats attack me for my decision to endorse @realdonaldtrump than ask me why,” he said. “They’ve used and abused folks in my community for far too long, taking our votes for granted. Black Americans are waking up. An uprising is near.” After announcing his resignation, Jones fired off a handful of combative tweets touting Trump and attacking Democrats. “I don’t care what the Democrat Party does to me,” Jones said in one tweet, apparently quoting himself on The Rashad Richey Morning Show. “What are they going to do? Spank me?” He continued: “More African-Americans, prior to this pandemic, were working more than any other time in my lifetime.” In a final tweet, Jones said that “[t]he left hates me because they can’t control me. They can stay mad.” Jones also will not be seeking reelection, his spokesman told the Journal-Constitution. Jones has a long history in Georgia politics, according to the paper, including time as the DeKalb County chief executive. “I intend to help the Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative,” Jones said in the statement announcing his resignation, according to the Journal-Constitution. “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.”

Good for Mr. Jones for standing by his convictions!    🙂

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