Vernon Jones: Dems don’t ‘want Black people to leave their mental plantation’

The Democratic congressman made the polarizing remarks at the Republican National Convention

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Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones launched into an impassioned speech against the Democratic party at the Republican National Convention on Monday.

The congressman, who is a Democrat himself, criticized the party for their treatment of African Americans and reasserted his support for President Donald Trump while speaking at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

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“The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation,” Jones, 54, said during his virtual speech. “We are free people with free minds.”

He went on to praise Trump for enacting policies that benefit the Black community, including signing a bill to give funding to HBCUs and “working every day to make our communities safer,” while claiming that the Democratic party is “pandering” to Black voters.

“Democrats couldn’t do it. [Barack] Obama couldn’t do it. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris definitely couldn’t do it,” Jones continued. “But Donald Trump did. He’s also working every day to make our communities safer. …On issue after issue he destroyed these negative forces that have afflicted the Black community for decades.”

He went on to acknowledge instances of police brutality in the U.S., but argued that the Democrats have deserted law enforcement in favor of riots and defunding police.

“The Democratic Party has become infected with the pandemic of intolerance, bigotry, socialism, anti-law enforcement bias and a dangerous tolerance for people who attack others, destroy property and terrorize our own communities,” the congressman said.

Read More: Georgia lawmaker Vernon Jones resigns after endorsing Trump

Jones, who was elected Georgia House in 2016, is the only politician from Georgia set to speak at the RNC. The HBCU alum broke away from his party and endorsed Trump in April, citing the president’s policies for Black voters.

After intially saying he would resign, Jones announced in late April that he would stay in office and complete his term but not seek reelection.

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