Democrat Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones took part in the first day of the Republican National Convention where he praised President Donald Trump’s efforts to support black Americans.
“As you can see, I’m a man of color,” Jones said. “And I am a lifelong Democrat, too. You may be wondering, ‘Why is a lifelong Democrat speaking at the Republican National Convention?’ That’s a fair question.”
“The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation. We’ve been forced to be there for decades and generations,” Jones continued. “But I have news for Joe Biden: We are free, we are free people with free minds. I am part of a large and growing segment of the Black community who are independent thinkers.”
“We believe that Donald Trump is the President that America needs to lead us forward,” Jones added.
Jones, who was quick to knock former Vice President Joe Biden as a man of “all talk and no action,” said the leaders of the Democrat Party “went crazy” after Trump sought to “earn the black vote.”
“My parents taught me if I believed in God, worked hard, and treated every person fairly, there was no limit to what we could achieve,” Jones stated, before recognizing Trump for his work with historically black colleges (HBCUs).
“For generations, HBCUs have been the breeding ground for black scholars in math, science, religion, engineering, and politics,” Jones noted. “They have been important springboards for the black success. But Democrats haven’t treated them like that.”
“When President Trump took office, he changed everything. He delivered historic funding to HBCUs. And he guaranteed it for 10 years,” Jones continued. “That gave our HBCUs stability, the chance to grow and produce the next generation of black leaders. That’s right. Donald Trump did that.”
Jones went on to highlight the president’s implementation of a record-low unemployment for African Americans.
“The President also built the most inclusive economy ever, with record low unemployment for African Americans and record-high participation in the workforce,” Jones said. “He put Opportunity Zones in the Trump tax bill that will drive investment into our communities for decades to come. He put the interests of American workers, and especially black workers, first.”
“That’s right. Donald Trump did that,” Jones added, noting Trump’s efforts in favor of criminal justice reform.
Jones gained national attention earlier this year after he received backlash from his party after he came out in support of President Trump.
“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me,” Jones said at the time.