'Captain Covid': crowdsurfing Democrat tries to stir Black support for Trump
Photo: John Bazemore / AP
When Vernon Jones, a Georgia Black Democrat representative, crossed party lines to passionately support Donald Trump at the Republican National Congress, the party greeted him like a rock star. Now comes the proof that the label got into his head.
At a Trump rally in Macon, Georgia, on Friday evening Jones started what is arguably the most ill-advised and most dangerous crowd surfing since electro-dance legend Steve Aoki broke the neck of a concert-goer with a dinghy.
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The 59-year-old lawmaker raised his thumbs and did not wear a mask. He faced a largely maskless audience. The grinning Jones rode a sea of red maga hats tightly packed in violation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Covid-19) guidelines and passed from regrettable to regrettable to a term for Trump- Using followers, whom Jones quoted in a tweet to defend the stunt.
"Yes, I have surfed in that crowd!" Jones wrote. “To the haters - stay angry! You'll be even angrier on November 3rd. "
The response on social media was quick and brutal. One Twitter user called Jones "Captain Covid". Others denounced him as an idiot and a loser who lived in fairyland.
Republicans hope that Jones, who was first elected to Georgia State House in 1992, can help prop up the black Republican vote in his state. Trump won Georgia from Hillary Clinton by more than five points in 2016, but recent polls show President Joe Biden is nearly a point and a half behind.
According to Quinnipiac polls this week, the race has also emerged as a key issue in the highly competitive U.S. Senate competitions in Georgia, where Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are only a narrow margin.
One of the incumbent Republicans, David Perdue, was caught up in a blaze at Trump's Macon rally when he disfigured the name of Kamala Harris, Biden's runner-up, the first black woman on a major party presidential ticket.
Perdue's campaign claimed it was an innocent mistake, but Ossoff attacked his opponent in an interview with MSNBC for "heinous, racial trash talks".
In the other race, a special election where Warnock, a black pastor, faces both Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins, a sitting Republican Congressman, the specter of QAnon is great. Loeffler has welcomed the endorsement of far-right congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, an avid trader of unsubstantiated QAnon theories who has expressed racist views on social media posts.
At the Republican Congress in August, as one of several first night speakers carrying a similar message, Jones commented on the Democrats' handling of racial problems.
"Why is a Lifelong Democrat speaking at the Republican National Congress?" In a controversial speech, he later said he wanted to be "a culture shock".
“The Democratic Party doesn't want blacks to leave their mental plantation. We have been forced to be there for decades and generations. "
Jones resigned from his Georgia House seat in April after first supporting Trump. But he overturned his decision days later, claiming he received "overwhelming support".
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