State Representative Vernon Jones (D-GA), who made a cross-party endorsement of President Donald Trump earlier this year, wants the Georgia legislature to consider political affiliation, real or perceived, as a protected class for a hate-crime bill under consideration by the state senate.
“Political affiliation should be a protected class, right alongside race, gender, and religion, and my legislation will do just that,” said Jones. “Making any politically motivated attack a hate crime. Wearing a MAGA hat should never endanger your life.”
Political affiliation should be a protected class, right alongside race, gender, and religion, and my legislation will do just that.
Making any politically motivated attack a HATE CRIME.
Wearing a MAGA hat should never endanger your life.
— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) June 9, 2020
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones’ provision would add between 3 and 12 months for misdemeanor convictions, plus an additional fine up to $5,000, or a minimum of two years of additional prison for a felony conviction. Georgia does not currently have a hate crime law on the books.
“Americans are being attacked nationwide because of their party affiliation and political ideology. I have personally been subjected to hate speech and threats because of my support for President Trump’s reelection,” said Jones. “While we are discussing hate-crimes legislation in Georgia, this could address another form of hate crime that people are experiencing.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Jones received condemnation from Democratic officials in Georgia over his endorsement of the president, which did not accompany a party-switch but still prompted accusations he wasn’t really a Democrat.
“Everybody already knew Vernon Jones wasn’t a Democrat. We knew when he hurled an anti-trans rant at Councilwoman Koontz,” said Rep Josh McLaurin, adding “he never stood for our values and it’s time for him to go.”
“Vernon Jones is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party and doesn’t stand for our values,” said state Senator Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party. “He made that clear today by choosing to stand with a racist president who has made an all-out assault on Black Americans and has tried to rip away our health care.”
Although Jones initially said he would resign due to the vitriol he had received over the endorsement, the state representative later revealed his plans to complete his term.
“I thought about it, and I talked to my family, and I talked to my supporters, because what you did for me, I’m gonna remain on the battlefield,” said Jones. “I’m going to complete my term, I’m gonna continue to put my country before my party, and I’m gonna do everything I can to help Donald J. Trump get elected because he’s the man for this job, he’s the man for this office.”
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