Jones: ‘What would you do?’

[Editor’s note: The Citizen posed several questions to John E. Jones, one of the plaintiffs in the Voting Rights Act lawsuit, following the close of qualifying for the upcoming primary elections. The questions follow Mr. Jones’ response below.]

The most important thing I can tell you is that the lawsuit is a result of a violation of the Voting Rights Act more so than a discrimination lawsuit.

The NAACP never wanted to sue and truly hoped for an out of court settlement.

During the qualifying period, candidates were totally free to run or withdraw as they see fit.

The NAACP did not take anything from anybody. A federal judge followed the voting rights law to the letter and that led the court to make the right decision to order a change to district voting.

I really do understand your extreme distaste for district voting. I already know that nothing that I say or do will change your mind.

Some try to label you as a racist but I refuse to believe that. You are probably a very decent person who is very passionate about Fayette County.

Just try to understand that most African American citizens residing in Fayette County have earned respect but are simply not given the full respect we rightfully deserve.

So, when situations arise where we are subjected to disrespect or outright illegal discrimination, we are all fortunate that there are laws like the Civil Rights Act or Voting Rights Act on the books to assist us.

In closing, I ask if you were a black person, what would you do?

John E. Jones, president
Fayette Chapter, NAACP
Fayetteville, Ga.

[The questions posed were:

1. Why did you (or the NAACP) not have an African American candidate qualify for the Post 5 Board of Education post?

2. Did you or the NAACP persuade the minority candidate who first filed to run for the seat to withdraw? If so, why?

3. Was the point of your lawsuit and the redrawn minority district about getting a white Democrat elected, rather than an African American?

4. If getting an African American elected was NOT the point of the whole expensive exercise, then what exactly was the point of your racial discrimination lawsuit?]