Editor’s Note: Vernon Jones is a Democratic politician from the state of Georgia. Jones was chief executive officer of Dekalb County, Georgia from 2001 until 2009 and in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001. He ran for the US Senate in 2008, the US House of Representatives (2010), and DeKalb County Sheriff (2014). Jones was elected to the Georgia House in 2016, and in April 2020, Jones announced his endorsement of President Donald Trump for reelection. The opinions expressed here are his own; view more opinion articles on CNN.

CNN  — 

On Monday night, I delivered a speech in support of the President of the United States of America at the Republican National Convention.

Vernon Jones

A Black man who grew up in the Deep South had that amazing honor – think about that.

My parents had very limited education, but they instilled an indelible value system in me that laid the foundation for me to be successful. They emphasized the importance of working hard, treating others with respect, and always having faith in Almighty God. Without their unconditional love and support, I would not be the person I am today. I owe everything to them.

I’m sure many watching on Monday night were puzzled about my participation in the Republican National Convention for President Donald J. Trump. I don’t blame them.

My fellow Black Americans are expected to fit a certain mold and think a certain way. We’ve been socially conditioned to blindly support the Democratic Party, never straying from the mental plantation they’ve had us on for more than a half century.

The purpose of my speech was to serve as a culture shock, helping others break free of the groupthink-shackles placed on us by White liberals. Black Americans like me are free people with free minds. You hear that Joe Biden? We are not a monolithic thinking group subservient to Democrats’ electoral wishes.

After watching the 2016 presidential campaign efforts, President Trump seemed to me to be one of the only Republican candidates to recognize that. He disrupted what I believe is a false ​Democratic narrative that the Republican Party doesn’t care about Black Americans.

Trump uttered those famous words to tens of millions of Black Americans across our land, “what the hell do you have to lose?” Predictably, the liberal mainstream media and politically correct folks lost their damn minds.

How dare a politician like Donald Trump try to reach across the aisle and encourage Black voters to take a chance on him.

I’m so grateful he did.

Since taking office, President Trump continues to prioritize earning the support and trust of all Black Americans. He’s championed policies that positively affected our community.

President Trump secured critical funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. As a proud graduate of North Carolina Central University, I know how important of a springboard HBCUs are to young black men and women working hard to achieve their own American dreams.

President Trump also delivered historic commonsense criminal justice reform. The president signed the bipartisan FIRST STEP Act, helping to reverse the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people caused, in part, by policies like the 1994 Crime Bill, which at the time had broad bipartisan support. Let’s not forget who helped write that Clinton-era legislation – Joe Biden. For evidence that the bill contributed to mass incarceration – despite Biden maintaining that it did not – just take a look at how Joe Biden’s new vice presidential nominee California Sen. Kamala Harris described it last year. “That 1994 crime bill – it did contribute to mass incarceration in our country. It encouraged and was the first time that we had a federal-three strikes law. It funded the building of more prisons in the states.” Thankfully for Black Americans, President Trump continues to reverse the failed legacy of Joe Biden.

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    President Trump spearheaded the civil rights issues of our time – school choice. The President and his administration hold a fundamental belief that no child in America – black or white – should be denied the right to a high-quality education based on their zip code, and are pushing policies that allow more children to attend the school of their choosing. This is especially important for kids in minority communities who are disproportionately served by schools with fewer resources and less qualified teachers.

    Despite disgusting assertions from the left-wing media, I am not being paid anything for my support. President Trump has earned my support. Actions speak a hell of a lot louder than words, and the historic actions taken by President Trump throughout his time in office have improved the lives of many Americans – of every race, background, religion, and creed.

    That’s why I’m voting for President Trump on November 3. I’m confident millions in the silent majority will join me as well.