Janelle Jones decided to become a member of the Republican Party before the 2012 presidential election. The North Carolina A&T graduate and founder of The Millennial Round Table of Georgia currently serves as an engagement ambassador for the Georgia GOP and is vice chair of South Fulton Republicans.
Following the election of Donald Trump, Jones spoke with rolling out and shared her views on being a Black woman who voted for Trump.
Let’s talk about your HBCU background. What can you tell us about your experience?
I went to North Carolina A&T State University and I loved my experience. That’s where I started working in government and working on campaigns. It was a good experience and it taught me a lot about standing on your own, being an entrepreneur and making sure you are a leader.
Let’s talk about your political affiliation with the Republican Party. How did that come about?
I voted for President Obama the first time. The second time I wasn’t politically involved. It caused me to start looking into policy and politics. The second time I voted for Mitt Romney and I’ve been voting Republican ever since. My reason for doing that is because the Democratic Party would solicit my vote, come after my community, and mention me, but never actually do anything. Not to say the Republican Party is the best choice, but I like what they stand for as far as school choice and economic development, which are things I feel our community needs the most.
What was the policy that changed your viewpoint about being a Republican?
Job development and school choice because education is a big component that is failing in our communities, and a lot of our communities are lacking jobs. Many Black people are unemployed. I also like the idea of standing on your own two feet and utilizing your own resources.
When did you realize that you would vote for Trump?
It was when he addressed the Black community and he didn’t lump Black people with the other minorities. Not that other nationalities don’t matter, but I’m not a part of the Latino or LGBTQ community. I want to hear what you are going to do for me. When he called us out and touched on areas that I felt needed to be addressed, that’s when I decided to vote for Trump.
When you hear all of the hateful things Trump has said about Muslims, Hispanics, and women, how do you feel?
I feel like it’s all in perspective as well as media. It’s good entertainment. You have to know what he is saying before the media gets hold of it. Not necessarily everything he said was politically correct. But hey, he wasn’t a career politician. He spoke as if he was sitting at the kitchen table.
As a minority, how do you address the racist uproar from Trump supporters across the nation?
I was a Republican before Donald Trump was elected, and I will be a Republican after Donald Trump is president. I don’t think Trump should take responsibility for other people’s actions. I think that we do have a divided world. There is a lot of hate going on. I believe we should come together and be united during the process.
With protests and unhappiness following the election, how do we move forward as a country?
Stay engaged. Don’t lose sight of your engagement. Focus on local government. Local government is way more important. There is a mayoral race going on right now. Pay attention to who your sheriff is, who your mayor is and who your city council is.