‘That decision is going to affect generations’: Local NAACP chapter celebrates historic VP pick

MADISON, Wis. — Greg Jones said when he first heard the news that presidential candidate Joe Biden had chosen Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, he cried. His tears quickly turned to cheers.

Jones, the president of the NAACP Dane County branch, said the decision to pick a woman of color shows Joe Biden has not forgotten the legacy of African Americans in the country, especially African American women.

“That decision is going to affect generations. So 45 years from now, young African American girls specifically are going to say, ‘I remember when Kamala Harris ran for vice president and I remember 1. That she was ready to run a national campaign with Joe Biden 2. She was ready to be president on day one and 3. She was ready to speak truth to power,'” said Jones.

Gwen Jones, the NAACP branch’s communications director and Greg’s wife, said young Black girls are not seeing themselves reflected in the White House right now. She said she’s excited for her daughter to see someone who looks like her on a major party ticket.

“Just reflecting back on when Barack Obama became the candidate and how wonderful that was for my son to be able to look at this man and see someone who looked like him and his dad, but now here we have another opportunity for these children to see someone that they can relate to, and know that they can do absolutely anything,” said Gwen Jones.

Greg Jones said he sees his strong mother, grandmother and aunts when he looks at Sen. Harris. He said growing up around these Black women, they are all “strong, firm and truly believe that difference can be made.”

He said if Biden and Harris are elected, he expects a well-developed public policy on criminal justice reform within the first 100 days in office.

“Right now this country is crying out, in my opinion, for criminal justice reform,” said Greg Jones.

He said following the death of George Floyd, the public has been demanding change and it hasn’t happened yet.

“I think Kamala is the best person to put that discussion, that conversation, that narrative into a high level public policy campaign.”

Gwen Jones hopes Harris inspires young people to get involved in the election.

The NAACP is a non-partisan group, so Greg and Gwen Jones plan to work to inspire everyone to vote.