Jones’ campaign website provides this short and impressive biography.
dr. Chris Jones grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The son of two preachers, Chris grew up with a strong sense of faith. For Chris, his faith never collided with his love of science—in fact, it only made it stronger. He attended Morehouse College on a NASA scholarship in physics and mathematics, then went on to study at MIT to become a nuclear engineer and receive a Ph.D. in city planning. After being ordained a pastor, Chris returned home to Arkansas and headed the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.
Check out his ad, which I’ve watched over 10 times since I first saw it on Twitter, where it quickly accumulates views and campaign contributions.
His use of time as a metaphor linking his ancestors to the here and now, the pastoral stole in his hands marked with dates, the image of him lovingly braiding his daughter’s hair, and of the chaos of the January 6 uprising, along with his vision for elevating Arkansan’s economic future, are all intertwined in a seamless and powerful release.
The state of the race in Arkansas at the moment is fluid — incumbent Republican administration Asa Hutchinson is constrained by term limits to seek a third term. The Republican in the race endorsed by Donald Trump and already a bulky campaign war chest is serial liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose name was trending on Twitter yesterday, and still is.
Political observers such as syndicated columnist Steve Brawner openly point to the fact that Jones is black and believe that he has a huge barrier in front of him because of that fact.
The state has never elected an African American to a state office, to the United States Senate, or to the United States House of Representatives. Of the 135 current state legislators, 15 are African American. Seven represent Little Rock or the central Arkansas area, and two represent Pine Bluff.
Racial attitudes are impossible to quantify, but we can write about results. If anyone thinks race doesn’t matter anymore, here are some numbers. In all of American history, only two African Americans have been elected governor of any state. Two more were appointed, one of whom served only briefly in Louisiana in the 1870s. There have been only 11 African American senators.
I don’t disagree. Being black in America is always an obstacle, and yes, race matters. However, I didn’t think I would live to see a Black POTUS, or Vice President, or a Black Senator elected from Georgia. We cannot give up the fight until we have even entered the fight.
Here’s what Jones had to say on Father’s Day.
Let’s do this!