Rep. Lucy McBath is living her son’s legacy – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2021-05-23 12:25:44 –

US Representative Lucy McBath of D-Georgia will speak at a press conference at the Atlanta Beltline Headquarters on Friday, May 21, 2021. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen / The Atlanta Voice)

Congressman Lucy McBath I vividly remember the “discussion” with Her teen son Jordan in 2012 after 17 years old Trayvon Martin I was shot and killed.

“I said,’Baby, you had to understand. You’re a young black man and you care about you in this country, we, your family, your community There are people who don’t love you like that, “remembered a Georgia Democrat.

It’s a conversation that parents don’t want, but so many black mothers and fathers across the country feel it is a must.

“‘You really have to be careful about where you are and what you’re doing. Don’t verbally conflict with anyone … people take out their guns and shoot you.” And Jordan I remember saying with that bravery, “Mom, that won’t happen to me.” “

Just nine months later, that’s exactly what happened to him.Jordan Shot 3 times, Jordan and his friends were killed by a white man at a gas station angry at playing loud music. At the age of 17, he was the same age as Martin.

Permanently imprinted on McBath’s memory was a phone call from Jordan’s father to tell her the news of a bowel injury.

“Jordan was shot,” he told her.

“This primitive mourning just came out of me, and I was like,” Where is Jordan? ” I just started screaming. Jordan’s father said, “Jordan is dead,” McBass said in tears.

“At that moment, everything I did to protect him felt like it wasn’t enough,” she said. “Put him in the right community, in the right school, around the right kids, the right family, everything I thought he did was a young black man. So it didn’t matter. It’s just because of his skin color. “

The shooter in the case of Jordan Judgment Life imprisonment without parole.

Turn pain into a purpose

The month after Jordan’s death, gunmen set foot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and 6 adults between the ages of 6 and 7. The tragedy to reduce gun violence in the United States triggered a grassroots movement called Moms Demand Action, and McBath soon joined the fight.

“I wanted the world to know what happened to my child, so anyone I could talk to or talk about was what I did. And that’s right. It wasn’t, and it was happening not only to my kids, but to kids and people all over the country, “McBass explained.

She turned her pain to the end.

“I was raised to be able to believe and fight to protect and care for those you love. You fight for your community. People who feel you are defenseless I will fight for, “she said.

McBus was invited to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where Hillary Clinton was a Democratic candidate. She stood with seven mothers who lost their children to gun violence and police atrocities. She vowed to support Clinton and promised to continue telling Jordan’s story.

“We keep talking about the kids and encourage you to say their name,” McBass said at the time.

“We will continue to work together with police officers and the color community to build a future that keeps children like Jordan safe,” she added on stage.

“That’s my DNA”

McBus grew up in a home deeply rooted in the civil rights movement. Her father, Dr. Lucian H. Holman, was the head of the NAACP Illinois branch in the 1960s.

“I always joked that he was a dentist during the day, but at night he was a full-time full-throttle activist for civil rights,” she said.

She grew up watching her father give a speech and rode with her mother to deliver Black Voice, the civil rights newspaper he founded. She attended in a stroller in Washington in March 1963.

One of the first songs she learned to sing was “We Shall Overcome.” Because it was sung all around her. Her home was full of civil rights leaders trying to change America.

“That’s my background. That’s my DNA,” McBath said.

“I can remember my childhood nights. My house was full of people and they were drinking, smoking and planning,” she added.

Her father even met with President Lindon B. Johnson on the groundbreaking Civil Rights Act of 1964. She sometimes wonders what a deceased father would think of what happened to his son.

“If they knew that Jordan died in the same kind of situation they saw and they fought very hard to eradicate, my dad would probably be his both of my parents. You’ll roll into the grave, “she said.

I take action

McBus did not follow the civil rights DNA for the first 30 years of his professional life. She’s a Delta flight attendant and isn’t thinking of running for Congress until Valentine’s Day 2018, when 17 people (including 14 students) were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It was.

“Parkland happened and I was furious. Again there was Sandy Hook and nothing was done, so I was furious. There was no law and nothing was enforced,” she said. I was frustrated and said. “Well, who wondered who would stand up for our children? Why do federal lawmakers reject our state and local lawmakers? What are you afraid of? “

She decided to make a long shot for Congress. No one told her that the numbers were right for her, but she chose it anyway and launched a campaign in Georgia’s Sixth District, where the Democrats were unable to participate in the special elections that attracted attention the previous year. did.

“I am a survivor, and as a person living this tragedy every day of my life, there are many other people all over the country, like me, screaming for legislation, policy, and wise legislation. I believed that it would protect our community and I would find them because they are there, “she said.

She won — Turn her suburban Atlanta district from red to blue — Part of the 2018 Democratic wave that helped bring speaker Gavel back to Nancy Pelosi. Senators, who are currently serving with a majority of Senate Democrats and White House Democrats in the second term, are hoping for a real change in gun control. But she admits that it is a “long and long way”.

“The best opportunity for us to evolve and implement really good policies is now under this administration, but we’re not going to get everything we want. It works that way. No. This is the cultural change and change we are working on, and it takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, “she said.

“This isn’t about stealing a gun from a law-abiding gun owner. It’s never happened,” she added.

To be sure, Georgia’s seats, which scored more than 9 points last fall, are still competitive, and it’s unclear how the constituency change will affect her.Further unknown method Georgia’s new, more restrictive voting method It will be rolled out in the middle of next year.

“Republican shame for enacting this kind of law that hinders people’s ability to vote. But I really believe that people are immovable and know how important it is,” she said. Told.

Fight for women

McBass’s personal experience shaped what she was fighting in Congress. She was a two-time breast cancer survivor and experienced childbirth problems, including a stillborn son before Jordan was born.

“I know how important it is for people like me in an existing state to have access to the highest quality medical care possible. If I didn’t have it , I wouldn’t have been sitting here right now, “she added, including maternal health care.

“I understand what it means to be unable to have children, and I was very fortunate to have good medical care,” she added.

She wants to fight for women to get the care they need from the beginning to the end of their pregnancy. She said she was able to undergo all sorts of surgery so that she could have a “last chance” to have a child named Jordan.

“There are many women who do not have access to good doctors. Food insecurity. They do not have transportation to and from doctors. And all the women in this country, and I am where they came from I don’t care, but it’s worth having. It’s not a privilege, it’s her right. And also a baby to take care of a child. A woman deserves it, “she said.

She said that only more women elected to parliament would help.

“It’s very important to have a woman at the table so that we can talk about something very important, not just for ourselves, but for our family and community,” she said.

“His legacy is my legacy”

Time does not heal all wounds. Almost 10 years after the teenager was killed, McBath still opens his eyes every day and feels a burning pain.

“I wake up every morning, and the first idea in my mind is that he isn’t here,” she said.

McBus keeps his son’s memory alive by talking about him. In particular, he was the one who welcomed new friends at school.

“I’ve always said that my house looks like a mini UN, because he brought in skinny leg jeans kid, jock, nerd kid, that is, he accepts everyone and puts them together. I was very good at it, “she recalled.

McBass frequently visited Jordan’s graveyard and invited CNN to come with her. Pictures of Jordan of all ages are engraved on his tombstone — a snapshot of his short life. That’s where McBass says she feels closest to him, and he really hears her voice.

“I feel like I can talk to him here,” she said. “And I tell him a lot. I said,” I’m trying to do everything I was raising to get you done. So I can’t be a hypocrite. And I had to try to get it right because it was trying to teach you what to do. “

“And I cry, but I always ask him,’Am I proud of you?'” She added.

McBus lives the way his son wanted. I am worried about others and living.

“That’s his legacy. I thought he was sowing seeds to survive it, but his legacy is my legacy.”

Rep. Lucy McBath is living her son’s legacy Source link Rep. Lucy McBath is living her son’s legacy

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