Rifle-wielding, Klan-fighting Arizona congressional candidate goes viral

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Jerone Davison, a professing Christian and candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 4th District, has landed in the middle of the national consciousness after creating an ad showing himself staring down the Ku Klux Klan while armed; but his story and candidacy go deeper than one viral, and for some controversial, commercial.

The ad in question runs about 30 seconds and is penned atop Davison’s Twitter feed. It shows the former Arizona State and Oakland Raider running back sipping coffee from an American-flag-themed mug and then praying, as a group of klansmen approach, brandishing everything from a barbed-wire bat to sundry garden and mechanical tools.

At the climactic moment of the short scene, a sunglass-wearing Davison exits his home with his AR pointed to the sky, but with a walk and demeanor that sends a definitive nonverbal cue that he is quite willing to lower the barrel.

The ad ends with the klansmen sprinting away, one leaving in such a hurry that he forgets his hood.

Davison wrote simply “Make rifles great again” atop his video, but his voiceover was far more forceful.

“Democrats like to say that no one needs an AR-15 for self-defense, that no one could possibly need all 30 rounds,” Davison is heard to say as the commercial plays. “But when this rifle is the only thing standing between your family and a dozen angry Democrats in klan hoods, you just might need that semiautomatic and all 30 rounds.”

Underscoring the entire production was the not-so-subtle reminder that Democrats at one time predominated klan membership.

To say the least, the commercial received mixed reviews. Some on Twitter criticized Davison for using dated references to push a modern message. One clearly pro-Democrat, or at least anti-Republican, user said Davison’s characterization of Democrats and the klan was “not a thing” and hadn’t “been a thing since the 1960s.”

Davison, a native of Picayune, Mississippi, a state that is still home to a small-but-active chapter of the klan, responded that he’d experienced KKK aggression firsthand.

“I was born in 1970 in Mississippi,” Davison replied. “When the KKK came to town, I always felt safe, because my father had rifles to protect us. This video is a cinematic depiction of a situation I faced growing up. Racist white liberals … love to tell me that my LIVED EXPERIENCE didn’t happen!”

For most Americans, this is likely where the Davison story ends. Unless they are particularly big fans of Arizona State football or the Raiders, to the extent people have heard about Davison, it’s likely been limited to his having a cinematic standoff with the klan.

However, there is a danger of misunderstanding Davison as a fringe or a one-issue candidate. If anything, he’s a candidate who understands how to quickly garner media attention. Gun rights might be one of Davison’s passions, but the issue is only a small plank in his platform.

On his campaign website, Davison gives substantial attention to advocating for an internet bill of rights to protect online free speech, supporting teacher pay raises and the promotion of STEM, and demanding election integrity.

For a person who the average American would call far-right, Davison has a soft spot for at least some Democrats. One of his primary campaign promises is to “unite people from across the ideological spectrum.”

In his page about election integrity, Davison states that he believes Bernie Sanders was cheated in the 2016 Arizona Democratic Primary. When discussing the need for free speech online, Davison is equally sympathetic to liberals who have been silenced.

“Millions of people from across the ideological spectrum have been purged from the public square on the flimsiest of pretexts,” Davison writes. “We cannot allow the Big Tech Corporations to silence our voices and shut off our access to the market any longer. We need to level the playing field.”

Davison adds that he supports treating all social media platforms as public utilities, similar to the phone or electric company.

“The power company can’t shut off your electricity because they don’t like your politics,” Davison writes. “The phone company can’t shut off your phone because they don’t like your politics so the big tech monopolies should not be allowed to cancel you just because they don’t like your politics.”

Perhaps the most important fact about Davison is that he could become the Republican nominee in a key Congressional race.

The Republican primary in Arizona is set for Aug. 2, and Davison is one of five Republicans – joined by Marine Corps veteran and restauranteur Kelly Cooper, businessman Dave Giles, former Navy submarine cryptologist Rene Lopez, and attorney and former Phoenix Suns public affairs and communications director Tanya Wheeless – vying for the chance to face Democrat Greg Stanton, who is running unopposed, in the general election.

Stanton is currently the representative of Arizona’s 9th District but, as the state’s congressional boundaries have only recently been redrawn, Stanton will now stand for election in the 4th.

This is a meaningful change as the 4th district is made up of more rural and suburban communities than the former 9th, which included Phoenix proper.