In a new campaign ad, Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis and U.S. Congressional candidate for Georgia’s 6th District, shares how her beloved son’s death was a“catalyst” for her decision to run for elected office.
McBath shared the ad on her social media accounts last week.
“I never planned to run for office. After my son Jordan was shot and killed, my life completely changed,” McBath wrote on Twitter, asking users to share her story.
The video is powerful and at times harrowing, effectively telling the story of Jordan’s “miracle” birth and their close relationship, before she discusses his tragic death and her ensuing decision to take a more active civic role.
“I lost my son Jordan, but I am still his mother,” says McBath in the video. “I still continue to mother him by making sure I preserve the lives of other children like him.
“We thought maybe he would be a community activist. What I thought I saw in him is what I’ve become.”
She adds, “I can speak truth in Washington.”
Jordan was 17 when a white man, Michael Dunn, shot and killed him on November 23, 2012. Jordan and his friends had pulled up to a gas station in Jacksonville, Fla., when Dunn approached the vehicle, initiated an argument about how loud the boys were playing music. Within 3 1/2 minutes of pulling into the station, Dunn opened fire on the boys, unloading 10 bullets into the car.
After a mistrial, Dunn was convicted of murder for Jordan’s death. He was also found guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder for Jordan’s three companions.
McBath isn’t the only woman running for elected office whose child was a high-profile victim of racial violence. Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother, announced this past spring that she would be running for a seat on Ferguson’s city council.
While McBath has never run for elected office before, she’s no stranger to activism. As she recently told Hayes Brown on BuzzFeed News’ show, PROFILE, she grew up in the midst of the civil rights movement. Her father was President of the Illinois NAACP chapter, and her childhood was shaped by marches and rallies.
She wanted to impart that social awareness and sense of responsibility to Jordan.
“Everything I was teaching him to be, and I thought and assumed that I was grooming him for, I’ve ended up assuming that role,” she told BuzzFeed. “I can’t be a hypocrite, so I very much have to walk out what I was trying to teach him.”