Charles Evers, 77, who will serve as an at-large delegate for Mississippi at this year's GOP convention in Philadelphia feels strongly about politics.
Evers has been involved in the political process since the civil rights demonstrations in the ‘60s when he fought to give blacks the right to vote. He worked in 1963 to get blacks registered. When trying to put blacks into the political arena as elected officials, people suggested he run for office himself. Evers took that advice. He became the first black mayor elected in Fayette, Miss., and spent 16 years in that position.
He started out as a Democrat, but eventually switched to the Republican party after the Democratic National Convention of 1976. Jimmy Carter ran for president that year and Evers was there to support Sen. Bobby Kennedy. The Kennedys were “the one family who showed any kind of compassion to us. We were Negroes at that time,” Evers said. When Democrats at the convention booed Kennedy, Evers felt he could not support a party which would not stand behind a Kennedy. He was so moved that he left the party and joined the Republicans.
Evers also felt that Democrats had begun to take blacks for granted, feeling that with the minority vote secure, they could forget about them. “I don't let anybody take me for granted,” he said.
Today, he is a strong supporter of Republican ideals. He feels that Bush will win the presidential campaign. “I would like to have seen Powell, but Powell didn't want it….Bush has made his decision and we're going to support him,” Evers said about Bush's choice of Dick Cheney as a running mate.
Evers likes the honesty he feels the Republicans convey to minorities. “They don't promise us a damn thing,” he said. “The Democrats promise us the empire state building and want to give us a shack.”