I first saw James Hart standing on the street corner across from the courthouse in Dover, when I stopped at the hardware store one day. He was holding up a sign that said, “Bury the Counter Culture, Not Our Children.” I was intrigued and went to talk to him. He had a couple different signs he was waving. People drove by and honked and he would give them a thumbs up.
James Hart first ran for Tennessee state representative in 2004. He got 83% of the votes as an Independent. His decision to run was determined after his son became a drug addict and died. James ran on a platform to vote against any legalization of drugs. He blamed the counter culture for creating an environment that proliferates drug use in the youth. In his words the counter culture has taught kids that two plus two equals five and with no absolutes they are a generation of children with no clue as to right or wrong.
James Hart wanted to make a difference and stop more parents from burying their children from drug abuse deaths. After his initial run for the Tennessee house as an Independent in 2004, James was not successful as the party affiliates would not support him as a candidate. But that didn’t stop him from campaigning. He is again on the ballot for District 76 in the 2022 general election.
Over the years James Hart has taken some opposition for his stands. On February 20th of 2017 a white kid from Memphis attacked James while he was standing on the street corner in Paris, Tennessee. He was punched repeatedly and knocked down and was saved by pedestrians and motorists who stopped and pulled his assailant off of him. It seems the Caucasian male took offense to his sign “Equal Rights for Whites”. This didn’t deter the seventy-eight year old James, who now stands on the street corner with a bullet proof vest and a handgun under his coat.
While a few people fumed over his sign about “Equal Rights for Whites” one of the local predominately black Baptist churches in Paris had a solution. They had some signs made up and presented them to James with their best wishes. The signs said “God Bless America” and “Pray for America”. And that is how the good people of Tennessee handle differences with each other.