National & Tennessee Report

Upon learning about the brewing controversy over the three Tennessee Democratic Assembly members, who voiced their collective opposition to the lack of responsible gun laws, in the aftermath of the March 27, 2023, Covenant School shooting, during a floor recess, and the resulting expulsion, we were shocked and amazed. Reps. Justin Jones (D-52, Nashville) and Justin Pearson (D-86, Memphis), two African-American members, and Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-90, Knoxville) a Caucasian woman, who was retained by a mere one-vote margin, we ask what is wrong with our nation and in this case, Tennessee in particular. This majority vote to expel appears blatantly racist and is acting in character with an oppressive regime and showing the tyranny of the majority.

To expel a member for protesting gun violence and “disrupting the proceedings,” when the chamber was not even in session, is laughable. It is a situational opportunity to use the rules of the institution to suppress inconvenient and unwanted voices. We will not be shy in speaking out when we see Tennessee act in accordance with its own blackened history as the home state of the first Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest, and hence the reason we see the Tennessee Assembly Majority as mere RepubliKlans.

It is often said, “Those who fail to appreciate history are doomed to repeat it,” and we have been reminded Southerners often call the Civil War, the War of Northern Aggression.

Historically, without federal oversight, first with the Emancipation Proclamation, then Reconstruction Era, and with its demise, the resulting Jim Crows Laws, and the need for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We have seen how different southern communities seemingly wait for opportunities to circumvent any federal action and the alt-right-leaning Robert’s US Supreme Court is facilitating many of these erosions.

Jones was appointed to fill his own seat until the special election, and Pearson is expected similar treatment in Memphis.