Thursday, April 6, 2023

Tennessee's Disgrace


One would think, after three nine-year old students and three adult staff were murdered by a beneficiary of Tennessee's toxic gun culture, that it could hardly get worse. In the aftermath of last week's mass murder, however, three Democratic members of the Republican-run Tennessee state legislature - Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, Rep. Justin J. Pearson, D-Memphis, and Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville - spoke out and supported student protests on the House floor by demonstrators upset with Tennessee Republicans' refusal to act against our fatal epidemic of gun violence. As a result, two of them, the two Black representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, were expelled by Tennessee's Republican-controlled legislature in a seven-hour session - Jones by a vote of 72 to 25, Pearson by a vote of 69 to 26, The third, Knoxville's white, female Representative Gloria Johnson, escaped expulsion by one vote short of the required two-thirds. During the debate leading to his expulsion, Rep. Jones said: “We called for you all to ban assault weapons and you respond with an assault on democracy.”

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