Politricks as usual.
Yesterday was a historically ugly day for the state of Tennessee, state that has had a LOT of historically ugly days, especially recently. Two Black elected officials, Rep. Justin Johnson and Rep. Justin Pearson were expelled from the state house by their Republican colleagues for leading a protest against gun violence.
Following the Covenant School shooting in Nashville, Johnson, Pearson, and another Democrat Rep. Gloria Johnson, a white woman, lead a demonstration on the house floor calling for gun control laws to be passed. To be fair, it was a raucous display but no violence was incited, no violence was enacted, and trio made their position clear with a bit of political theater. No harm, no foul.
However, salty house Republicans saw fit to exact revenge on their political opponents with some par-for-the-course bigotry. According to The Tennessean, both Johnson and Pearson were officially expelled from their seats with a vote of 69-26. Rep. Gloria Johnson, however, was not expelled, we know why but she didn’t bite her tongue when asked why she thought she was spared expulsion.
BREAKING NEWS: Democrat Tennessee Rep. Gloria Johnson was NOT expelled from the Tennessee House after a vote. She was asked moments later why fellow Democrat and African American, Justin Jones was expelled and she was not.
Rep Johnson: “I’ll answer your question; it might have… pic.twitter.com/dG1sjFBG1T
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) April 6, 2023
“I am a 60-year-old White woman, and they are two young Black men,” Johnson said. She added that Pearson and Jones were questioned in a “demeaning way” by lawmakers before their expulsion.
For context, this is only the fourth time since the Civil War that house members have expelled a colleague. However, Rep. Justin Johnson makes it very clear that house Republicans are more than happy to welcome all sorts of deplorable members to keep their elected seats…
Wow: Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones, one of the Dems that the GOP is trying to expel from state legislature to protesting gun violence, calls out his colleagues on the floor
‘For years, one of your colleagues, an admitted child molester, sat in this chamber – no expulsion’ pic.twitter.com/KNDrhX3gl1
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 6, 2023
Even POTUS #44 Barack Obama weighed in on the political punishment that Republicans enacted.
Former Pres. Obama: “This nation was built on peaceful protest. No elected official should lose their job simply for raising their voice – especially when they’re doing it on behalf of our children.” https://t.co/1Rooy1GKjQ pic.twitter.com/sYJwJeCcIE
— ABC News (@ABC) April 7, 2023
These people have no idea what kinda pandora’s box that they’ve opened not only for precedent-setting but for future elections where young voters are not apt to forget what took place yesterday.