Sumner County Democratic Party Chair Jim Stocks said that yesterday’s expulsion of Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson from the Tennessee State House by the Tennessee Republican supermajority is an attack on free speech, an assault on the very bedrock principles of our democracy, and a surreal and heartless display of the Republican Party prioritizing silencing two young black men for speaking up over acting to find solutions to stop the killing of our children with readily available weapons of war.
“I join in the Tennessee Democratic Party’s response to the Republican Supermajority’s fascistic expulsion of Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson.
Representatives Jones and Pearson were elected by the people in their districts to be their representative voice in bringing the issues that touch their lives to our state legislature. Nothing has touched the People’s lives and mattered more, especially over the last week and a half here in Tennessee, than gun violence and the safety of our kids, teachers, administrators, custodians, and other staff in our schools.
Representatives Jones and Pearson, along with Representative Gloria Johnson, had the courage and dignity to stand with Tennesseans who showed up to express those concerns in the Capitol a week ago. For their courage and dignity in representing their constituents and Tennesseans across our state, the Tennessee Republican Supermajority rewarded these two courageous young black men by voting to expel them from the office the People voted them to hold, while conversely deciding not to expel the white female representative who stood with them.
Rather than listen to Tennesseans wanting action on gun violence, the Republicans instead singling out for expulsion two young black men who spoke up for Tennesseans demanding that action.
Sadly, those who represent Sumner County in the House, including Representative William Lamberth, Johnny Garrett, and William Slater, were in the heart of today’s descent into Tennessee fascism, having voted to expel all of the “Tennessee Three.” Sumner County deserves better from our leaders, and we are motivated more than ever to ensure we get the leaders we deserve, leaders who like Representatives Jones and Pearson will uphold democracy and courageously put the safety of our kids first on their agenda of action.”
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