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Two Black Democratic Ex-Lawmakers To Be Elected Back To Their Seats

Two Former Black Democratic Lawmakers To Be Elected Back To Their Seats. (Photo: Yahoo Sports)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two former Black Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee who were expelled by Republican colleagues for demonstrating on the House floor in support of passing gun control laws following a deadly school shooting want to be reappointed and then elected back to their seats.

Two former Black Democratic lawmakers who were expelled by Republican colleagues in Tennessee say they want to be reappointed. (Photo: The Globe and Mail)

County Commission Announced To Re-appoint Two Black Democratic Ex-Lawmakers

During a special meeting called for Monday, the Metro Council of Nashville is likely to re-appoint Justin Jones to the position. Shelby County Commission Chairman Mickell Lowery announced in a statement on Sunday that the board will decide whether to re-appoint Memphis native Justin Pearson to his position at a meeting on Wednesday.

In response to those who “transgressed the rules” of the state House of Representatives, Lowery said he understands the need to respond.

“However, I think the expulsion of State Representative Justin Pearson was handled hastily without taking into account other forms of corrective action. I also think that the effects on our wonderful State are still to be seen,” he added.

READ ALSO: Kamala Harris Delivered A Speech On Gun Control And Met With Expelled State Lawmakers

On Sunday, both ex-lawmakers expressed their desire to resume their roles in the legislature on NBC’s Meet the Press. The seats will be up for special elections in the upcoming months, the date for which has not yet been determined.

Tennessee has become a new front in the conflict over the future of American democracy as a result of the expulsions. The former lawmakers have attracted well-known supporters very quickly. They had a conversation with President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris paid them a visit in Nashville.

Jones said, “You know, we will continue to fight for our constituents. “And one last thing, just to say… is that everyone in our state is being harmed by this attack against us. You know, this hurts poor white people even though it disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities. We are all harmed by their attack on democracy.

As a result of the GOP supermajority’s expulsion of Jones and Pearson on separate occasions on Thursday, approximately 140,000 voters in predominantly Black districts in Nashville and Memphis no longer have a representative in the House.

In retaliation for their participation in the protest the week prior, which took place in the wake of a school shooting in Nashville that left six people dead, including three young students and three adults employed at the school, Pearson and Jones were expelled. Police shot and killed the shooter.

By one vote, Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, a third Democrat, avoided expulsion. Johnson is white, which has caused controversy over the disparate treatment of the two young, Black lawmakers. Republican lawmakers who abstained from voting have cited Johnson’s arguments made on the floor that her participation in the protest was less significant because, for instance, she didn’t use the megaphone.

Johnson told reporters that it “might have to do with the color of our skin” when she suggested that race was a contributing factor in why Jones and Pearson were fired but not her.

That is a “false narrative,” according to Cameron Sexton, the Republican House Speaker.

Sexton said on Friday to Fox News, “It’s unfortunate, she’s trying to put political racism in this, which there was nothing on this.

The expulsion procedures, which have only been used a few times since the Civil War, were deemed necessary by GOP leaders to prevent creating the precedent that protesting lawmakers’ disruptions of House proceedings would be accepted.

Pearson claimed that the statehouse has been a “toxic work environment,” citing the criticism he faced when he chose to attend sessions in a black dashiki rather than a suit and tie.

According to Pearson on Meet the Press, “It’s about us not belonging in the institution because they are afraid of the changes that are taking place in our society and the voices that are being elevated.”

READ ALSO: Lawmakers Criticize Biden Administration For Lack Of Transparency Regarding Classified Documents Found At Homes Of Current And Former Presidents

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