The Tennessee Three: Petty, partisan and profoundly racist saga

the Tennessee Three

The question I have is was it after the fourth or fifth round at the Good Ole’ Boys Bar did it begin to sound like a good idea to bring expulsion resolutions against two young black Democratic lawmakers, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson and one of the few women in the Legislature, Democrat Gloria Johnson.

Because being drunk — either on Jack or power or both — is the only explanation that even begins to make sense.

Jones and Pearson were expelled on Thursday while Johnson survived by one vote. That outcome just exacerbated the impression that the actions were racial because Johnson is white.

I spent a big chunk of Thursday watching the YouTube stream from the Tennessee Legislature. The GOP Super Majority were petty, partisan and profoundly racist.

Whether the backlash has any sobering effect remains to be seen.

There is no evidence to suggest it will.

But the actions against the trio dubbed the “Tennessee Three” brought attention to how deliriously intoxicated the majority lawmakers are.

“The place (the Tennessee Legislature) has been defined by partisan vitriol, pique, scandal, racism and Olympic-level pettiness for years.”

Natalie Allison, Politico

“That made these individuals martyrs,” Representative Antonio Parkinson, a Democrat from Memphis, said of the expulsions. “It’s going to be extremely hard to silence them.”

Eliza Fawcett and Rick Rojas, The New York Times

Vice President Kamala Harris speech at Fisk University in Nashville the day after the expulsion of two black lawmakers.

“Representative, I know you’ve got a long drive home,” she said. “One final question for you. Alright, well, Chairman (Jeremy) Faison has left us.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins as reported by Mediaite.

“I’m hopeful because I saw thousands of people — and in fact people across this nation, I would say, millions — who are paying attention to what happened and are challenging it, saying that it was wrong,” Jones told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday.

Expelled Rep. Justin Jones from Axios.

The question is: How long will it take for the expulsion to backfire if not already, because this ain’t over. “Even from the bottom of slave ships, my people didn’t quit,” Pearson said.

Expelled Rep. Justin Pearson from a Tennessee Lookout opinion piece by Sam Stockard.

State and national faith leaders announced a “Moral Monday” rally, calling on thousands of clergy across the nation to come to Nashville on April 17 and join the former lawmakers’ fight “against extremist attempts to subvert democracy and silence the voices of legislators standing up for dead children.”

Anita Wadhwani, The Tennessee Lookout