Statement By National NOW President Christian F. Nunes
WASHINGTON, D.C.–The expulsion of two of Tennessee’s youngest Black representatives from the Tennessee House for advocating for gun reform was blatantly racist, anti-Democratic, and corrupt.
It is incomprehensible that just 10 days after three children and three adults were shot to death at the Covenant School, these radical lawmakers responded to an outpouring of public grief by expelling Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson instead of taking action to protect children.
They dismissed the demand for sensible gun laws as a “temper tantrum,” and accused these two courageous representatives of merely “yearning for attention” and audaciously likened this peaceful protest to the January 6 insurrection.
But what actually happened is indisputable. Reps. Jones and Pearson’s colleague Rep. Gloria. Johnson, a white woman who also participated in the protest, survived expulsion by just one vote noting, “It might have to do with the color of my skin.”
We stand with the Tennessee Two, as well as the students, teachers, and parents who marched on the State Capitol to demand action and are inspired by their bravery and resolve.
This is a constitutional, legal, and moral crisis and we will not let ultra-conservative lawmakers take away our representation. Not in Tennessee. Not anywhere.