2023 04 07T164457Z 1812125005 RC2690AK8IC8 RTRMADP 3 TENNESSEE POLITICS HOUSE

accusations of racism after the exclusion of two black elected officials from the Tennessee parliament

2023 04 07T164457Z 1812125005 RC2690AK8IC8 RTRMADP 3 TENNESSEE POLITICS HOUSE

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Two elected Democrats from Tennessee, who had demonstrated a week ago for better regulation of firearms, were expelled from the parliament of this State. A rare measure denounced as a racist act and condemned by Mason Blanche. Vice President Kamala Harris is expected on site Friday.

The controversy swells in the United States after the exclusion of two young black elected officials from Tennessee who demonstrated in the local parliament to demand a stricter framework for firearms, a measure denounced Friday, April 7 as racist and which revived in some the not-so-old wounds of segregation.

This extremely rare sanction, which the House of Representatives of this Southern state applied to the two African-American Democrats but not to a third white elected official, was criticized as far as Washington, where President Joe Biden deemed it “shocking ” and “undemocratic”.

Vice President Kamala Harris is expected in Nashville to meet with “local elected officials, youth and activists…who have demanded that their elected officials take meaningful action against gun violence.” , according to a White House official. She will also reiterate a call for Congress to ban assault rifles.

According to the daily USA Today, the vice-president will meet with the three elected Democrats targeted Thursday by a vote of their Republican colleagues for not having respected the decorum of the assembly.

Megaphone at the Capitol

On March 30, days after a shooting at a Christian school in Nashville, Justin Jones, Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson joined hundreds of demonstrators in the precincts of parliament to demand stricter gun control.

The protesters had entered the Capitol of Tennessee to challenge the elected officials gathered in session.

Justin Jones and Justin Pearson had notably used a megaphone to invite demonstrators to shout slogans such as “Power to the people” and “No peace without action”, according to several media.

On Thursday, their Republican colleagues sanctioned them.

“Yesterday, we had the impression of being in the middle of a trial of the Jim Crow era”, launched at a press conference on Friday Jesse Chism, the vice-president of the black parliamentary group in the assembly. of Tennessee, in allusion to the segregationist laws in force for some until the middle of the XXe century.

A “dangerous precedent for the nation”

For Gloria Johnson, the elected official who narrowly escaped exclusion, the motivations were clear. “I’m a 60-year-old white woman and they are two young black men,” she said.

Justin Jones and Justin Pearson delivered impassioned pleas against their exclusion, which earned them praise on social media, where a photo of them raising their fists went viral.

It’s a “dangerous precedent for the nation,” Justin Jones told MSNBC. “If you hadn’t told me this was happening to me, I would have thought it was 1963, not 2023. Because what we’re seeing is a super- predominantly white majority that is unraveling democracy,” he added, saying the Justice Department needed to look at the terms of the exclusion.

With AFP

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