Outcast Black Rep. Pearson Returns to Tennessee House

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) — The second of two black Democrats ousted from the Republican-led Tennessee House of Representatives is set to return to Congress after the Memphis Commission voted Wednesday to reinstate him. is. into the national spotlight.

Hundreds of supporters marched Justin Pearson from Memphis to the Shelby County Commission before entering the commission room with chants and cheers, before authorities quickly scored 7-0 to restore his position. voted.

“A message to all those in Nashville who decided to banish us: You can’t banish hope. You can’t banish justice,” Pearson said at the conference, his voice growing louder. “You can’t banish our voices, and you certainly can’t banish our fights.”

Pearson is scheduled to return to the Capitol on Thursday when the House holds its next floor session.

Republicans last week ousted Rep. Pearson and Justin Jones following a Nashville school shooting that killed three children and three adults.

The Nashville City Council unanimously reinstated Jones to office Monday in just minutes. He soon returned to the House of Representatives.

The appointment is provisional and special elections for seats are expected to take place in the coming months. Jones and Pearson said they plan to run for the special election.

A House vote to remove Pearson and Jones and retain white Congresswoman Gloria Johnson drew accusations of racism. However, Republican leadership denied that race was a factor.

Last Thursday’s oust made Tennessee the new front line in the battle for America’s democratic future. gained new support from

Political tensions rose as Pearson, Johnson and Jones on the House floor joined hundreds of demonstrators who filled the Capitol last month to demand passage of gun control measures.

As protesters filled the gallery, lawmakers approached the front of the House chamber with loudspeakers and joined in the chant. The scene unfolded days after the shooting at Covenant School, a private Christian school. Since the three did not have the permission of the Speaker of the House, their participation in front of the House violated House rules.

Support for Pearson has come from all over the country, including Memphis. At Monday’s rally in support of Tyre Nichols, who died in January after being beaten by police during an arrest, Pearson’s supporters said the commission was “going by the clock.”

Activist LJ Abraham said, “You have one job: get Justin Pearson back in office.

Pearson grew up in the same House district where he was elected to Congress after black Democrat Rep. Barbara Cooper died in office. It winds along the neighborhoods, forests, and wetlands of southern Memphis, through the city’s downtown area, and into northern Shelby County.

Before his election, Pearson campaigned against planned oil pipelines near wells that pump water from the Memphis Sand Aquifer, which provides drinking water for one million people, and through neighborhoods and wetlands. was successful.

He was an accomplished community activist and quickly gained a reputation as a gifted speaker.

If Pearson joins Jones to return to the Tennessee State Capitol, they will do so at a time when the political divide between the state’s few Democratic strongholds and the Republican majority had already reached a boiling point before the ouster. will do

Members of the Republican Party introduced a wave of punitive proposals to strip Nashville of its autonomy this year. Some are pushing to do away with the state’s few community oversight boards that investigate police misconduct, and instead replace investigations of complaints with blocked advisory boards.

Lawmakers are also nearing passage of a bill that would shift control of the board overseeing Nashville’s airport from local appointments to elections by Republican state leaders.

Especially when it comes to tackling gun violence, Republicans have so far refused to consider imposing new restrictions on firearms in the wake of the Nashville school shooting. Instead, lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at adding armed guards to public and private schools and allowing teachers to carry guns.

Meanwhile, the office of Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton said this week that the Supreme Committee has been in office for more than a month after Republican lawmakers asked at hearings if “hanging on a tree” could be added to state enforcement methods. The chairman’s office declined to specify the reasons for removing him from the committee.

Sexton spokesperson Doug Kufner said Rep. Paul Sherrell was removed from the Criminal Justice Committee and transferred to another committee and was “very much in agreement” with the change.

Sherrell, who is white, later apologized for what he said amid protests from black lawmakers who pointed to the state’s dark history of lynching. He said it showed “the support of families who often wait decades for justice.” Outcast Black Rep. Pearson Returns to Tennessee House

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