Wasserman Schultz Accuses Tennessee Assembly of Racism After Expelling 2 Democrat Members

Wasserman Schultz Accuses Tennessee Assembly of Racism After Expelling 2 Democrat Members

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 7, 2023

Shortly after the Nashville school shooting by a trans-identified woman that took the lives of three children and three adults, the Republican-controlled Tennessee House of Representatives vote to expel three of its Democratic members. After the votes, only two of the three—Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson—were expelled.

Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) took this as evidence that both the Republican majority Tennessee and Florida state legislatures "have been taken over by racist and fascist forces."

"The Tennessee & Florida Republican parties have been taken over by fascist and racist forces. In both states, the freedom of expression and dissent is met with the removal of duly elected officials and government retaliation against private companies," said Rep. Wasserman-Schultz.

On March 30th, Tennessee Democrat Representatives Gloria Johnson, Justin Pearson, and Justin Jones participated in the protest demanding gun reforms in the State Capitol building after the Nashville shooting.

While votes to expel Rep. Jones and Rep. Pearson passed, Rep. Johnson kept her seat when the House failed to achieve the one vote necessary for the two-thirds majority to forward the motion.

Because Rep. Pearson and Rep. Jones are black men and Rep. Johnson is a white woman, Rep. Wasserman-Schultz accused the Tennessee Republican legislators of racism, a charge which  Rep. Johnson herself agreed with.

"It might have to do with the color of our skin," said Rep. Johnson.

The Tennessee Legislature's Speaker of the House, Cameron Sexton (R),  on the other hand said the three's actions were "unacceptable" and suggested Jones, Pearson, and Johnson were actively seeking to make themselves victims.

"Their actions are and will always be unacceptable, and they break several rules of decorum and procedure on the House floor. Their actions and beliefs that they could be arrested on the House floor were an effort, unfortunately, to make themselves the victims," Rep. Sexton said on Twitter.

Furthermore, Rep. Sexton added that they effectively made the protest about themselves, taking away "the focus on on the six victims who lost their lives, and the families who lost their loved ones."

Other conservative voices have accused Democrats of hypocrisy in how they have spoken of the Tennessee protest, saying by their standards it was comparable to January 6th.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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