'Can’t expel truth': Ousted TN lawmaker Justin Pearson highlights hypocrisy of 'country built on a protest'
During a House floor speech before the Tennessee legislature, Rep. Justin Pearson (D-Memphis) drew attention to the irony of his Republican colleagues decision to oust him from his congressional seat.
The state House member was expelled Thursday along with Democratic Rep. Justin Jones after the two — and Rep. Gloria Johnson (D), who was not removed from her seat — led a protest for gun reform following the Nashville Christian school mass shooting.
@Acyn shared a clip of Pearson's speech, writing, "Wow."
In the video, the Memphis-born lawmaker said to his colleagues, "You are seeking to expel District 86's representation from this house, in a country that was built on a protest. You who celebrate July 4, 1776 — pop fireworks and eat hot dogs. You say to protest is wrong, because you spoke out of turn; because you spoke up for people who are marginalized; you spoke up for children who won't ever be able to speak again; you spoke up for parents who don't want to live in fear."
He continued, "In a country built on people who speak out of turn, who spoke out of turn, who fought out of turn to build a nation. I come from a long line of people who have resisted."
Social media lauded Pearson's words as "powerful" and "brilliant."
Luke Klipp: "Truly wish these #TennesseeThree were getting notoriety nationally for what they can accomplish and not how they're being bullied. But wow this is a lesson in calling out hypocrisy. Wow."
Maya Contreras: "Tennessee State Representative Gloria Johnson, Representative Justin Jones, and Representative Justin Pearson are now celebrated National political figures. I guarantee you, the Tennessee GOP @tnhousegop, did not want that. Good."
@mass_ave: "If this ain’t speaking truth to power, I don't know what is."
@SouthpawLeftist: "'I come from a long line of people who have resisted' might be the most bada** line I've heard in years."
@AOC: "Hell yes!!"
Jon Evans: "Tennessee Republicans' attempt to silence this young man has only ensured that the whole country is seeing him. Brilliant."
Patrick W. Watson: "I won't say TN Republicans are going to regret these expulsions. They don't have enough self-awareness for that. But pretty sure it won't accomplish what they want."
@AustinERdoc: "The racist Tennessee Legislature just bought themselves a place in future Civil Rights Museum exhibits - seated firmly on the wrong side of history."
Watch the video below or at this link.
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