When Complacency Seeps In, Evil Wins.

Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

Nearly a year ago, I wrote an article entitled, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.” I touched on several things in that post, but the incident that I’m going to focus on is the expulsion of Justin Jones and Justin Pearson from the Tennessee State Legislature. In case you don’t remember; let me refresh your memory. These two Black men and their white female colleague were protesting on the house floor regarding the legislature’s failure to enact gun regulations, after a shooting occurred at a Christian private school in Tennessee. As a result of this civil disobedience interrupting state house proceedings, the Tennessee House expelled Justin Jones and Justin Pearson from their positions, but their white female colleague was able to keep her position.

The Tennessee House claims that they were expelled because they failed to follow proper decorum. I called bullshit on that then, and I do now. You don’t have to be a civil rights attorney to see that this occurred because these two men, these two Black men, had the audacity to step outside their station, and attempt to hold every other lawmaker accountable for their failures as representatives of the people of Tennessee. And let’s take it one step further. By ousting Pearson and Jones, who represent majority Black districts, the Tennessee State House was trying to strip the people, namely Black people from being represented by who they elected. It was an attempt to return the historically marginalized to a state of voicelessness.

I saw it.

Their white colleague, Gloria Johnson, saw it and spoke on it.

And the rest of the world saw it.

And it ignited a firestorm of further protest, of support for the expelled representatives and financial donations from across the nation.

It ultimately led to Pearson and Jones being reinstated. A few months later, these two men went on to win back their house seats.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m bringing this back up. I’ll tell you. The add on to this story is a demonstration in how complacency is the enemy of social equality.

Almost a year after Pearson and Jones were expelled, reinstated and re-elected to their seats, the Republicans in the Tennessee House have voted to advance a bill aimed at…