Why would radical Democrats want to move to a state like Tennessee?
One answer: To kick out the Republican majority on voter rolls, city councils and the state legislature.
Tennessee’s big cities—Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville—already host Democrat majorities. That’s because cities tend to attract Democrats – along with crime, poverty, drugs, homelessness, and out of control demonstrations and riots when a perceived social injustice occurs.
Big Democrat cities also attract what leftists call “good trouble” community activism, meaning activism with a blunt edge, like grabbing a bullhorn from a speaker or breaking the rules of protocol when attempting to voice an opinion about a topic like gun violence.
The two Democrat state legislators, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, expelled by the Republican led House in Tennessee for their behavior during a gun control protest in the capitol building, might be described as Obama Ideology Kids (OIK) whose activism went viral around the time of the 2020 Floyd riots.
Pearson, 28, was born in Memphis, the son of a preacher and teacher. He attended Bowdoin University in Brunswick, Maine, where he was active in political and civil issues before going on to the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. (The National Association of Scholars, a group known for its advocacy of race-blind college admissions, found that Bowdoin had too few conservative faculty members and fostered a culture of “closed-mindedness” toward conservative views. The university was also criticized for its “assault on tradition.”)
Two years older than Jones, Pearson is definitely the more refined of the two. Known for his fondness for suits and ties, he’s not as hothead-driven as Jones (no history of arrests) although on his first day on the job he appropriated a West African dashiki in an adolescent display of rebellion. Before his election to Tennessee’s 86th District, Pearson was a community organizer (code for leftwing advocacy.)
Jones, 26, has the look of a stereotypical angry leftist activist. The anger etched in his facial features is plainly evident. It’s the sort of ‘activist face’ I used to see on Philadelphia MOVE members and angry community organizers shouting at passersby through bullhorns on the streets of Philadelphia.
Facial features like this seem to broadcast a similar message: Tread on me and there will be hell to pay.
Born in Oakland, California (radical chic DNA right off the bat), Jones went to college in Tennessee on a scholarship for his social activism, so he’s well aware that acting inappropriately and breaking the rules will bring him rewards. He looks older than his 26 years.
Jones has been arrested 14 times, including being cuffed during a Floyd protest in 2020 although those charges were later dropped. During a protest to remove the statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford, “The Tennessean” reported that Jones threw a cup of liquid at then Republican State Rep. Glen Casada, a politician plagued by scandal.
Jones faced additional charges in 2020 for allegedly throwing a traffic cone at a car during the protest. A video of the incident was released but Jones claimed it didn’t show everything that went on, insisting that the driver of the car “was yelling racial slurs and pushing his car into protesters.”
Charged with two misdemeanors and one count of disorderly conduct, lawmakers called Jones “a danger to public safety.”
Yet Jones defended his police record and called it “good trouble” because its aim was the attainment of social justice. This is also known as: Any means to an end. No justice, no peace.
After his election to the State House in 2022, lawmakers found him difficult to work with and called him “uppity.” It’s no secret that many left progressives tend to think of themselves as superior moral beings.
The third disruptor, Gloria Johnson, 60, D-Knoxville, a retired teacher, says she entered politics as a result of being inspired by Barack Obama “to become more politically active.” ‘The Tennessean’ stated that Johnson was “one of the most outspoken Tennessee House Democrats who regularly draws the ire of Republicans.”
In videos of the gun protest, Johnson, an imposing white woman with big hair, can be seen walking with Jones and Pearson through the Tennessee capitol building after joining the protesters, their arms linked and raised in the air in a kind of radical salute, because, as Johnson stated, “We are on the right side of history.”
That ‘side’, of course, being the one that does not follow parliamentary protocol and thinks nothing of approaching the podium in the capitol without being recognized to speak, a clear breach of chamber rules.
With a bullhorn, the so-called “Tennessee Three,’ as the Left now labels them in a nod to iconic 1960s’ revolutionaries, led protestors in the galleries in several chants like “Power to the People!” while calling for gun reform.
This highly theatrical moment, like a film trailer of the tumultuous Sixties, came close to causing an actual riot given the hatred expressed by the protesters as they surrounded and lashed out at Republican legislators while the latter left the capitol building. Videos of the protest show an angry crowd on the verge of breaking through to the other side, to use another Sixties reference.
So yes, the ‘Tennessee Three’ had succeeded in working the protesters into an emotional frenzy. In effect, the three had become insurrectionist cheerleaders, as television cameras rolled, and as the three almost certainly realized that they stood on the brink of Democrat Woke Celebrity-Hood.
Political Activist Fame at Last! (PAFL is not a course taught at Bowdoin University.)
The group’s fame grew to even larger proportions when the GOP House voted to expel Jones and Pearson (but not Johnson) for gross misbehavior unbecoming a legislator, after which the nation’s Vice President, known for her incessant cackling and eye rolls, and Joe Biden, also know as POTUS, would extend to them an invitation to visit the White House for a woke canonization ceremony.
Jones, Pearson and Johnson are now Blessed and Venerable, heroes to be emulated.
Mark your calendars: The probability is high that Biden will reward Jones with a Washington appointment. Another ‘scholarship win’ for not following the rules.
Meanwhile, the complicit mainstream media is all too eager to follow along.
“A state in which the Ku Klux Klan was founded is now attempting another power grab by silencing the two youngest Black representatives,” CBS News reported.
But this is not about the Ku Klux Klan, but about obeying the rules of a Parliamentary style body that all of its members are expected to follow.
“In a state fraught with racist history, GOP expulsion of ‘Tennessee Three’ hits a nerve,’ USA Today commented.
UCLA undergrad and lefty podcaster Victor Shi, known as the youngest elected Delegate for Joe Biden in 2020 at 17-years-old, tweeted, “There is a reason Republican expelled them. They’re Black. They are better, more talented and braver than Republicans ever dream of being. And they—along with every Gen Z-ers—are about to be the Republicans’ worst nightmares.”
Thank you, Tennessee Republicans, for saying: the scholarship ends here.