CNN Teams Up With TN Dems to Accuse GOP of ‘White Supremacy’

Firearms


On Thursday’s CNN This Morning, the network gave two Democratic state legislators from Tennessee a forum to accuse their state’s Republican Party of “white supremacy” as the show previewed upcoming special elections for the two members who were trying to reclaim their seats for the rest of the current term.

The two had been expelled from the state house in April after the two used a bullhorn to whip up a mob of protesters in the House chamber in violation of the rules.

After State Representative Justin Jones complained about his inability to participate fully in the legislative process since he was temporarily reinstated to the chamber, CNN This Morning co-host Erica Hill sympathetically turned to his colleague, State Representative Justin J. Pearson, and posed:

But just to pick up, you know, where your colleague left off, are you feeling that same way in terms of what it’s been like for you over the last several months trying to do the job you were elected to do when you were reinstated? Has it been more challenging?

 

 

It didn’t take long for the Tennessee Democrat to invoke race as he responded:

We have to realize that we’re dealing with an institution, and institutions do not change very quickly. This institution has been rooted in white supremacy — has been rooted in patriarchy and injustice for a very long time and the ramifications of their decisions because they have been supporting a “mob-ocracy” instead of a democracy — have been hurting our democracy through anti-democratic behavior, such as our expulsions.

Instead of challenging any of his claims, co-host Poppy Harlow picked up on his call for more gun control to recall his push for new regulations, and then sympathetically turned to Jones, and asked:

Do you have reason — because the body hasn’t significantly changed in terms of, you know, their politics. Do you have any reason to believe you can get some of this stuff done the second time around?

As if Democrats had any hope of gaining substantial power in the state where Donald Trump beat Joe Biden by 24 points, Jones talked up a Democratic rally being held by Generation Z members in the district of the House majority leader, as if young people voting for Democrats before they mature with age were a new thing. Again, there was no pushback from either CNN host.

This free campaign advertising for Tennessee Democrats was sponsored in part by the Farmer’s Dog. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

CNN This Morning
June 15, 2023
8:17 a.m. Eastern

ERICA HILL: But just to pick up, you know, where your colleague left off, are you feeling that same way in terms of what it’s been like for you over the last several months trying to do the job you were elected to do when you were reinstated? Has it been more challenging?

STATE REP. JUSTIN J. PEARSON (D-TN): We have to realize that we’re dealing with an institution, and institutions do not change very quickly. This institution has been rooted in white supremacy — has been rooted in patriarchy and injustice for a very long time and the ramifications of their decisions because they have been supporting a “mob-ocracy” instead of a democracy — have been hurting our democracy through anti-democratic behavior, such as our expulsions.

And so because we know this institution is not going to change in and of itself, we are relying on the people power movement that is multi-racial — that is intergenerational — that is lifting up the voices of the thousands and millions of Tennesseeans that want to see something done on gun safety — want to see something done on the issues that matter to our communities in both rural, suburban, and urban Tennessee.

POPPY HARLOW: Do you think, Representative Jones, that anything changes? I mean, I remember when you, speaking after all of this, you said, “We called for you all to ban assault weapons — you responded with an assault on democracy. And you weren’t willing to use this effort, this time, this power to talk about red flag laws,” and some of the other things you guys were calling for.

But you also vowed to be with the people every week demanding that you act. Do you have reason — because the body hasn’t significantly changed in terms of, you know, their politics. Do you have any reason to believe you can get some of this stuff done the second time around?

STATE REP. JUSTIN JONES (D-TN): I do. You know, this summer I’ve met with people from across the state, and the majority of Tennesseans — Republican, independent, Democrats — support common sense gun laws. The governor is calling for us to pass a red flag law — an NRA-endorsed governor — and so the tide is shifting here.

And there’s a generational shift. As I said back in April, the Republican supermajority of Tennessee has lost a generation. Gen Z has defined our generation, and they are rising up. They are organizing. I was with students yesterday making shirts saying, “Protect kids, not guns,” and they’re going to be having a rally tomorrow, in the House Republican Leader, William Lamberth’s district in Sumner County, a rural county.

And so Tennessee is shifting for the better. We’re building a multiracial democracy and multigenerational democracy — a multifaith democracy in our state. And either we’re going to change the laws here, or we’re going to change who’s in those seats in 2024. And this election — this election for us, special election is going to be that first step forward to show that attacks on democracy will not happen in the comfort of silence, and we’re going to protect our kids and not the gun industry.

HILL: Great to have both of you with us. Tennessee State Representatives Justin J. Pearson and Justin Jones, thank you both.



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