‘Our vote doesn’t matter’: Black Tennessee residents frustrated over expulsion of legislators


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Democratic residents in the former districts of Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson expressed outrage at state Republicans for ousting the representatives they had voted into office.

Former Rep. Justin Jones gestures to supporters during a vote on his expulsion at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville on Thursday.
Photo Credit – Seth Herald

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Outside a Kroger grocery store in the suburban Antioch neighborhood, where ousted Justin Jones held rallies during his 2022 campaign, Black residents expressed outrage at the state Republicans who expelled their state representative for protesting gun violence last week.

“He’s Black, he has our interests at heart, and he gets removed for protesting. That is racial,” Angelo Tate, 31, who identifies as a Democrat, said Friday. “It makes us feel like our choice and our voice is not valued and we seem to be moving backwards politically.”

Rachel Tate, 30, who also identifies as a Democrat, said, “It’s messed up. All he wanted to do was represent us and he got penalized for it. 

“White men don’t care what we think,” Tate said. “They took our representative away from us.

“It’s like our vote doesn’t matter.”

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Historically, black voters have been disenfranchised

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