100 Black Men of America, Inc. Responds to the Expulsion of Tennessee Legislators

Atlanta, GA – April 11, 2023 - On April 3, 2023, members of the Tennessee House of Representatives brought resolutions to expel Rep. Gloria Johnson, Rep. Justin Jones, and Rep. Justin Pearson from the State Legislature. The resolutions followed protests by the three lawmakers peacefully concerning gun policies from the House floor three days after the Nashville school shooting that left six people dead, including three children. Two of out the three resolutions passed, which resulted in Rep. Jones and Pearson, both African Americans, being expelled.

Since that action, the 100 Black Men of America has met and consulted with our Chapters in Memphis and Nashville and members of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators. Our goal: to lend our support, understand how best to support Rep. Jones and Rep. Pearson, and most importantly, how best to add our voice and our action in support of the reinstatement of both of them AND to the underlying policy they were advocating.


To those ends, responsible legislatures around our country must stop denying the unimpeachable fact that U.S. civilians have the highest rate in the world of firearms per 100 people.  Among 64 high-income countries and territories, the U.S. ranks 8th out of 64 for homicides by firearm, and two U.S. territories rank first and third on the list. The common refrain by those against sensible gun safety laws is that guns don’t kill people, people do, without the same passion and persistent for helping those people whom they blame.  Yet, cars and people cause automobile deaths; people are licensed and cars are licensed and registered. Drugs and people cause overdose deaths; people who prescribe medication are licensed and drugs are regulated.

Expelling two lawmakers for amplifying the voices of their constituents in a peaceful, non-violent manner undermines our very own democracy as a nation. The extreme actions of “expulsion” as taken by the Tennessee House of Representatives is unprecedented and rarely used as it strips a community of voters the rightful representation of the people, they elected to represent them.

100 Black Men of America is calling on Tennesseans to stand up, speak out, and allow your voice to be heard not only on this attack of our Democracy, but on this attack on our communities. As an organization focusing on mentoring youth and providing role models for our young people to emulate, we find it laudable that these two rising community activists rose to the occasion to address the very injustices that affect the communities our members serve and uplift every day.

As for gun safety legislation, in 2020, over 45,000 were killed in the U.S. from gun-related injuries.  With each passing day, more and more fellow Americans are killed in mass shooting, with thoughts and prayers as the response and let’s not talk about it now as the reason for taking little to no action on gun safety regulations. We should start asking legislators around the country, what’s your number?  How many have to be killed in a mass shooting before you say, now is the time to talk? We know that 27 Americans at Sandy Hook Elementary were not worthy of their attention.  And, for Tennessee, we know that Tennessee has one of the worst homicides by firearm rates in the U.S.  Instead of focusing on responsible gun safety legislation, the Tennessee House has decided to expel those seeking to save the lives of fellow Tennesseans. While voting to expel Rep. Jones and Rep. Pearson, did the Tennessee House share how many Tennesseans have to die by gun violence before they will take action? Just tell us, your number so that we can assess how many Tennessee souls the legislature are willing to sacrifice.  That will permit the electorate to know just how many people must die before they are prepared to act and vote accordingly.

As a part of our continued advocacy to address issues supporting sensible gun laws, we are clear that public opinion alone will not cause legislation to be enacted into law. That is why 100 Black Men of America has partnered with The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and others, to support, act, and engage with various constituent groups and voices to address the root causes of gun violence that plague our communities to convene our Brother to Brother summit to be held in Atlanta, Georgia.  This is not a summit about talk and those participating must understand that action will be the result. 

In case anyone wants to know, the 100 Black Men of America’s number is ZERO.  We don’t need another person to be killed before acting. The nation is watching the State of Tennessee. What’s your number?  Are you only capable of expelling fellow legislators or are you to capable of the bravery it takes to protect the lives of your citizens.  Remember guns and people kill people and both should be regulated.

100 Black Men of America, Inc.
100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
100 Black Men of Memphis, Inc.

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Media Contact
Telain Ware
100 Black Men of America, Inc.
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