Reinstated Tennessee Democrat Compares GOP Leader To ‘The Devil’

The Tennessee state legislature has been in the news following a deadly school shooting in Nashville earlier this month.

When a trio of Democratic lawmakers staged a protest on the House floor in favor of gun control, GOP leaders reprimanded them for violating legislative rules. Two of the three — both of whom are Black — were subsequently expelled from the chamber.

While critics accused the Republicans who voted in favor of removing Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones of racism, they defended their actions by noting that the third lawmaker, Gloria Johnson, who was spared by a one-vote margin, did not cause as much disruption as her colleagues.

In the days since that vote, Pearson and Jones have both been temporarily reappointed by their respective districts but will face a special election to determine whether they will keep their seats permanently.

When Pearson was sworn into office on Thursday, he delivered remarks to supporters that, in part, reiterated his calls for new statewide restrictions on the Second Amendment.

“Unfortunately, the solution offered by the Republican Party in the state of Tennessee was to try and expel us, try and expel our voices, and silence our fight to end gun violence,” he asserted. “They worked to expel our constituents’ representation by subverting our democracy for their mobocracy, where their dollars and their egos rule. But our democracy is powered by people, and people power always wins.”

From there, he singled out House Speaker Cameron Sexton with a diatribe that compared the Republican to Satan.

“My mother says what the devil meant for bad, God meant for good,” Pearson continued. “God needed to reignite this movement to end gun violence. God needed to catalyze the conversation about anti-democratic behavior of the Republican Party in the state of Tennessee. God needed to wake us up to the reality of this moment that we’ve got a new generation, new ideas, new beliefs to guide us into the future.”

He then inserted the Republican leader’s name into the adage he attributed to his mother, stating: “So what Cameron Sexton meant for bad, God has turned into good.”