The Treatment of Black Men in America – Tennessee Representatives Expelled

The Treatment of Black Men in America - Tennessee Representatives Expelled

Oriane Dancler, Reporter

Being a young black man in America can be one of the hardest struggles. Having to deal with systematic racism, fear of racism, and stereotypes every day can bring a person down. Every odd is/can feel stacked against an African-American man. Even when a black man is being helpful to the world around them, people in the world still decide to kick them down.

On April 6, 2023, two members of the Tennessee House of Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were expelled for exercising their right to freedom of speech. The two representatives and their white colleague, Gloria Jones, were up for expulsion because of their involvement in a gun-violence protest following the Nashville school shooting. Exercising their freedom of speech unexpectedly resulted in expulsion; however, none of them regret what they have done even though they got expelled. Following the expulsion, Jones and Pearson gained national support notably from former President Obama and President Biden. Protests ensued outside the Tennessee courthouse to reinstate both Pearson and Jones on their separate vote days. Justin Jones was reinstated on Monday, April 10 and  Pearson followed two days after. 

 Freedom of speech is the right to speak, write, and share ideas, and opinions without facing punishment from the government. The First Amendment protects this right not just for one but for everyone in the US. The issue of the expulsion is a perfect example of how America treats young black men. An older white woman did the same offense as Pearson and Jones but the two who were expelled were men of color. America is built on seeing POCs as violent or harmful instead of helpful like Jones and Pearson were being. These two men were fighting against a big issue in our country that needs to be reevaluated. Young black men trying to help the world should not be put down. This moment happening is continuing stereotypes of black men being in trouble or not being able to do a job. Continuing these stereotypes is what is hurting how every young black man and child views themselves. Fighting for what you believe in should never be a punishment. The United States was built on being able to share opinions and be a free country. This country should not be able to pick and choose who gets individual rights.