The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland is condemning the expulsion of the two Tennessee House Democrats.
On the House floor in Annapolis on Friday, Del. Jheanelle Wilkins demanded the reinstatement of Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson after they were expelled for rallying for stricter gun control.
“I rise because the members of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland are stunned,” Wilkins said. “Stunned by the actions that have taken place in Tennessee.”
The 65-member caucus said the expulsion of two Black members while sparing a white member demonstrates a deep-seated racism that will not be tolerated in Maryland’s General Assembly.
Wilkins said that even though the rules of the legislative process state the majority must prevail, that respect and protections are given to the rights of the minority in the chamber.
“We must always work to defend and protect each other and ensure that there’s fairness and due process for everyone,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins asserted that the issue is bigger than two expelled members in Tennessee, saying it’s about the right of free speech and to peacefully protest.
“The ability of us to conduct business in this house … relies on fairness and due process,” she said.