an extraordinary act of political retribution in tennessee

Last week, Tennessee’s Republican-controlled House expelled two of its members — both young Black Democrats.

Emily Cochrane, a national correspondent for The New York Times, explains the story behind the extraordinary ousting and what it tells us about this moment in American politics.

Emily Cochrane, a national correspondent for The New York Times covering the American South.

The two expelled lawmakers, both young, Black men, are raising their fists in protest. In the foreground, Justin Jones is wearing a white suit with a brown tie, and in the background, Justin Pearson is wearing a black suit. They are both sitting in their seats at the Tennessee House.
The expelled lawmakers, Rep. Justin Pearson and Rep. Justin Jones raise their fists as a video of last week’s gun control demonstration at the statehouse is screened in Nashville.Cheney Orr/Reuters

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Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

Special thanks to William Davis.

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