We often invoke the expression “What’s past is prologue” to suggest the continuity of the Black experience from one generation to another. Well, a good example of that occurred recently in the Republican-led Tennessee House when two representatives thrust their fists in defiance after being banished for supporting gun control.
No, Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were not on the victory podium like Tommy Smith and John Carlos were in Mexico during the Olympics, but their action, along with brandishing bullhorns on the state House floor resonated with a similar conviction and determination.
They were joined by a white woman Rep. Gloria Johnson, who was not removed from the House, which drew accusations of racism.
This incident comes in the wake of notable Democratic victories in Wisconsin and Chicago, where Brandon Johnson became the Mayor-elect. The expelled Justin Jones has been reinstated, and there’s a good chance Justin Pearson will also return to his seat after a vote by the Memphis commission.
As we move closer and closer to the 2024 elections—and Biden, who has not announced a rerun, though he has told some friends he will—all of these positive developments should not be ignored by the Democratic National Convention. The other day Biden announced that the convention will be held in Chicago which is another indication of the past is prologue.
In several ways the election date is way down the road, but it will be here sooner than you expect. Either way, the DNC has to take advantage of the energy and political savvy employed in Tennessee and make sure an impetus is given to the increasing number of young citizens poised to enter the political arena.