By Mike Sparks
I had a good, yet surreal conversation with Representative John DeBerry today. We were talking about how America is changing and that our civil liberties and freedoms are slowly being encroached upon.
As many are aware the Tennessee Democrat Executive Committee voted to take Rep. DeBerry’s name off the ballot, thus usurping the people’s right to vote.
See Dr.Carol Swain’s commentary in The Tennessee Star: http://Carol Swain Commentary: Ditching Rep. DeBerry Shows the True Colors of the Tennessee Democratic Party
John is no doubt a man of strong faith who cares deeply for his community of Memphis and our state. I spoke to other members of the Black caucus about what happened to John and they are very upset. (Ironically, the ACLU and NAACP are silent-Move Along Nothing to See Here) I mentioned the poem, “First They Came,” by Pastor Martin Niemöller who lived through Nazi Germany.
On a prayer caucus conference call last week with a dozen other legislators, someone (I think Sen. Janice Bowling) asked, “John, how are you doing?” John responded and started to get chocked up with emotion.
We should ask ourselves – What is happening to this country when a few elitist can decide who can run for office or not? Rep. DeBerry has represented the 65,000 people of the 90th district in Memphis for 26 years, he knows his community better than anyone in that district. They know they can’t beat him at the ballot box so they had to “methodically ambush” him…. Folks, “Wake Up” to what is slowly happening in our country and our state. This isn’t California, Illinois or New York – It’s happening here in Tennessee.
Rep. John DeBerry, I would argue is the closest person to representing Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. and his values today.
See Memphis Flyer article by Jackson Baker: https://www.memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2020/04/10/rep-deberry-to-appeal-removal-from-democratic-ballot-has-black-caucus-support
As many know DeBerry marched with Dr. King as a young man and was at the “I Have a Dream” speech in D.C.