By Mike Sparks
I was elated to see that former Tennessee Representative John DeBerry will be speaking to speak at World Outreach Church Wednesday, September 28 at 6:30pm. The former 26-year Tennessee State lawmaker is currently serving as a Senior Advisor to Governor Bill Lee.
Sadly, the Tennessee Democratic Party voted to remove DeBerry as a Democratic candidate from the August 2020 primary ballot in a 41-18 vote with two abstentions.
Many may not know the political persecution that former representative John DeBerry endured in 2020. DeBerry who represented District 90 in Memphis for 26 years. His removal from the ballot by the Tennessee Democrat Party blatantly suppressed the voting rights of African-Americans in Shelby County. Isn’t it ironic that we don’t hear that in the mainstream media. Where’s CNN, MSNBC or The View?
DeBerry’s removal simply doesn’t fit the ‘narrative’ that mainstream, media wants to spin daily.
Throughout all the trials and tribulations he’s suffered DeBerry has remained faithful to his values that he held when he first was elected to the Tennesee General Assembly.
Interesting John DeBerry Facts:
*DeBerry has served as a Memphis Democrat for 26 years.
*DeBerry once marched in Memphis protest with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
*DeBerry was in the audience as a young boy with his father when Dr. King gave his Montain Top Speech
*Deberry represented District 90 from 1995 to 2021
The first week when I was first elected to the Tennessee General Assembly I called Rep. DeBerry’s office and asked for a meeting to get some advice from him. We had a great conversation. He was very open and eager to offer me some wisdom and guidance. He spoke about Dr. King’s legacy and his own personally experience with his late father John DeBerry senior. John often speaks of his father with a look of endearment in his eye.
Related: Sparks: DeBerry’s ouster proof of Democrats’ intolerance
In a statement issued, DeBerry said he was appreciative to everyone who supported him during his time in the legislature.
“The Tennessee Democratic Party has decided that a 26-year Representative that spent 12 years as a committee chairman, conducted himself with integrity, served the party well, sponsored meaningful legislation and built bridges across the aisle to get bills passed is no longer a Democrat. And so, I’m not,” said John
Related: Former CNN reporter Roland Martin questioning the Tennessee Democrat Party’s actions
The Tennessee Democratic Party executive committee took up five challenges to candidates and all passed, said Emily Cupples, a spokesperson for the party.
To many people’s surprise Governor Bill Lee appointed DeBerry to serve as an advisor to the governor. Governor Lee said,
“John DeBerry is a respected leader and man of faith who has served our state with integrity for decades as both a legislator and civil rights champion. He has fought to protect life, provide better education options for Tennessee students, and to reform our criminal justice system. Rep. DeBerry also is minister to a Memphis church and also speaks to churches and organizations across the country.”
The evil actions of voter suppression by the Tennessee Democrat Party reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures is in Genesis 50:20,
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Sadly, the violence in Memphis has become rampant. Recently Eliza Fletcher, a 34-year-old school teacher who police say was abducted and killed by Cleotha Henderson on her morning jog on Sept. 2 across from the University of Memphis.
Memphis has been ranked as the most dangerous city in the United States, according to a 24/7 Wall St. study using FBI statistics.
Memphis is also ranked with the second highest homicide rate than any U.S. metro area. In 2019, there were 237 homicides reported. That number climbed to 327 in 2020, which is about a 38 percent increase. So far this year, more homicides have already been reported than in 2020.
The irony is that the actions by The Tennessee Democrat Party to silence Deberry’s voice was only amplified when Governor Lee hired him to be an advisor to his administration.
John DeBerry is the first African-American to serve on the first floor of the Tennessee State Capitol. I’m still waiting on the mainstream media, CNN, MSNBC or The View to tell DeBerry’s story…Until that happens I will continue to tell it.