Fred Klonsky: Tennessee Legislature Revives Memories of the End of Reconstruction and the Birth of Jim Crow

Diane Ravitch's blog

Fred Klonsky is a retired teacher who blogs regularly about Chicago, Illinois, the nation, politics, and culture. In this post, he draws an interesting comparison between the recent expulsion of two Black legislators in Tennessee and events concurrent with the end of the Reconstruction era and the reign of Jim Crow. There is this difference: The two ousted members are very likely to be restored to their seats in the legislature by their local elected officials. The Tennessee Three are now national figures revealing the fascist hand in the iron glove of the Republican Party when it has the majority.

Robert Smalls, Congressman during Reconstruction.

The expulsion of Rep. Justin Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson from the Tennessee legislature has a direct historical link to the overthrow of real democracy and Reconstruction following the Civil War.

On May 13, 1862 an enslaved man named Robert Smalls, who labored on a…

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