Elect Black Women

“Good leadership tends to be people who have lived the hurt and the pain of terrible legislation.” Ruby Powell-Dennis of Elect Black Women PAC on #ACaseOfTheMundays talking about why it’s crucial to elect Black women for competent leadership.

Support Elect Black Women PAC

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

 

Want Expertise? Come Holler At Us

“When you see us you shouldn’t just think of Black issues. If you want to think about climate issues, economic issues…come holler at us.”

Odessa Kelly, Executive Director of Stand Up Nashville, with Charlane and Tequila on #PorchPolitics talking about the broad expertise of the Black community.

Charlane and Tequila are Co-Founders and Co-Executive Directors of The Equity Alliance.

Porch Politics is recorded LIVE from our porch every other Thursday at 6 pm CT. You can stream it on The Tennessee Holler or wait for it to drop as a podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever else you like to listen.

Rep Sexton’s Racist Tirade

“It goes against OUR people and OUR culture.”

At a budget meeting, Rep. Jerry Sexton rips off the mask/hood and lashes out about having Diversity and Inclusion positions in state government, calling it “propaganda.”

 

Senator Lundberg’s Self Own

State Senator Jon Lundberg walks right into a trap set by News 5 WCYB’s Caleb Perhne and ends up ACCIDENTALLY AGREEING that the government doesn’t have the right to dictate what kind of protest should be allowed when discussing the ETSU basketball players kneeling in protest.

 

Rosa Parks and Tennessee

For Black History Month and in honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday (February 4th!), we take a look at her life, including the importance the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee had on her life and activism. Another connection Parks had to Tennessee were the words spoken by then-Senator Frist as she was lying in state in the US Capitol Rotunda.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

TNGOP Doesn’t Care About Athletes’ First Amendment Rights

“Put the word out… ATHLETES — if you’re gonna go play in Tennessee, don’t bring your first amendment rights.” Kanew on #HollerHour talking about how the sports world should react to the TNGOP telling TN schools to “PROHIBIT” peacefully kneeling during the anthem.

 

Wallen & Combs Should Call for The TN Capitol’s KKK Statue To Be Removed

OPINION: Country Stars Wallen & Combs Should Call for The TN Capitol’s KKK Statue To Be Removed

By

Justin Kanew

By now most of you have seen the recent video of Morgan Wallen using the “N word” in Nashville, which shook the country music world.

His label dropped him. Radio stations stopped playing his songs. The fallout was significant. 

This opinion piece by Charlane Oliver of the Equity Alliance tackles the racial significance of the incident as it pertains to country music. It’s a worthwhile read.

Now this week we heard from another country star, Luke Combs, who says “there’s no excuse” for his use of Confederate flag imagery in his performances, and acknowledges the hurt and pain it caused.

Both artists are apologetic, and seek forgiveness. But apologies are easy. There’s another step they could take that would help bring about some actual progress – not only in country music, but in Nashville specifically, Tennessee in general, and America as a whole.

They could speak out about the KKK Grand Wizard statue that still sits prominently in our capitol.

Yes, you heard that right – Tennessee still holds a statue of the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest, in a place of prominence in the state capitol building. Forrest was a Confederate General who led the Fort Pillow Massacre, during which many black Union soldiers were slaughtered even after surrender, then went on to become the KKK’s first Grand Wizard.

Defenders of the Forrest bust claim he was eventually reformed. That he changed his tune in his later years. Regardless of the veracity of that claim, they can’t erase the harm he caused, and what he represents to the many black Tennesseans who have been calling for the statue’s removal.

Legislators like Rep. Mike Sparks, who refuses to even admit the Civil War was fought over slavery, say they’re against “whitewashing history” – ignoring the fact that it’s the statues themselves that whitewash history, treating Confederate generals who rose up against our country as heroes.

There’s a reason KKK members posed proudly with the statue when it was erected.

The fight to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue has been going on for years. There have been countless protests. Pastors, students, activists, and legislators have all made their voices heard… but still it remains.

Last year a big hurdle was overcome, as the Tennessee State Capitol Commission finally voted to move it despite “NO” votes from Senator Jack Johnson on behalf of the TN Senate Republican caucus and Rep. Matthew Hill on behalf of the TN House Republican caucus.

The next step was supposed to come this week, when the Tennessee Historical Commission was scheduled to vote on the Capitol Commission’s recommendation, but because of the cold weather it has been delayed until March 9th.

Meanwhile, Lt. Governor Randy Mcnally and Speaker Cameron Sexton have been busy trying to delay it even further, claiming the issue isn’t properly before the Historical Commission and asking the attorney general to weigh in with an opinion.

Delay, delay, delay. It’s obvious Mcnally and Sexton and their caucuses are doing all they can to keep this hurtful statue in place because the cries of black Tennesseans and their allies are not enough.

But what if they were to hear from entirely different voices? What if Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs were to show they truly do understand how much pain their words and actions have caused, and speak out about the bust, encouraging Mcnally and Sexton to drop their challenge to its removal, and asking the Historical commission to vote to remove it once and for all?

It would be a healing moment for country music, our state, and their souls.

“These elected officials aren’t listening to black Tennesseans,” says Pastor Chris Williamson of Strong Tower Bible Church, who has been involved with the statue issue for quite some time, and recently spoke out about it at a hearing. “They aren’t even listening to their black colleagues who have to walk by that statue every day and be reminded of what it represents. Maybe white country music stars are exactly who they need to hear from. Words of encouragement from Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs for them to do the right thing could go a long way.”

A long way indeed.

Taking a position on this controversial topic probably wouldn’t be easy for country music stars like Wallen & Combs. But very often doing the right thing isn’t.

 

Justin Kanew is the founder of the Tennessee Holler. Foller him on Twitter here.

TNGOP Hypocrites Outdo Themselves on MLK Day

Few things are more disgraceful than Tennessee Republican Party legislators claiming to appreciate MLK on this day every year when they spend the other 364 fighting against everything he stood for. Here are some examples of their glaring hypocrisy and some quotes reflecting what MLK actually stood for.

One of our all-time favorites, Rev. Dr. William Barber calls out Governor Lee…with Lee sitting right behind him:

 

 

Governor Bill Lee:

 

 

Rep. Mark Green:

 

 

Senator Blackburn:

 

 

Rep. John Rose:

 

 

State Rep. Lamberth:

 

 

Rep. Faison:

 

 

Rep. Kelsey:

 

 

Here are a couple of quotes that you’ll never see Republicans use in their disingenuous tributes:

 

The Power of Restoring Voting Rights

Your favorite democracy duo is back with another electric episode featuring Desmond Meade of Florida Rights Restoration and The Equity Alliance Direct Impact Fellows: Terrance Simpson, Big Fridge, Robert Sherrill, and Daniel Westbrooks. Participants share how their personal stories of challenge and triumph have led them to be community leaders, entrepreneurs, and voting rights restoration advocates.

Charlane and Tequila are Co-Founders and Co-Executive Directors of The Equity Alliance.

Porch Politics is recorded LIVE from our porch every other Thursday at 6 pm CT. You can stream it on The Tennessee Holler or wait for it to drop as a podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever else you like to listen.

The Freedom to Just Be Black

“It’s like people assume that because we’re polished that white people are behind it…no, WE did that.”
Charlane Oliver and Tequila Johnson talk about creating The Equity Alliance on their Four Year Anniversary #PorchPolitics special.