NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 19, 2016: Congressman/Civil Rights Icon John Lewis views for the first time images and his arrest record for leading a nonviolent sit-in at Nashville's segregated lunch counters, March 5, 1963. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Column: They shall not pass this way again

BY: - July 20, 2020

Words are hardly sufficient to describe the pain and loss of Friday. First came the news that the Rev. C.T. Vivian had died at the age of 95. Less than 12 hours later, the news that U.S. Rep. John Lewis had died was a gut-punch of an exclamation point to what has become a surreal […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Commentary: What the prenatal care bill means for incarcerated pregnant Tennesseans.

BY: - July 20, 2020

Imagine being pregnant — you’re thinking about your child’s health and nutrition and your own health and safety. Now imagine being pregnant in jail or prison in Tennessee, where policies around prenatal care and nutrition are as varied as the county jails and prisons across the state. “Being pregnant and incarcerated was the hardest thing […]

A mural of Freedom Riders painted by artist Michael Cooper on Jefferson Street, just under I-40. (Photo: Theron Corse/

Commentary: “A tourniquet of concrete”

BY: - July 13, 2020

Tennessee appears set to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust at the State Capitol. This move was long overdue—Mississippi managed to remove their Confederate symbol before we did—but it is a significant victory, especially for the activists who have long pushed for this change.  Much work remains to be done, though. Another tangible symbol of […]

Butch Eley, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, leads Thursday's meeting of the Tennessee Capitol Commission. (Photo: Tennessee Capitol Commission video)

Commentary: Forrest debate has wasted time, marred Tennessee’s reputation

BY: - July 10, 2020

Thursday was a momentous day in Tennessee, more momentous than it should have been, for a decision was reached that should never have been difficult.  The Tennessee Capitol Commission voted to remove the bust of Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest from its perch on the second floor of the Capitol.  Much pain and drama […]

A screenshot of GOP Senate candidate Bill Hagerty's twitter feed. (Photo: Twitter)

Commentary: Home invasion

BY: - July 8, 2020

We can think of what Donald Trump has done to the Republican Party over the last four years as a perverse sort of home invasion: He kicked in the door, forced his way in, tied up the occupants, grabbed the silver, and busted up the place. Did the victims summon assistance? Did they call 911? […]

A Tennessee Highway Patrol officer at a recent protest outside the Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Alex Kent)

Commentary: It’s time to reallocate law enforcement resources

BY: - July 6, 2020

Over the past few weeks, I have watched as the sentiment of “Defund the Police” has broadened throughout the country. At first, this idea was off-putting to me and I was frustrated “all” law enforcement-related jobs were being villainized by the absolute horrendous actions of a few. Throughout Nashville and this nation, there are excellent […]

A woman stands beside the empty pedestal where a statue of J. Marion Sims, a surgeon celebrated by many as the father of modern gynecology, was taken down from its pedestal at Central Park and East 103rd Street on April 17, 2018 in New York City. A New York City panel decided to move the controversial statue after groups demanded its removal as many of Sims medical breakthroughs came from experimenting on black slaves without anesthesia. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Commentary: Tennessee’s sweeping abortion ban will kill Black women and girls

BY: - June 30, 2020

I went to bed the night before Juneteenth ready to wake up and commemorate the freedom of African people in America from chattel slavery. I was anticipating celebrating how far we’ve come despite our intersectional oppression. I wanted to remember the history of African women during the slave trade, who were tragically abused and robbed […]

Tennessee House of Representatives Chambers (Photo: Tennessee Secretary of State)

Commentary: Green and Van Huss Unmasked as Disinformation Purveyors

BY: - June 29, 2020

As June drew to a close two Tennessee Republicans, one congressman and one state legislator, unmasked themselves as purveyors of pandemic misinformation mixed with unhealthy doses of blather. On Friday, June 26, Congressman Mark Green led a Republican refuse-to-wear-masks revolt at an in-person oversight subcommittee hearing.  Green represents Tennessee’s 7th District.  He formerly served in the […]

Williamson County seal.

Commentary: Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die

BY: - June 26, 2020

The Civil War ended 155 years ago but controversy about its ramifications continues across the country and nowhere is it more prevalent than in the South, the area that – let’s be honest – started the war of insurrection.  Before continuing, I’ll share my own history. My McCall ancestors moved to Williamson County in the […]

Commentary: Islamaphobia in Tennessee is nothing new

BY: - June 25, 2020

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Tennessee ranks second in the nation for largest number of hate groups with 38 based here, four of which are dedicated anti-Muslim groups.  The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that exposes extremism and delivers anti-bias education, says that from 2018 on, Tennessee has experienced more white supremacist incidents than […]

Tennessee House of Representatives Chambers (iStock Editorial/Getty Images)

Commentary: State legislature fails us

BY: - June 22, 2020

Now that our state legislature has finished its session, it’s time to tally the damage—not only from what Tennessee legislators did in our name, but also from what they failed to do.  Let’s start with the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the legislature and Governor Bill Lee were hell bent on ignoring expert-crafted health safety precautions, despite […]

Tennessee House of Representatives Chambers (iStock Editorial/Getty Images)

Commentary: Legislature lacks basic human decency

BY: - June 19, 2020

Let’s cut right to the chase.  There’s a lack of basic common, human decency in the legislature.  For the last five or six years, Tennessee political watchers have observed the General Assembly devolve. Members have been expelled for campaign finance malfeasance, accused of sexual harassment or assault and too often laws pursued have focused less […]