Tennessee state Rep. John DeBerry (D-Memphis) this week publicly told members of the state and national Democratic Party apparatus that politicians will no longer sacrifice their beliefs just to have a “D” behind their name.
DeBerry said this during an interview with the Brooklyn, New York-based The Tablet, which is that area’s newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese.
As The Tennessee Star reported in April, the majority White Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee voted 41-18, with two abstentions, to remove DeBerry, who is Black, from the ballot. This, because his views didn’t always fall in line with progressives — especially on abortion. DeBerry is now running as an independent.
“My views have never varied at all since the time I took the oath of office in 1995. Folks knew where I stood on abortion then. It was a contentious issue, even 26 years ago. And I spoke very clearly and plainly and succinctly about what I believe, the same thing my father and mother taught me. My mother protested against abortion in the late 60s, before it was approved in 1973. My father protested against it as part of the civil rights movement of that day,” DeBerry told the website.
“I have spoken against it, stood against it and preached against it my entire adult life. My views didn’t change. It is tragic and disturbing that the Democratic Party has moved in the direction to where they cannot tolerate what I believe and thousands of others believe when it comes to this issue to the extent that they say the tent is too small and we are unwelcome under the tent of the Democratic Party.”
DeBerry said the Democratic Party now excludes people with pro-life views.
“There are the billboards that have been placed up around Shelby County, the radio ads, the despicable language that has been used against me and my faith. It really and seriously points to the fact that it’s about my pro-life views,” DeBerry said.
“That is the issue that is driving them to exclude people like myself, and I can’t help but say Christian people because that’s where our beliefs come from.”
During the interview, DeBerry said it’s important “to protect the life of the unborn and to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves.”
“Because of their place of residency, they reside in the wombs of their mothers. This ought to be the safest place on Earth for a child,” DeBerry said.
“But, because of their place of residency, they are not given constitutional rights.”
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