Tennessee State Rep. John DeBerry: Progressives Use ‘Despicable Language’ Against Him and His Faith


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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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “John DeBerry” by Current News.







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9 Thoughts to “Tennessee State Rep. John DeBerry: Progressives Use ‘Despicable Language’ Against Him and His Faith”

  1. Ron Welch

    “Sometimes party loyalty asks too much.” –John F. Kennedy

  2. karen bracken

    The people that have voted for Rep. DeBerry voted for the man because of who he is, not because he had a D after his name. I predict he will win as an Independent by a land slide. I do not always agree with Rep. DeBerry, especially as it pertains to education but I have always respected the fact that he stands up for what he believes and doesn’t cave to the demands of any party.

  3. Rick Lawson

    We need more brave men with the courage of John DeBerry! It’s not about the donkey, and it’s not about the elephant. It’s about the Lamb! Keep fighting the good fight. If the voters don’t vote you into office, despite the underhanded Democrat scheming, then they don’t deserve to be represented by you!

  4. William Delzell

    If De Berry choses to be a conservative, he is always free to switch parties from Democrat to Republicans. That is one of the few freedoms that the U.S. offers its candidates and voters that they cannot find in other countries. If De Berry doesn’t like progressivism, he should be honest enough to change his party affiliation to Tea Party Republican. At least Mitch McConnel is honest about HIS party affiliation!

    1. 83ragtop50

      Just maybe Mr. DeBerry’s desire is to return the Democrat party to a more moderate position. Why should he be required to leave the “Big Tent Party”? The big tent has become an ice cold and very small wigwam of tribalism.

      1. Ron Welch

        Well said, 83ragtop50.

  5. Tim Price

    Anyone should view this as an attack on DeBerry’s First Amendment rights as well as an example of Democrats lack of tolerance for opposing ideas. Also just another way for Democrats to get a another radical in Tennessee government.

  6. Ron Welch

    I thought that Democrats supported diversity and tolerance–NOT!

    Thinking back to Democrats I once supported, today’s Democratic Party would also treat John F. Kennedy, a true classical liberal who a ran for President on an “America First” foreign policy, the same way. For example, Bernie Sanders once said that “Kennedy’s anti-communism made him sick.”

    You’re in good company Brother John DeBerry.

  7. rick

    John DeBerry, is a statesman and a good man. He is very much needed by all citizens.