NASHVILLE— State Representative Antonio Parkinson of Memphis released this statement on the comments made today, May 4, by Rep. Justin Lafferty on the Three-Fifths Compromise:

"Conversations around race are always very uncomfortable in the Tennessee legislature.  Rep. Lafferty's statement about how the Three-Fifths Compromise was designed to end slavery was alarming, but the real insult was when the House Republicans clapped for him when he finished his diatribe.

"What I appreciate about his soliloquy is the fact that he gave us his truth, his rationale as to why he was supporting the amendment to force teachers through law to whitewash historical events. This is exactly what needs to happen in our state. There is a need to have a conversation in truth in order to move our state forward."