- David Plazas is Director of Opinion and Co-op for the USA TODAY Network – Tennessee.
When Middle Tennessee State University associate professor Seiko Franklin scheduled the Votes of Tennessee podcast on December 4, the Electoral College in each state had yet to meet to certify the results of the presidential election.
By the time we finally recorded this conversation on the afternoon of January 13, the Electoral College confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, several Republican members of Congress objected to the electoral vote count, an angry mob surrounded the US Capitol and President Donald and the US House of Representatives impeached Trump for a second time.
Franklin teaches political science and international relations at MTSU and is president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. A Nashville resident, he is also a community activist, particularly on issues related to increasing voter participation and combating voter suppression.
We’ve talked about accountability, whether Americans can unite under a new president and how state legislatures this year might try to push ahead with tougher voter laws due to the results of the 2020 election and COVID-19 adjustments to mail-in ballots, for example.
Franklin addressed white supremacy in America and responded to the comparisons made by some Trump advocates of the January 6 insurrection to the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
He also shared how he runs his classroom and how he works to find common ground with students from all political spectrums.
Editorial by Seiko Franklin:The next Nashville metro board will have a redistricting battle in its own hands
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David Plazas is director of opinion and engagement at USA TODAY Network Tennessee and member of the editorial board of The Tennessean. Tweet him on @davidplazas.