Tennessee Republicans voted to expel two Black lawmakers — but not one white representative — from the state legislature in an unprecedented act of partisan retaliation for disrupting proceedings during a protest calling for gun control measures after six people, including three children were gunned down in a Nashville school less than two weeks ago.

“We called for you all to ban assault weapons, and you respond with an assault on democracy,” Rep. Justin Jones said on the floor before the vote to expel him. “Thank you for getting on the bus at 3 a.m. or 2:30 a.m. this morning … so that we can continue to elevate the issues in our community and those who we continue to lose,” Rep. Justin Pearson, the other expelled Black lawmaker, told the hundreds of protesters who gathered at the capital. The protesters, many of them children, teenagers, and parents, stood in drizzling weather, blowing whistles, chanting demands for gun control, and collectively screaming for more than three minutes straight.

“We are losing our democracy. We need to make sure that we stomp out this march to fascism,” Rep. Gloria Johnson, who was not expelled, told reporters. Asked why she was not expelled, Rep. Gloria Johnson told CNN, “I think it’s pretty clear: I’m a 60-year-old white woman. And they are two young Black men.” (Black lawmakers: Washington Post $, AP, The Tennessean, Slate, Politico, Vox, The Tennessean, CBS, The Hill, Forbes, Axios, New York Times $, Wall Street Journal $, Buzzfeed, Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN; Johnson fascism: CNN; Johnson racism: (CNN, Daily Beast, Washington Post $)