From its long history of slavery, suppression of women’s suffrage, and black and poor voter-disenfranchisement, to the George Rekers rentboy scandal, to last week’s racist epithets thrown by a state senator, to the racial slaying and dragging of a black man by his white co-worker, South Carolina has become the epicenter of everything that’s wrong with America.
Now, before you go all Confederate on me, and tell me it’s unfair to blame an entire state for the actions of just a few, I’ll agree, but I’ll also blame the people of South Carolina (who number slightly more than half the population of New York City,) for allowing the same ugly events to happen again and again. At some point, citizens have to stand up and say, “Enough!”
Perhaps South Carolina will change its tourism slogan from “Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places,” to “Yeah, Mark Sanford isn’t the only bad thing here.”
Let’s take a quick look at some of what has happened in the way of hate and bigotry since South Carolina was born, to today.
Thomas Jefferson planned to denounce slavery in the Declaration of Independence, but removed those references to ensure South Carolina joined the Union.
Slavery was such a part of South Carolina in the late 1600s, that in less than fifty years, the people of South Carolina exported almost fifty-thousand captured American Indians and sold them as slaves, so they could buy more African slaves, who were deemed more knowledgeable and skilled.
Despite the gift of allowing slavery to exist to ensure South Carolina join the Union, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. Had our Founding Fathers the gumption to stick to their guns, the entire slavery industry and the civil war might not have existed.
Long after the Civil War, South Carolina disenfranchised the majority of its black and poor voters, and was the second-to-last state to ratify and implement the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, a full forty-nine years after the Amendment became law.
Today, many South Carolinians want to stay true to their Confederate, secessionist, racist, slavery-supporting heritage. That’s why, “[l]ess than half of the candidates running for South Carolina governor say they would consider moving the Confederate flag that flies in front of the South Carolina Statehouse; none of the candidates say they would.”
In the twenty-first century, flying the Confederate flag, a symbol of secession, racism, and slavery, is unacceptable and un-American.
You know what else is un-American? Yelling “You lie!’ at the President of the United States during a joint session of Congress. That line in the sand, throwing away centuries of respect and decorum, was drawn by South Carolina’s Representative Joe Wilson. Wilson has uttered other controversial epithets and lies in the past, including calling the fact that former Senator and presidential candidate Strom Thurmond fathered an out-of-wedlock daughter via an interracial affair a “smear.”
Congressmen like Joe Wilson would do well to remember that “representative” is part of their official title, and responsibilities.
Another Congressman from South Carolina has faced the ludicrous assignation of being censured, twice, for being too bi-partisian. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was censured by his own party in his own state “because of his work with Democrats on immigration and climate change.”
Being too bi-partisan is not Senator Graham’s only problem. The head of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) thinks Graham is gay, and has no problem saying so, and saying it’s a problem.
“I hope this secret it isn’t being used as leverage over Senator Graham, so today I think Senator Graham, you need to come forward and tell people about your alternative lifestyle and your homosexuality.”
I know that George Rekers reference up top may have intrigued you, so I’ll remind you that rentboy-renting, long-stroke and rubdown-receiving George Rekers is a professor, emeritus, of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Figures.
You know what else figures? South Carolina is going to cut its entire HIV/AIDS budget. Tough times call for tough measures, especially against gay people, I guess…
South Carolina’s disgraced Governor Mark Sanford is a member of “The Family,” an extreme right-wing religious group that preaches politicians should stay in power at all costs. He is a man who embarrassed himself time and again, and, just one year ago this month, made the term “hiking the Appalachian Trail” a euphemism for having an extra-marital affair with a woman in South America. Surprisingly, Sanford has ridden out the tough times and calls for his impeachment, most likely because he is term-limited and cannot run again for governor.
(Rachel Maddow had a few hings to say last year about Governor Mark Sanford’s hypocrisy.)
Sanford was forced to resign as head of the Republican Governors Association after admitting to the affair. Sanford, now divorced due to his affair, also was unanimously censured in lieu of being impeached, but was never brought up on charges for misuse of state funds or his trips to Argentina.
Speaking of state funds, the Governor himself, while finding it acceptable to bill the citizens of his state for illicit affairs, did not think it acceptable to accept federal government stimulus funds, despite the fact that his state “ranks #2 in unemployment, and #11 in child homelessness.” The Governor also did not think it acceptable back in 2008 to pay for ads his tourism board had run, touting “South Carolina is so gay.”
Mark Sanford has a unique sense of what is and is not acceptable.
You remember that horrible, endless airport “press conference?” That was bad. So were Sanford’s Lieutenant Governor’s despicable statements early this year about the poor.
Now, remember, in January, South Carolina had one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country, 12.6%. Which prompted Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer to state,
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals.
“You know why? Because they breed.
“You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”
No wonder Sanford didn’t get impeached. That ignorant asshat is what would have been running the state if Sanford were gone.
I suppose I should in all fairness mention that that ignorant asshat has also been accused of being in the closet, supposedly by activist Mike Rogers, but later it was reported the accusations came from, yes, Governor Mark Sanford.
Sadly, the morality morass in South Carolina gets worse. Much worse.
On Thursday of last week, South Carolina Republican State Senator Jake Knotts called Nikki Haley, an American of Indian descent running for Governor, a “fucking raghead,” during an interview taped at a local bar. (It should be noted most media outlets did not report the “fucking” portion of his comments.)
The Columbia, South Carolina Free Times reports,
With a bead of sweat rolling down the side of his face outside a Columbia bar, Republican S.C. Sen. Jake Knotts called Lexington Rep. Nikki Haley, an Indian-American Republican woman running for governor, a “raghead” several times while explaining how he believed she was hiding her true religion from voters.
“She’s a f#!king raghead,” Knotts said.
He later clarified his statement. He did not mean to use the F-word.
Knotts says he believed Haley has been set up by a network of Sikhs and was programmed to run for governor of South Carolina by outside influences in foreign countries. He claims she is hiding her religion and he wants the voters to know about it.
“We got a raghead in Washington; we don’t need one in South Carolina,” Knotts said more than once. “She’s a raghead that’s ashamed of her religion trying to hide it behind being Methodist for political reasons.”
Later, the America Foreign Press reported this “apology” from Knotts:
“Since my intended humorous context was lost in translation, I apologize,” Knotts said. “I still believe Ms Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I apologize to both for an unintended slur.”
Haley, for whom Sarah Palin has recorded robocalls, has been accused by two men of having extra-marital affairs with each of them. She denies the charges and, in an act just one step better than the man who endorses her, Mark Sanford, has offered to resign the Governorship, should she win and it be proven she has had any affair.
That’s a relief.
But wait, there’s more.
As if everything I just wrote wasn’t bad enough, this, my friends, is where it gets disgusting, and disgusting for two reasons. The first is that this atrocity happened, the second is that it’s not being covered much by the main stream media.
Also last week in South Carolina, days before Knotts’ racist “raghead” remarks were made, Gregory Collins, a white male who is nineteen years old, was arrested for murder. Specifically, for shooting in the head, then tying one end of a nylon rope around the neck of his victim, the thirty-year old black man he just killed, and the other end of the rope to Collins’ own truck, then dragging the dead man’s body for ten miles.
Police located Collins from the miles-long trail of blood that lead to his trailer, where they found twenty guns and high-powered rifles. Collins, who worked with his thirty-year old victim, Anthony Hill, claimed he did it in self-defense. The two reportedly had spent the day together and drank into the wee hours of the morning.
Fortunately, and despite South Carolina’s Republican U.S. Senator Jim DeMint’s objections to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed last year, the FBI is investigating this atrocity as a hate crime. Yes, Senator DeMint, hate crimes happen to your constituents, even the non-gay ones.
DeMint, who has partnered with RedState founder and CNN bigot Erick Erickson, last year claimed, healthcare reform could be Obama’s “Waterloo.” The South Carolina freshman Senator went too far, and his words became the title and, later, the pink slip for Republican writer David Frum.
But DeMInt himself could see a pink slip in his future, as he’s the subject of an ethics complaint for his lodging at “The Family’s” C Street, the very institution that fellow South Carolina pol Mark Sanford belongs to.
Of course, South Carolina is one of the states championing repeal of Obama’s health care bill. Why would a state whose residents have a far worse than average rate of homelessness, unemployment, infant mortality, obesity, hypertension, poverty, etc., want to help its citizens lead a better life?
Of course it wouldn’t. South Carolina has been the center of hate, homophobia, racism, in short, Republicanism, for four centuries.
Why stop now?
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