As someone who has been active in the realm of politics since high school and who grew up in the Lowcountry, I've long been used to Robert Ford's antics and racially-tinged rhetoric, first as a member of Charleston City Council and then as a member of the South Carolina Senate. Over the years, he seemed to have moderated his hard line and learned to work with others.
At least that's what I thought.
Today's rant by Senator Ford about Berkeley County State House member Samuel Rivers' vote in a recent Family Court race was one of the most insulting and racially-tinged statements I've heard Senator Ford make in a long time:
I would like to serve notice to Rep. Samuel Rivers, U.S. Senator Tim Scott and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whether you accept it or not, you are Black living in America. The Black people that died in the Civil Rights Movement so that you could have the opportunity you now have, to hold the position that you now hold, to live as first-class citizen reeks non-enlightenment. You have benefitted the most from Affirmative Action, Voters Rights and Civil Rights than any other generation since the Civil Rights Movement. I could have died at any time from 1962-69, during any one of these pivotal demonstrations during the Civil Rights Revolution. So gentleman, please stop the stupidity.It is a slap in the face that you benefitted from their efforts, blood, sweat and tears – yet disallow others the opportunity to advance for the same reason we had to fight for our rights during the movement. All he had to do is vote for her --- it is both disgraceful and disgusting.Let me also point out, that over 20 Republicans voted for Mrs. Frierson to become a Family Court Judge. So, Representative Rivers’ choice to not give the South Carolina citizens another Black judge is a crime against humanity. He and his actions must be dealt with.
"Crime against humanity"? That statement is beyond ridiculous. As discussed in the Blogland, Frierson has not the first day of experience in a courtroom, having chosen to spend every day of her twenty-year legal career avoiding practicing law in a courtroom, so why is it now a crime to say it's a bad idea to put her in charge of a courtroom?
The only crime that would have been committed - had she been elected - would have been against those who came before her seeking the fair adjudication of issues and the taxpayers who would have been forced to subsidize her sudden turn of career ambition. It's not racist to want to ensure a fair and well-run courtroom, no matter how much Ford wants to drag race into the matter.
Then again, Ford has spent his entire career running his mouth and slinging "race" when he doesn't get his way, which is an insult to those of us who spend our lives doing what Martin Luther King died for - the belief that all people should be judged by who they are, not the color of their skin.
My first wife's ancestors were brought over as slaves. I raised our daughter without ever discussing race because it wasn't a measure of who she was, nor a limit upon who she could be. She's done well for herself, juggling a husband, daughter and working on her Education major at the College of Charleston. Thank God times have changed so most of us could live a life where we can pursue our dreams, even if Senator Ford would rather Rivers and others live in a world where race and skin color are all that matters.
Rivers' constituents, the overwhelming majority of whom are not black, elected him based upon who he is, not by the color of his skin. He should be applauded for living up to those same standards in his legislative service, not villified by a sore loser. While Senator Ford owes Representative Rivers an apology for such nasty and divisive language, I won't hold my breath waiting for it.