Showing posts with label south carolina history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label south carolina history. Show all posts

Our advice to Sanford

With the Ethics investigation hitting pay dirt and the House Impeachment special committee meetings underway, things aren't going very well for Governor Sanford.

In the best interests of the state, we'd like to encourage the Governor to consider some advice from a fellow Republican Governor:

Lowcountry Republicans to remember 9/11 on Saturday


WHEN: Saturday, September 12 at 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Kelly’s BBQ restaurant, US 78, Summervile
CONTACT: Ron Turner, Chairman (843) 814-1805

This Saturday, Lowcountry Republicans will gather at Kelly’s BBQ at 9 a.m. to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks, paying tribute to those lost that day, as well as those who have sacrificed since in the global war on terrorism. This event, part of its annual 9/11 memorial, will include a panel discussion which will discuss the current state of Homeland Security efforts in the Lowcountry and South Carolina.

The panel discussion, which will be moderated by Terry Boatwright, Public Safety Director for Folly Beach, will feature:

  • Lt. Tom Huey, of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Huey serves as the agency’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and is a member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
  • Michael Haas, FBI Senior Resident Agent for the Charleston area. Agent Haas was the FBI’s Case Agent for the Jakarta, Indonesia Marriott hotel bombing in 2003, and has served in the Counterterrorism Division, International Operations Section, Extraterritorial Investigations Unit at the FBI’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
After the panel speakers have made their presentations, a moderated Question and Answer session will allow those in the audience to present questions to the speakers.

For the last seven years, this organization has featured monthly meetings which have featured candidates, policy experts and grass-roots Republican party activists who have promoted candidacies and discussed current issues. Combined with “open mike” question-and-answer sessions, the general public has been able to learn about important issues and express their concerns on these issues, as well as grill candidates for public office.

Past speakers have included each of the current GOP statewide office holders, including Governor Sanford, Congressman Henry Brown, Senator Jim DeMint, as well as many regional legislators and representatives from grassroots and policy advocacy organizations such as Gun Owners of America, Fair Tax, and the South Carolina Policy Council.

Breakfast is served for $6.50 per attendee, and the general public is cordially invited to attend, regardless of political affiliation.

Drummond and Patterson: Two South Carolina legends

This year, two giants of the Senate are leaving: John Drummond from Greenwood, and Kay Patterson from Columbia.

While we think the rise of the GOP in state politics helped usher in much-needed changes in how state government was run, not everything that has changed has been for the best. Long-time Senators like Drummond and Patterson had the ability to raise their voices when and where others were afraid to rock the boat, or voices of reason were needed to urge caution.

While Democrats, their state and their communities were more important than their parties. On more than one occasion, Drummond supported Republicans. Patterson even spoke at Thurmond's funeral.

South Carolinians like these don't grow on trees, and in losing them, we feel like we're losing something special and important in state government that we may never see again.

Last fall, we talked about Drummond's pending retirement:

While partisanship and sticking to one's principles is important, that kind of perspective should give us something to think about. But even more importantly, Drummond's dedicated service to his Palmetto State should set a standard that, regardless of partisan identity, we should all aspire to.

On many occasions, Drummond crossed party lines to work with Republicans and even supported Senator Strom Thurmond. His party was important to him in his legislative service, but so was the best interests of his native state. It's a refreshing outlook on politics that we could use more of these days.

- John Drummond, a great South Carolinian, 9/24/07

Likewise, Patterson was a hard man to pigeonhole. Outspoken, unpolished, and often blunt, he had an uncoventional approach to politics.

Patterson’s departure will leave an elocutionary void in the sausage-making drill that is S.C. politics, friends and colleagues say.

Over the years, Patterson’s use of black dialect, often laced with well-placed invectives, has helped him to make his point and needle his opponents.

“They would call that ebonics in this day and age,” Patterson said. “But we didn’t have that terminology back in those days.”

Those who know Patterson and agree with his politics — such as his seatmate of 34 years, state Sen. John Matthews, D-Orangeburg — say Patterson’s departure will leave “the little man” voiceless in what they say are the increasingly hostile halls of the General Assembly.

- "Telling it like it is: elected as a firebrand, Patterson retires as a statesman", The State, 4/27/08

During the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, he dismissed Anita Hill's allegations, pointing out that in spite of the conduct she alleged, she continued to seek transfers to work with him, suggesting that if the charges were true, it "must have been some pretty good sexual harassment".

The first Senator to take on the Confederate flag flying over the State House became one of the ones who brokered the compromise to bring it down, and then joined those who criticized the NAACP first for not helping his effort, and then complaining the agreement was not enough.

In politics, it is one thing to disagree and another to be disagreeable. While Patterson's style may have come across as disagreeable, that wasn't his goal. When he believed it was important, he sought to disagree in a manner that made sure you knew it, and considered his point of view before attempting to move forward.

Our Senate is intended to reflect upon the tough decisions of governing this state and make sure that the courses of action we take are the best choices possible. People like Drummond and Patterson, in their own ways, helped make that institution work.

In doing so, both Senators have become unlikely legends of that instituation, and they deserve the appreciation of the people of South Carolina, Democrats and Republicans alike. They certainly have ours.

Hanging Rick Beltram with his own words

We'd like to take a little bit of your Tuedsay to hang Rick Beltram with his own words. We're sure he won't mind.

Recently, the Evil Blogger Conspiracy held a closed-doors meeting in our secret lair, deep in a wilderness area of South Carolina ... or maybe it was a mountain ... or a swamp ... or the back of an arcade in a shopping mall ... who knows? It doesn't matter where we met, just that we were secretly conspiring to go after Rick over his allegations that bloggers are evil shadowy characters who make extreme and unsubstatiated allegations, while hiding out of the reach of public contact behind veils of secrecy.

Yep, real shadowy characters ... secret handshake, decoder rings and all.

As one of those bloggers who he could not reach, I got an email from him which complained about how he was being protrayed and naming who some of the affiliations of those who ran the blog sites which he expressed concerns about:

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 5:12 PM
To: Earl Capps
Subject: Re: RE: Invitation to 10/15 6PM to Spartanburg

You were not included in the original Press Release.
I was referring to ....Quinn...Starboard....TTS.
However, you jumped at it!

Think about it....a blogger workimg for a firm that gets paid by a Pres. Candidate.....a sure conflict of interest.


Now, this excerpt from the original press release claims the bloggers which are the subject of the media release are anonymous:

Finally, several of these Bloggers do not make known to the Public, contact information for the Editor of these web-sites.

It would stand to reason that if one knows who they're affiliated with, then they should know how to reach them, right?

Rick, please do us a favor: stop treating people like they're stupid with this sort of misleading crap, and we'll stop picking on you.

Investigating the Orangeburg Massacre

Representative David Weeks of Sumter has a bill in the House to call for a formal investigation of the Orangeburg Massacre. While this incident is by no means the only atrocity of our state's past, the fact that this incident involved public officials at the state level, via State Troopers, calls for a fuller understanding of what happened, and why:

Rep. David Weeks, D-Sumter, has filed a bill to open a review of the shootings - known as the Orangeburg Massacre in which three people were killed at the predominantly black South Carolina State University in 1968.

Weeks' bill won't get very far with less than a month left on this year's legislative calendar, but it can carry over to the next session, which starts in January. In February, the state will mark the 40th anniversary of the event that Weeks says still causes "hard feelings" among some black South Carolinians.

"There are still a lot of questions - a certain mystery about what happened," he said. "We may not like what (an investigation) finds, but perhaps we can bring some closure to this."

The shame of it is that only one white legislator and one Republican, Jim Harrison of Richland County, put his name on the bill. He should not have been the only one.

It's not the first time that the Blogland has said something nice about Mr. Weeks, so he's on his way to becoming one of the Blogland's favorite Democrats.

While time in this session is short, I hope we'll see Weeks' bill back next year, with more support. The truth may not be pretty, but it's past time for us to get to it, and move beyond it.

Sharpton, Obama, and the Capps Family: The intersections of race, heritage, and history

Recently, we’ve come to learn of the sordid histories of slavery in the ancestry of Barack Obama and Al Sharpton.

Sharpton learned of his family ties to the Thurmond family, as his ancestors had been kept in bondage by ancestors of the late Senator Strom Thurmond, once a fiery segregationist, and recently visited Edgefield, South Carolina, land of the Thurmonds, and challenged others descended from slaves to look into their past, believing that “it's good that it comes out so we can deal with it.”

Then we learned that Barack Obama’s mother’s family included ancestors who owned slaves. Considering the large numbers of those kidnapped by African slave traders over the course of several centuries, it is also possible that some of his Kenyan ancestors may have become slaves. So his ancestors may well include both slaves and enslavers.

A couple of years ago, the potential for these histories to cross in our own lives hit home, during a tour of some Clarendon County historical sites with the editor of the county paper. One stop was the Richardson family cemetery, located in the northwest of the county, not too far from Lake Marion. The family buried there included a former Governor of South Carolina and founder of The Citadel. They were some of the first people to settle what became Clarendon and Sumter Counties.

While some may view them as an honorable family of our state, and praise their contributions, I'm sure that the ancestors of my first wife and oldest my daughter, who were held in bondage as the slaves of the Richardson family, might view them differently.

As a white Southerner ... but as also as a parent ... how am I supposed to feel about what I saw? Two years later, I still don’t know.

My daughter and Obama are part of a growing number of Americans whose family histories touch both sides of this sad chapter of our nation’s history. The history of this time is typically viewed in sharply-opposing contexts: either as a time of growth and opportunity, or as a time of great brutality and inhumanity. While those on either side of this debate can present passionate arguments in support of their points-of-view, does either perspective represent the full truth?

The intersections these experiences create should help us to consider that the views of both sides have a degree of validity. They require our willingness to consider their points of view with honesty and candor, as well as regret and forgiveness.

I never thought I’d find myself agreeing with Sharpton, but on this issue, he’s right. The sooner we find the courage to talk honestly about these dark moments of our nation’s history, the better.

The McCarty-Wilson debate: Racism in our society and political culture

In the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln once framed the Civil War as a conflict centered around the question of what kind of nation this would be, or if would be a nation at all. While the issue of white supremacists in the GOP raised on Brian McCarty’s blog last week certainly does not have the same kind of world-changing impact, he does ask for some serious soul-searching with regard to asking if the Republican Party will embrace those who take part in radical white supremacist efforts.

For that, he has been the target of some serious criticisms and personal attacks, and now has been challenged to debate Mr. Wilson. I found it interesting to see the original challenge which was posted on Brian's blog avoided addressing the allegations raised on Voting under the Influence, instead, he simply chose to attack the credibility of Brian and his sources.

“Simple” is the right word here. Mr. Wilson’s rhetorical tactics are simple, and seem intended to avoid discussion of the allegations made about what role may be playing in the undermining of civility and rule of law in contemporary American society.

Brian and I were raised up in a South that was just a generation removed from the Jim Crow era where our communities were segregated and most political power controlled by small circles of “good ol’ boy” elitists that denied access and due process to minorities, and to a lesser degree, even whites of lower socio-economic standing.

What many of these radicals and bigots don’t realize that the elitists at the pinnacle of the social, economic, and political structure which they claim to miss was based on education, family, wealth and land ownership. They wouldn’t have made the “A” list back then any more than they've made it now. Today’s outcast white supremacists are the inheritors of a sad tradition where the in-town crowd treated them with disdain and disgust, except to use them as the bully-boy enforcers of their Jim Crow order when challenged by “uppity” civil rights activists, blacks, or social reformers.

Personally, I am of mixed feelings about a debate, because Mr. Wilson has already shown that he is not willing to address the issues which Brian raised, or the place such views have in the present-day Republican Party, which are the only legitimate issues for a debate. Such an event would likely have a low turnout, packed with many of Wilson's parrots, and filled with the same kinds of evasions and intellectual cheapshots that he has already taken. But Brian is a grown man, capable of making his own decisions. I'll let him decide if he wants to waste an evening on the matter, but if he does, I'll be in the front row, because history teaches us that vigilance is essential to the defense of liberty.

Mr. Wilson may say that he wants a debate, but from where I see it, the debate has already begun.

If you care about this issue, then please make your voices heard.

Two Shots: The Battle of Cowpens

Tuesday, January 17, marks the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens. Few, even in South Carolina, are aware of the battle, and its significance to the outcome of the War for American Independence.
While few are familiar with the name, the battle was recreated as the big battle scene in the Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot". True to what really happened, led by Gen. Daniel Morgan, a rough-and-tough farmer turned solider (sound familiar?), the militia fired two rounds on the over-confident British regulars, who charged with bayonet right into American regular soliders. While the rest of the battle in the movie differed somewhat, the outcome was the same - a major defeat for the British.

General Cornwallis, angered by the loss of his dragoons and seeking to avenge defeat, as well as at
King's Mountain the previous fall, defied orders to keep his army in South Carolina. He pushed northwards into North Carolina and then Virginia, allowing a coalition of militia and regular Continential forces took advantage of his departure to push the British to evacuate the entire state, with the exception of the vicinity of Charleston.

Cornwallis' quest led him to a draw at Guilford Courthouse, then to resupply his diminshed and exhausted army at the small Virigina port of Yorktown. I'm sure you know the rest of the story from there.

On Tuesday, take a moment to reflect on this important battle, and the sacrifices made here in South Carolina by so many that would help allow these remote British colonies to win their independence, and go on to have such a major impact upon the course of world events.