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South Carolina

 
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16250
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:43 pm    Post subject: South Carolina Reply with quote

With the runoff Senate election today in South Carolina, and with racism still a huge factor in voter suppression, it seems appropriate to look at the history. Fortunately, the Smithsonian has done that, and it seems like at least one article can be downloaded for free.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/joseph-rainey-first-black-congressman-180976502/

Of course, South Carolina had a black majority after the Civil War, and elected black representatives and supported a civil rights law. The ability of blacks to vote was suppressed by violence, perhaps most notoriously by the Red Shirt murders in Hamburg, and wholesale election fraud that ended black representation, and indeed the ability of blacks to vote.

Lest we think that is all ancient history, and that the removal of monuments to racists is merely "cancel culture", it is clear that the support for such efforts reached the highest offices in the land well into the 20th century. From the article:

Quote:
In 1940, not long after Gone With the Wind premiered in theaters, South Carolina erected a statue of Tillman, the former governor, U.S. senator and violent Red Shirt leader, near the entry to the South Carolina statehouse. The goal: remind South Carolina that Tillman had believed “in the inevitable triumph of white democracy.” At the dedication, the keynote speaker was Senator James Byrnes, soon to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Supporters of the statue praised Tillman for redeeming the state. To raise money for the statue, they’d written, “He participated in the Hamburg and Ellenton Riots of 1876, and aided in the Democratic triumph of that year by frightening prospective Negro voters away from the polls.”
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