Let South Carolina’s leaders know you’re angry

As the nation tries to put what happened in Charlottesville, Va.,Charlott in perspective; tries to understand how fellow humans could harbor such hate against those who look, sound, worship, think or love differently; tries to find a way forward in a nation other countries once admired, I read this from in the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier:

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Hartsville, said Monday that Lucas maintains there will be no further changes to Confederate monuments as long as he is speaker, reiterating Lucas’ 2015 statement that said, ‘Debate over this issue will not be expanded or entertained.’

“Gov. Henry McMaster echoed the desire for the remaining monuments to stay put. ‘We have been over these issues over the years,’ McMaster said, speaking Monday at a job fair for laid-off workers from the now-cancelled V.C. Summer nuclear project. ‘I think our people are different.’”

Well, maybe so, if by “our people” you mean Dylann Roof, the man who mowed down nine black parishioners who welcomed him to their prayer meeting at the Emanuel Baptist Church in Charleston, saying he wanted to ignite a race war.

I think our people are different: We want to do the right thing. And by the right thing, I don’t mean turn the monuments into dust, though right now my level of anger makes taking a sledgehammer to one of them tempting. Rather, the monuments to those who chose to attack the United States need to be moved off public property where they serve to validate treason against our nation.

Let me get my bona fides out of the way: My great-grandfather on my mother’s side was with the Palmetto Guard in Charleston when they took Fort Sumter from U.S. troops to start the Civil War. My grandfather on my father’s side was a member of the KKK in central Illinois back in the 1930s. Oh, and he was also the county sheriff.

I believe they were as wrong as they could be. Sure, they had their reasons. I’m sure they felt they were standing their ground, protecting their birthrights. I’d like to think they’d feel differently today, but I fear that’s wishful thinking on my part.

All I know for sure is that our rights aren’t upheld by violating the rights of others.

Yes, it’s a free country, and not the least because the right sides won in the Civil War and in World War I and World War II. I’m not telling these neo-nazis not to feel the way they feel.

I don’t want them to tell me not to feel the way I feel, either, but that’s what they are trying to do, and worse. They seem to think that whole gas-chamber idea was ahead of its time.

Leaving monuments to the Civil War that celebrate those who committed treason against the U.S. Government on public tax-supported space sends the message not just that we condone that kind of thinking, but that we honor it.

So when I hear a so-called leader of South Carolina say “Debate over this issue will not be expanded or entertained,” I say, “Think again, bucko.”

If you agree, call, write and/or email your state legislators and let them know. Not sure who to contact? Go here to look up your S.C. legislators and get their contact information. Contact the governor, who will face voters in 2018 to see if he can keep the seat he acquired when President Trump named then-Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He already has two challengers.

Don’t let them think you don’t care enough to challenge their assumptions.