General Assembly Failing Citizens Again

Great Confederate Flag Debate – Update

The SC Senate voted 37-3 on second reading of a bill to take down the confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. Senators Lee Bright, Harvey Peeler and Danny Verdin voted No.

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 10 a.m. when third and final reading will be considered.

After listening to the statements from senators on both sides of the aisle, there is no reason to expect the vote will change from the one taken today.

If, or should we say when, the bill receives third reading approval by more than a two-thirds vote, the bill will pass to the SC House where it will require three readings before going to the governor for her signature.

It is starting to appear that the confederate flag will disappear from the statehouse grounds as early as Thursday.

By Paul Gable

The SC General Assembly is expected to at least begin its great confederate flag debate today.

I have stayed out of the great confederate flag debate discussion until now.

I frankly don’t care whether the flag flying on the statehouse grounds stays up, comes down or blows away.

My heritage is a little different from the sides engaged in this controversy. My great-grandfather being from Pennsylvania fought with the Union army from 1861-3 and 1864-5. For those of you stuck in revisionist history, the Union was the winning side – you know those guys Grant and Sherman.

It’s this revisionist history that has caused South Carolina to keep its head buried in the sand of state’s rights for far too long.

The “War of Northern Aggression” was started right here in the Low Country when the newly formed Confederate States Army, under the command of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, bombarded the Union position at Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor.

We have all been told the Civil War was not about slavery, but the Missouri Compromise, Kansas Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision were three main steps to the ultimate split between the North and the South.

The current confederate flag issue is supposedly about heritage not hate or race, but it was only after the Brown v. Board of Education decision effectively, if not legally, overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, and the Civil Rights movement began gaining momentum throughout the South that the flag first appeared on the statehouse.

Unfortunately it took the senseless slaughter of Sen. Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight of his parishioners before an apparently large majority of South Carolina’s conservative politicians experienced an epiphany into the reality (to some) of the confederate flag symbol, thus spurring the coming debate.

Better late than never I suppose, but this debate is 150 years late in coming. It’s time for the politicians to stop hiding behind codewords and symbols, solve this problem and move on to attempting to improve the overall condition and reputation of South Carolina.

 

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