COLUMBIA, SC — The protests, counter-protests, acts of terrorism, and general promotion of hatred in Charlottesville, VA this weekend should serve as a damning reminder of the destructiveness and ugliness that defines white nationalism today. It is natural to attempt to view the tragic events of this weekend from a distance or as an isolated incident. As South Carolinians, we do not have that luxury.
The loss of our fellow South Carolinians at Mother Emanuel church, who were simply joining in prayer, still rings in our hearts and serves as a reminder that the seeds of hatred can be sewn in the hearts of the young.
In South Carolina, we have a Republican Party chairman that cheers on terrorism. We have a candidate for Governor who lovingly describes her loyalty to the Confederacy. We have a Governor who spends his time at an all-white country club.
These actions are what lead to the kind of terrorism we’ve seen in VA today.
The hate and violence on display in VA is haunting because of its ferociousness, but also because of its familiarity. As South Carolinians, we must appreciate the proper context of our history and move toward a more inclusive and prosperous future, together. As South Carolinians, we will rise to the occasion that calls on the decency and good in all of our citizens. This is who we are as a people, this is who we are as South Carolinians.