Media dismissive of Charleston GOP black history banquet

Media dismissive of Charleston GOP black history banquet
March 01 18:23 2018 Print This Article

The Charleston media largely ignored the Black History Banquet sponsored by the Charleston County Republican Party and The Citadel Republican Society Wednesday at The Citadel alumni center, despite the presence of nationally-renowned civil rights leader and evangelist Dr. Alveda King. Two of the three local TV stations didn’t even send a camera. The Post and Courier wrote a dismissive story depicting a “mostly white” crowd that didn’t know the words and melody to the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

The song, which was introduced in 1900 by a Jacksonville, Florida elementary school in a ceremony honoring Booker T. Washington on Lincoln’s birthday, was used as an anthem in the 1960s civil rights movement. The song was played by the Burke High School marching band at the start of the banquet, followed by the Star Spangled Banner. The band put on a masterful performance in front of Governor Henry McMaster and the capacity crowd of 300, playing a variety of inspiring tunes for more than an hour.

This is typical of the anti-Republican bias in the media.  Republicans are depicted as a bunch of wealthy white people who are not interested in helping minorities or low-income citizens.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  The Republican Party stands for opportunity and prosperity for everyone.  It was founded for the purpose of abolishing slavery and granting women the right to vote.  More Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Lowcountry Source was founded to combat media bias.

The Post and Courier coverage completely overlooked the uplifting nature of the event. Seven local African-American leaders were honored, including the late civil rights leader and educator Dorothy Johnson. Her son, National Action Network leader Elder James Johnson, accepted the award, saying, “Our mother always told us that we were no better than anyone else, black or white. She always taught us to love.” The other leaders honored were interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor, journalist and videographer Quintin Washington, funeral home director Dr. Chardale Murray, North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess, newspaper publisher Jim French and Charleston County Chief Deputy Sheriff Eric Watson.

Charleston County GOP Vice Chairman Maurice Washington kicked off the event by stating, “We are here to celebrate the diversity and commonality of our community and our nation.” Citadel Republican Society President Cameron Brown spoke of the need to recognize the successes and the struggles experienced by African-Americans. Charleston GOP Chairman Larry Kobrovsky said, “We all have our own American story to tell – each coming under different circumstances.”

Governor McMaster introduced Dr. King.  He said, “If we’re celebrating African-American history, there is no better place to do it than Charleston.”  He added that the character of our people and our ability to live in harmony are big reasons why corporations around the world choose to build plants in South Carolina.

King, a vocal advocate for the policies promoted by President Donald Trump, told the story of a family Thanksgiving dinner at which family members were at odds about the outcome of the 2016 election.  She remembers telling them, “Let’s stop fighting over politics and just love each other!”  She quoted he uncle, legendary civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “We must learn to live with each other as brothers (and sisters) or we will perish as fools.”  She presented a video honoring the 50th anniversary of her uncle’s assassination entitled Let Freedom Ring.  Put to music with uplifting lyrics she wrote, the video included a montage of pictures from the civil rights era and family pictures, many of which included her father, Reverend A.D. King, who was murder the year after her uncle.

2018 marks 200 years after the birth of Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery and became the intellectual leader of the abolitionist movement and the Republican Party.  Douglass advised President Lincoln in drafting the Emancipation Proclamation and later advised four other Republican Presidents.  King was chosen by President Trump to serve on his Frederick Douglas Bicentennial Commission, formed to educate Americans about the many contributions Douglass made to our country.  In closing King told the crowd, “This is a phenomenal meeting!  As I travel the country, I don’t see many groups like this.”