Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guess Who Skipped South Carolina Event Honoring Anti-Segregation Judge?

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks to the press following his private meeting with United States U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 27, 2012.   REUTERS/Jason Ree

attribution: REUTERS

"J. Waties Waring: How The Son Of A Confederate Soldier Became A Civil Rights Hero"


Last Friday, a bronze statue honoring the late U.S. District Judge J. Waties Waring, whose legal opinions helped end segregation and the doctrine of separate but equal, was unveiled outside the federal courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina. According to the Charleston Post and Courier, "an integrated crowd of several hundred people gathered to watch" the unveiling.
One dozen speakers spoke at the event, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Congressman James Clyburn and South Carolina Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal, each paying their respects to Waring for having the vision to try to move the country past the era of Jim Crow segregation.
But despite the large crowd and the attendance of top officials like Holder and Clyburn, you won't be surprised about who didn't show up:
Republicans from the area's congressional delegation were conspicuously absent.
U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston, all skipped the dedication ceremony held last Friday at the federal courthouse in Charleston.
As Michael Tomasky writes, Waring was a big deal. But even though both the House and Senate are on recess, each of these Republicans was just too busy to take part in the event honoring his life. Graham said he had a pre-existing commitment, Sanford said he was in Virginia and Scott said he had personal business to attend. Their absence doesn't put them on record for returning to the era of Jim Crow, but it does make one thing clear: As a political matter, they don't see desegregation as something worth celebrating.


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