The Rev. Al Sharpton skewered S.C. gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton Sunday for embracing her family’s Confederate heritage.
“I think it’s important to note that my family didn’t fight because we had slaves,” Templeton said during the speech, which was quoted on the show. “My family fought because the federal government was trying to tell us how to live. We didn’t need them to tell us how to live way back then and we don’t need them to tell us how to live today.”
During the show’s “Gotcha” segment, Sharpton said Templeton had “a full carton of egg on her face” last week when The Greenville News reported that one of Templeton’s ancestors owned 66 slaves, which Sharpton described as “a high number even for that era.”
Sharpton dismissed Templeton’s remarks to the Greenville paper that her campaign is “about the future, not the past.”
“But past is prologue, folks,” Sharpton said Sunday. “And the morally convenient idea that resistance to government should trump the moral baseline of not defending slavery is one of the fictions that’s brought white nationalism back to the forefront. Well, that and this presidency.
“Ms. Templeton, as you said this week you’ve, quote, embraced your family, warts and all,” Sharpton continued. “Well, the warts are ugly and, like racism, spread via contact with the infected. But as racists have been finding out for roughly the last 40 years, Rev. Sharpton’s got a mean ointment to help with that.”
Templeton is one of three Republicans challenging Gov. Henry McMaster for the GOP nomination.
Later Sunday, Templeton’s campaign responded to Sharpton’s criticism.
“The truth is, liberals hate Catherine Templeton,” campaign spokesman Mark Powell said to The State. “So we’re not exactly shocked that Al Sharpton and the radicals at MSNBC are doing everything they can to distort and attack her. They’re scared of her commitment to true conservative reform. And they should be.”