Ben Tillman was an avowed racist of evil dimensions during a dark period of our history of human slavery. Why would we continue to honor such a man with his name on a campus building of a great S.C. university and a statue of him on our capitol grounds in 2015, other than reasons of latent racism?
Why not honor Clemson and all South Carolinians by renaming it “Freedom Hall,” and replacing the statue with a real S.C. statesman or — better yet — a memorial to all the people who were held in human bondage and then segregated for so many years? These acts would send a message to the world that South Carolina is moving forward with real compassion and caring for all its citizens, past and present.
As for all the grandiose rhetoric about preserving our history, our history is already preserved in books, films, museums and, unfortunately, in our memories forever. I am white, a native Columbian born in 1941, and a sad witness to the dark days when it wasn’t “a great day in South Carolina.”