Letters to the Editor

Despite favorable eulogies by black politicians, US. Sen. Hollings opposed integration

U.S. Sen. Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings died early April 6 at his Isle of Palms home. He was 97.
U.S. Sen. Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings died early April 6 at his Isle of Palms home. He was 97. AP file photo

As a young NAACP lawyer in the early 1960s, I represented Negro college students in South Carolina who protested segregated lunch counters and other public facilities in our state.

Contrary to the many eulogies we have heard in the wake of Democratic Gov. Fritz Hollings’ passing, I can attest that he opposed and resisted integration. He supported the Gressette Committee whose sole purpose was to preserve segregation. It was the Gressette Committee that put the Confederate flag on top of the State House as a symbol of segregation “now and forever.”

Along with the majority of white South Carolinians, Fritz Hollings did not believe that South Carolina Negroes deserved the rights of citizenship guaranteed under the United States Constitution.

We’ve heard many of South Carolina’s African American elected officials commemorate his life.

To them I would recall the wisdom of an old African proverb: “It is too bad that the hump-backed man can’t see the hump on his back.”

Hemphill Pride II

Columbia

Some supporters could take Trump’s tweets too literally

Nobody who supports President Trump considers him dumb. To the contrary. So if he issues tweets that endanger the life of a congresswoman, he is not unaware of what might happen. What is he up to?

Trump defenders often say that his tweets should be taken seriously but not literally. So what percentage of his followers comprehend the nuance in that advice, and what percentage read his tweets as a call to action? When he shouted to the Russians to ask that they steal Hillary’s emails, they stole them. Isn’t it equally possible that when he encourages hatred of members of a religion or an ethnic group, some will hear a signal to harm those people? Is that where we are now in American politics? Does our silence empower our president to call for the extermination of his opponents? If you concur with such tactics, take care to avoid membership in groups that incur, or might some day incur, his wrath.

Sicily tried this form of governance and found that it cost them their best and brightest. Putin invokes it selectively to alter the breathing patterns of those who fail to praise him. Let’s speak out to prevent Trump from developing a similar habit.

Terry Munson

Pawleys Island

Stop blaming victims of violence

The State published two similarly themed letters to the editor in its April 6 edition. Both authors presented their perspectives about Samantha Josephson’s role in her kidnapping and murder. The first speculated about her blood alcohol level and the risks posed by cellphone distraction. The second warned us about the dangers lurking in the night, citing other high-profile tragedies to support the argument.

Samantha’s blood alcohol level is irrelevant. She didn’t stumble into the path of a car, and this is not a murky case of “he said/she said.” She wasn’t breaking the law. If she was drinking, give her credit for not getting behind the wheel of a car.

People have been victimized in every region of our country, at all times of the day and night, and in places we want to believe are safe. We have mourned mass shootings in schools, at churches, and in the workplace. Joggers have disappeared in broad daylight. People have been victimized in their own homes, tucked safely behind locked doors and windows.

Stop blaming victims; it may give you a false sense of security for you and your loved ones. Suggesting Samantha is at fault only adds to the pain and grief suffered by her loved ones.

R.J. Olsen

Columbia

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