by Chris Haire
The video of the lady who sprayed down her kid with a high-pressure hose is old news by now, and you know, so is this report from WCBD-TV 2, but I vowed to myself that just as soon as Haire of the Dog got back from its Best of Charleston hiatus, I'd say something. And then I realized, I don't need to say much of anything at all. The video speaks for itself. And no, I'm not talking about the YouTube at the carwash hit; I'm talking about Channel 2's lead off story for Thursday, March 6, the one where reporter Tim Gehret plays the viral video smash to Charlestonians. Watch it and weep for the innocent days of Obama Girl and the squirrel on the waterskies.
So the World Famous Redneck Shop and Klan Museum is back in the news, thanks to the AP. Evidently one preacher is trying to shut the place down. There's a problem:
A black civil rights activist is fighting to close a store that sells KKK robes and T-shirts emblazoned with racial slurs. David Kennedy is confident he can make it happen. After all, he says he owns the building.
Since 1996, the Redneck Shop has operated in an old movie theater that, according to court records, was transferred in 1997 to Kennedy and the Baptist church he leads.
"Our ownership puts an end to that history as far as violence and hatred, racism being practiced in that place and also the recruiting of the Klan," Kennedy said. "This is the same place that we had to go up into the balcony to go to the movies before the Klan took it. So there's a lot of history there."
But legal documents also indicate that the man who runs the store, 62-year-old John Howard, is entitled to operate his business in the building until he dies. Now the dispute may go to court.
Kennedy, 54, has led protests outside the store since it opened but said he's never been able to close it because of the agreement that Howard can run the shop for life.
But what about those reports last year that Howard sold the place to the National Socialist Movement? Here's a post from the NSM:
We are pleased to bring you the announcement that a member of the National Socialist Movement now owns the World Famous Redneck Shop located in the former Echo Theater Building in Laurens, South Carolina...
The Klan/NSM Museum is operated by NSM personnel.
The question is did ownership change hands, and if it did, did it render Howard's and Kennedy's agreement null and void? Now I'm not a lawyer, so all I can do is speculate needlessly on such matters, so I won't comment any further. (One more thing, though: Hitler only had one ball.)
Not surprisingly, most workers in Mount Pleasant don't actually live in Mt. P, according to a P&C report on the need for affordable housing East of the Cooper, or the river of estrogen as we're prone to call it in the office. (OK, that's just in my office.) And while it makes sense that a town's workforce lives nearby, it doesn't make all that much sense to resort to hyperbole to stress why that needs to be the case:
The worker survey, completed in September, was done on behalf of the 2-year-old town Workforce Housing Advisory Committee. Pat Goss, committee chairwoman, said a significant number of town employees, including emergency responders, live in North Charleston, which could be a problem during a disaster.
"So, if we had an earthquake and the bridge fell down, guess what?" Goss said.
Afraid of swimming in what you believe is shark-infested waters? The Farkitrol helps.