by Chris Haire
Yesterday, Sen. Glenn McConnell and Gullah performer Sharon Murray spoke out on the controversial photo of the state senate president in a Confederate uniform flanked by African-Americans dressed in period garb.
Now the head of the group sponsoring the "Southern Experience" event is getting in on the action.
"A look at South Carolina's history would not be complete without recognizing the rich culture, language and tradition of the Gullah, African Americans from the state's Lowcountry region," says Sue Lynch, president of the National Federation of Republican Women.
"The performers who are pictured with South Carolina Senate President Glenn McConnell are professionals who have devoted their lives to learning about and preserving the language, stories, music, crafts, religious folkways — the entire culture — of the Gullah people," Lynch says. "They perform regularly throughout the Charleston area, and also have traveled extensively sharing this remarkable culture.
Lynch adds, "The South Carolina Federation's purpose for including the Gullah performance in the program was not to offend or show a lack of sensitivity. It was to share with others from across the nation the vital role the Gullah have played in shaping the identity of South Carolina."
Hmm. That may be true. In fact, let's say that it is. We have no reason to doubt it.
But all parties involved should have been more aware of what would happen if word of the event and images from that event went public. Which they did. And now we're in the middle of another sad-ass, golly-those-South Carolinians-sure-are-stupid shitstorm.