S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom is no stranger to controversy. You can head on over to FITSNews
if you want to learn more about one of Columbia's biggest knuckledraggers, who, despite his penchant for idiocy, has somehow managed to stay in office year in and year out despite one embarrassing FU
. Oh ... that's right. He has an R beside his name, and that's the equivalent of a patronus charm in Palmetto State politics. Well, now he has found himself in the middle of another one.
Earlier today, in a State Budget and Control Board meeting discussing the fate of the imminent bankruptcy of S.C. State University — seriously, how in the holy hell does a state-supported school go broke — Eckstrom took a few moments to bash the students and then play the racist-approved it's-not-fair card. According to a press release sent out by state House Democratic Party leader Todd Rutherford, Eckstrom had this to say about S.C. State students: "These are kids that are going there because they can't get into these other schools." Wait, wait, are you sure he's not talking about Lander? Just kidding.
And Eckstrom reportedly didn't stop there. Evidently, he also took issue with the fact that S.C. State is referred to as a historically black college — a designation it shares with Spelman College, Howard University, and Morehouse College, because, well, they were historically the only schools around that would accept black students. For Eckstrom, the term just doesn't make sense since we don't call Clemson, South Carolina, or College of Charleston "historically white universities."
Hmm. You know what, he kind of has a point. In fact, I think that from now on we should refer to formerly all-white schools as "historically white universities." I mean, I'm sure that the folks at Clemson and CofC would love to highlight the fact that they refused to enroll African Americans until 1963 and 1967, respectively. Somehow, I don't think that was what Eckstrom meant. But like I said, he's a maroon. (Shortly after the Civil War, USC was forced to integrate, and at one time blacks made up the majority of students. However, following Reconstruction, blacks were once again forbidden. It wasn't until September 1963 when they were readmitted.)
Anyhow, Rutherford had a few words in response to Eckstrom's little hissy-pissy bon mot:
"Richard Eckstrom should immediately apologize to the students and alumni of South Carolina State University for his uninformed, ignorant, and embarrassing statements earlier today. Those comments demonstrated a severe lack of understanding of our only public, historically black college in South Carolina.
As a result of his callous remarks, Mr. Eckstrom has insulted the names of prominent SC State alumni such as Congressman Jim Clyburn, General Abraham Turner, Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ernest Finney, Judge Matthew Perry, and the first African-American woman elected to the South Carolina legislature Juanita Goggins.
It seems as though Republicans can't get through one week without making an offensive comment directed at African-Americans. I also call on the Republican leaders of South Carolina to condemn Mr. Eckstrom's remarks to show that this kind of ignorance has no place in our political discourse."
Sadly, the majority of South Carolina's Republican leaders will remain silent on this matter. After all, they selected a member of an all-white country club for a slot on S.C. State's Board of Trustees