by Chris Haire
It takes a lot to shock us, but quite frankly we were shocked when we learned that the City of Charleston had rented out the Gaillard Auditorium for a Secession Gala sponsored by the Confederate Heritage Trust and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Unlike other planned sesquicentennial events commemorating Charleston's role in the Civil War, the gala had a decidedly different tone. Its organizers not only billed it as a celebration, but they hosted a dance in honor of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Ordinance of Secession by South Carolina's whitest and not-so foresightest. (Seriously, the Secession set off a whole chain of events that crippled Charleston, if not the entire state, for the next 100 years.) Not surprisingly, the local NAACP protested the event.
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