And what about the said thing? Well, this white woman, who both identifies as a "conservative Republican" and is running for the position of Governor for the great state of South Carolina, said that while she fully supports the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse, she is simultaneously proud of the Confederacy. Shocking right? Let me provide more context.
So this woman who — and this is very important — identifies as a "conservative Republican," found herself in a grassroots GOP gathering held in the more red than the blood of John. C. Calhoun county of Pickens, South Carolina. While there, she was asked a question by a white man who, coincidentally enough, also identified as a "conservative Republican."
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This "conservative Republican" man, who made sure to mention during the delivery of his question to Templeton that he cares deeply about Southern heritage, asked if Templeton was familiar with all the Confederate monuments being torn down in places like Louisiana. He closed his questioning by asking Templeton about her opinion on Southern heritage and something called "Southern Defense." I was pretty sure he wasn't asking about college football, but I continued to watch anyway hoping that maybe they were about to enlighten me to a new wave of defensive strategy that I had yet to be made aware of.
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Nope. That's not what happened at all. Templeton, who again is running for the position of Governor of South Carolina, a state that overwhelmingly voted in favor of Donald Trump, eased the fears of her fellow conservative Republican by telling him, "Not on my watch." She also added that she doesn't care whose feelings it hurts.
That's right, a white woman who identifies as a "conservative Republican" and is running for Governor in a majority red state, said that she was proud of her Southern heritage and added an implied #SorryNotSorry at the end, for good measure. I'm not surprised by this at all. If anything, I'm surprised that other people are surprised.
Yeah, it would have been hella dope if she looked straight into that man's eyes, deep down into the pit of his very Southern conservative soul, took a deep breath and said, "You know what? This pride in ‘Southern heritage' thing is a very narrow-minded approach to a much deeper issue. Yes, I'm proud of being from the South but we have to acknowledge that part of our heritage involves the brutal practice of enslaving African people for our economic benefit. I mean, it says in the 'Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union' that South Carolina wanted to do its own thing because of 'increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery.' We must acknowledge that if we want to become a truly unified state." But she didn't and anyone expecting her to do so is fooling themselves.
She did exactly what she was supposed to do: Play up her love for Southern heritage, in a room full of majority white, conservative Republicans. That was not the time for her to acknowledge any faults of their shared history. She was the there to secure votes and funding. I'm positive that she did both. Besides, if she spoke about the true origin of Southern history up there, what would she talk about when she comes to the mostly blue Lowcountry?
Trust me, she knows exactly what she's doing.