Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mayor Summey opposes proposal to move Confederate Relic Room to Hunley site

Throwing a flag

Posted by Chris Haire on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 5:10 PM

click to enlarge Mayor Keith Summey was recently sworn-in to his sixth term in office. - COURTESY OF CITY OF NORTH CHARLESTON
  • Courtesy of City of North Charleston
  • Mayor Keith Summey was recently sworn-in to his sixth term in office.
In one of the most tone-deaf moves of the new legislative year — and I realize that we're just getting started — Charleston's own Chip Limehouse floated a new bill to his fellow members of the House Transportation Committee to move the controversial state-controlled Confederate Relic Room from Columbia to the North Charleston site of the Hunley. 

The relic room is set to become the new symbolic home of the Confederate battle flag that was taken down from Statehouse grounds this summer, following the tragic deaths of nine African-American parishioners at Mother Emanuel in Charleston.

As you know, these nine dear souls died at the hands of a Confederate-flag lovin' trailer troll who hoped his actions would set off a race war. That didn't happen. Instead, we came together. And together, the vast majority of us demanded that the Confederate flag be taken down. And it was.

Since then, a committee, including two Confederate organization appointees, came up with the grand plan to spend $5 million on creating a brand-new relic room that would celebrate the Confederacy. That plan was roundly criticized, and for reasons that everybody who was affected by the Emanuel Nine and the shooting death of Walter Scott don't need explained to them.

Limehouse, apparently, forgot about the Lowcountry's most recent unpleasantness, and so he came up with the right spiffy idea to move the embattled relic room to the Hunley HQ on the Navy Yard grounds.

Well, if North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey has any say in the matter, that ain't gonna happen. "I was unaware of Representative Limehouse’s proposed legislation to move the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum to North Charleston until I saw it reported by the Charleston area media. The legislation was introduced without discussion with anyone at the city," Summey says. "I certainly have no intentions of supporting this legislation or the idea of bringing the Confederate museum to North Charleston.”

Once again, the mayor has made a good call, proving that he's not going to stand for the same-old, same-old white vs. black crap we've come to expect in old-school Lowcountry politics. 

Yes, I know Summey's been the source of criticism from the local branches of the National Action Network and Black Lives Matter, and while his Election Day "retribution" comment was a serious misstep, the mayor and his staff have provided a case study in how a city should respond when an officer tragically kills an unarmed African American.

Even the most recent anti-Summey hullaballoo has centered around something neither the mayor nor the police department has any control over — the release of Walter Scott shooter Michael T. Slager. A judge did that, not the City of North Charleston, a fact that renders the repeated protests on the part of black activist groups against Summey and the city nonsensical. 

So, kudos, mayor. Maybe we can nip this silly proposal in the bud.


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