LAWMAKER CHALLENGES RIVAL TO STAND UP TO “OLD GHOSTS”
S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers – a centrist Democrat from Bamberg, S.C. and the son of a civil rights leader – called on his “Republican” opponent for lieutenant governor to resign his membership in a “whites only” country club.
“I’m asking Henry McMaster to join me in standing up against those old ghosts and for a new South Carolina and for all future generations by permanently resigning his membership to the Forest Lake Country Club, which in 2014 continues to accept no African-American members,” Sellers said at a press conference.
The club gained national infamy in 2009 when then-SCGOP chairman Katon Dawson – who followed McMaster as head of the state party – pulled a rope-a-dope related to his membership.
Dawson – then a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee – publicly “resigned” his membership at the club in protest of its policy toward blacks. However it was later revealed he never left.
The club refuses to release its members’ names, but here is a screenshot from a recent directory listing McMaster as a member …
The club’s by-laws don’t technically exclude black members, however a deed its property prohibits membership by “negroes.”
Other prominent political members include S.C. Senator John Courson and Carroll A. “Tumpy” Campbell, son of the late Gov. Carroll Campbell.
Forest Lake Country Club attracted extensive national attention years ago after it refused to issue a complimentary membership to Robert Solomon, then the commanding office at Fort Jackson, on the basis of Solomon’s Jewish faith.
Since then, the club has allowed Jewish members to join – but not blacks.
“South Carolina is watching Mr. Master, the nation is watching South Carolina, and most importantly, our children are watching us all,” Sellers said.
McMaster – a member at the club since 1979 – did not immediately respond to Sellers’ challenge.