S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg) has proposed a pair of sensible reforms to the Palmetto State’s antiquated 1895 government structure – consolidating two law enforcement agencies as well as two correctional agencies in an effort to streamline operations and save tax dollars (if South Carolina ever creates a mechanism for actually saving tax dollars).
Personally, we’d take the consolidations – and the savings – proposed by Sellers a step further (the more bureaucracy state leaders can eliminate, the better), but his reforms do represent a step in the right direction. The shouldn’t be controversial either, with his correctional restructuring plan already having been embraced by “Republican” S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.
Well, let’s rephrase that …. Sellers’ reforms shouldn’t be controversial unless you happen to be a disgruntled ex-politician who views everything through the lens of race. Like former S.C. Sen. Robert Ford, for example, who continues to issue poorly spellchecked press releases to the media as though he were still relevant and wasn’t forced to resign his seat in disgrace earlier this year.
Don’t get us wrong … Ford was held accountable in a way “Republicans” in South Carolina never are, but he was guilty as sin and deserved to go down.
He’s also way off the mark in opposing Sellers’ reforms on purely racial lines.
“A black legislator who is also a candidate for Lt. Governor of South Carolina has introduced legislation to eliminate not one but the only two black agency heads in South Carolina,” Ford wrote in his release.
“When Governor Haley appointed Kela Thomas as Director of Probation, Pardon and Parole and Leroy Smith, as the Director of Highway Patrol, Representative (Gilda) Cobb-Hunter and I were extremely happy and felt that some headway (was) being made,” Ford continued. “For Representative Sellers to take the step to introduce this non-inclusive and divisive legislation is simply a step to garner White support for his bid for the office of Lt. Governor. Gain at the expense of two Black State Agency heads means that
the Black community is going to have to get involved and be more vigilant in making their Black elected officials more accountable.”
In other words, blacks gotta stick together … whether the offices they hold are superfluous or not.
That’s a depressing world view, but sadly it’s not surprising coming from a guy who once referred to electronic mail as a “tool of the aristocracy.”
It’s even more depressing when you consider Thomas – Haley’s probation appointee – runs arguably the worst agency in all of state government, and has held onto her job solely because she’s black.
South Carolina’s government is bloated, corrupt and dysfunctional – and Nikki Haley’s politically correct choices (like her political ones) have made things worse, not better. And while Sellers’ modest proposals are hardly a recipe for turning things around, there’s no real reason to oppose them.
Unless of course you think black people should receive appointments to unnecessary government positions exclusively on the basis of their skin color …