NOW IT’S UP TO S.C. HOUSE …
This time the vote was 36-3. And once again, Senators voted to simply take the banner down and move it to a museum rather than replace it with another flag.
Ordinarily such “third reading” of bills is ceremonial, but one outspoken supporter of the controversial banner – S.C. Senator Lee Bright – insisted on making Senators cast their ballots again.
The rebel banner has become an issue again in the aftermath of last month’s horrific, racially motivated “Holy City Massacre” – the mass murder of nine black churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, S.C. The Mother Emanuel victims – among them S.C. Senator Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor – were gunned down during a Bible study by Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist who used the Confederate flag as his calling card.
We’ve written extensively in the aftermath of the shooting in support of removing the flag – and doing so expeditiously. We’ve also provided some extensive historical context related to this debate (see here and here).
The legislation now moves to the S.C. House of Representatives – which is scheduled to take it up on Wednesday, July 8.
The House can do one of three things – approve the Senate bill, amend it or reject it.
We’ve been told to expect a contentious debate over a proposed replacement banner, although sources familiar with the debate tell FITS there “should be” enough votes to approve the Senate bill and simply take the banner down.
We hope that’s the case …
As we’ve written, “both chambers need to move on to addressing the myriad of issues which make South Carolina one of the poorest, least intelligent, most underemployed, most dangerous states in America.”
Because that’s what all of our state’s citizens need them to focus on …