Clemson Board Rebukes Ben Tillman’s Legacy

BUT REMAINS STUCK WITH HIS NAME ON ICONIC BUILDING … || By FITSNEWS || One of the most bizarrely circular stories we’ve ever covered is Clemson University’s love affair with – and now repudiation of – the name bestowed upon its most famous building, Tillman Hall. Two weeks ago we pointed…


|| By FITSNEWS || One of the most bizarrely circular stories we’ve ever covered is Clemson University’s love affair with – and now repudiation of – the name bestowed upon its most famous building, Tillman Hall.

Two weeks ago we pointed out Clemson’s hypocrisy in calling for the Confederate flag to be removed from the State House grounds while simultaneously refusing to rename its iconic landmark, which is named for “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman.

Who’s he?  An outspoken white supremacist and lynch law advocate who was indicted – but never tried – for his role in the “Hamburg Massacre,” in which six free black men were killed by a racist mob led by Tillman.

By a unanimous vote, the school’s board of trustees has called Tillman “racist” and “repugnant.”

Interesting … two weeks ago board members were adamant they wouldn’t be changing the name of the building.

Clemson has apparently realized Tillman’s legacy is bad for business – namely the business of recruiting black college football players to campus.  And so its board of trustees (which runs via a completely unconstitutional governing structure) has changed its mind and undertaken an effort to scrub the name.

“Recent events in our state and nationally have prompted concerns about how Clemson University portrays its history and how that portrayal impacts the full breadth of the Clemson family,” the board’s statement noted.

One problem …

South Carolina lawmakers – who just went through a brutal battle to take down the Confederate flag – are in no mood to start renaming buildings or removing monuments on government property.  In fact S.C. Speaker Jay Lucas – who alienated flag supporters during the recent debate – has drawn a line in the sand on the issue, vowing that no such measures will be enacted during his tenure as Speaker.

Backing Lucas up?  The 2000 Heritage Act, which is the name of the compromise which removed the Confederate flag from the dome of the S.C. State House and moved it to the north lawn of the complex – where it flew until last Friday.

Under that act, “any monument, marker, memorial, school, or street erected or named in honor of the Confederacy or the civil rights movement located on any municipal, county, or state property shall not be removed, changed, or renamed without the enactment of a joint resolution by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the General Assembly.”

Clemson’s position became further weakened when it was revealed the school’s top trustee – former S.C. Speaker David Wilkins – misled Lucas regarding the school’s intentions.

Wilkins, ironically, was one of the staunchest supporters of leaving the Tillman name.

In addition to now assailing Tillman, Clemson’s resolution creates a task force charged with investigating the school’s past and “exploring appropriate recognition of historical figures.”

Without legislative approval, though, Clemson’s statements regarding Tillman Hall are purely ceremonial.  Sound and fury, if you will. Not to mention totally undercut by the trustees’ refusal a few weeks ago to get behind a name change when the proverbial iron was hot.

What do we think of Tillman’s enduring legacy?

Eight years ago, we called for Tillman’s statue on the S.C. State House grounds to come down in light of his racist past, but in the aftermath of last week’s flag removal (a move we supported) – we’ve revisited the issue.

“If we start down such a path … where does it end? ” we wrote. “Does the definition of ‘offense’ ever stop expanding?  Or do we permit it to perpetually escalate into elevated echelons of ridiculousness?”

Finally, as we’ve said all along higher education is not a core function of government – meaning the Palmetto State’s bloated, duplicative and inefficient network of state-subsidized schools should be immediately set free to pursue its destiny in the private sector.  Were that to happen, Clemson wouldn’t have to ask permission to rename its buildings.


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tomstickler July 17, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Time to start the legal challenge to the 2000 Heritage Act as an unconstitutional limitation on any future General Assembly.

Greenwood July 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm Reply
Now July 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Get rid of that stupid piece of legislation.

mamatiger92 July 17, 2015 at 4:26 pm


shifty henry July 17, 2015 at 4:33 pm

There are buildings and other structures all around the US that are known by two (or more) names — don’t ask me to cite one but I’ve seen the references. Well, except for the SC State House/Nikki’s Sandbox….

Nikki Nookie July 17, 2015 at 4:39 pm

You said Nikki and Box……hehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

Tazmaniac July 17, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Sandbox….was she doing something naughty at Myrtle Beach? Sandboxes hurt like Hell, take it from a Florida Boy.

euwe max July 17, 2015 at 6:38 pm

when I was just a pup… any box in a storm.

erneba July 17, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Kinda like my house..
“the pleasure pit”
“the house of fun”
Is that what you mean?

euwe max July 17, 2015 at 6:37 pm

I put a sign on my house “live naked ladies”…

but none showed up – all I got was a bunch of goobers knocking on the door at all hours of the night.

erneba July 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm

That’s a real bitch. You have to fire the marketing manager.
I found out you don’t need real women. I use anatomically correct female blow up dolls. It keeps operating costs down, but the cleanup on Monday morning is a real bitch.

euwe max July 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm

I’d rather have a real bitch.

shifty henry July 17, 2015 at 7:26 pm

There is a foto of a strip club with the big sign outside (I have it somewhere in some old files – a real club)… “Fifty Gorgeous Girls and One Ugly One”…
And where are you folks getting all of these “goobers” from?

euwe max July 17, 2015 at 7:33 pm


Praying Mantis July 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

I love your sense of humor Henry, but the truth is — Haley is the best SC has. She is a brilliant strategist who has outplayed everyone. She is money smart and knows how to draw business. She cares about the people, not just her race, but all people. She is a good Governor. I hope to see her as POTUS one day.

All joking aside, there are too many guys who want to tear a woman down. I bet you have children based on past conversations – girls. Is this how you want them to be treated?

Men get a “free” pass, most women allow it — does that make it right?

Conservative "Values" July 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Haley will never be President or Vice President.

If a Republican were elected President she might get a secondary Cabinet position.

Perseus July 17, 2015 at 4:33 pm

“Finally, as we’ve said all along higher education is not a core function of government”

There it is again! That slippery bastard unicorn.

Bring me my bow!

CNSYD July 17, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Well Folks had already used up today’s ration of “horrific”, so he had to drop back to this old standby.

Superfly July 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm

The “All In” cook-out for Dabo’s new recruits is tonight, so they needed a splash to represent that cu is not a racist work-farm. Obviously they waited to collect all of the season ticket renewals, and IPTAY contributions before breaking the news to their base that Tillman, was in fact, a vicious, violent, murdering racist.

Bible Thumper July 17, 2015 at 5:46 pm

That’s the difference between liberals and conservatives.
Conservatives do things the smart way. The way most likely to lead to sucess and to the benefit of as many as possible.

For Liberals, the anyone benefits then their motives are suspect. Let’s do it in a way that causes the most harm to the University. Riots and looting would be preferable. That’s why conservatives get more done. They make people’s motives work to their advantage. For liberals that’s a sacrilege. That’s why it was a Republican who was primarily responsible for bringing down the flag. That’s why Lincoln, a non abolitionist was able to end slavery.

Conservative "Values" July 17, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Yeah what I really like about Conservatives is when one of em screws up big time(see Bush G W) ,they merely announce he wasn’t a REAL conservative.

High comedy.

Daniel Boome July 17, 2015 at 8:54 pm

Not when they “mess up”, but when they actually jettison conservative philosophy in favor of liberalism. You liberals will call it a failure of a conservative, when really it’s your liberal policy that has just failed.

High comedy.

Tom July 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

What exactly were Bush’s liberal policies?

Daniel Boome July 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Bailouts, “faith-based” initiatives, both of which led to the doubling of federal spending and an unprecedented expansion of government. That continues to today.

Tom July 19, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Bailouts are only liberal ideas when they seem necessary to protect the jobs of a large number of people, like the GM case. Wall Street bailouts are definitely not liberal ideas, they are Croney Capitalism ideas. Croney Capitalism is practiced almost exclusively by people who say they are conservatives.

Faith-Based initiatives are definitely not liberal ideas. I don’t even know how you can assert that.

Finally liberals don’t advocate for bigger government, they advocate for what they think government should do. I would argue Conservatives do the same thing, they just have different things they want government to do. Liberals want government to focus on programs that help the middle class and poor people, Conservatives want government to concentrate on subsidies for big business, tax cuts for the wealthy and the military industrial complex.

Daniel Boome July 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Crony capitalism is practiced by the corruption “insiders”, both liberal and conservative. That’s a small part of some bailouts, but bailouts have a lot more to do with government interventionism. This being based on the liberal idea that if the private sector messes up, the government is there to “fix” things.

There is a reason I put faith-based in quotes. That’s because, even though they have charitable religiosity attached to them, they are really nothing more than another form of welfare, as is any government spending on programs designed to help the poor. There’s nothing conservative about funding yet another one of those programs.

You say that liberals are not for bigger government, yet in the same breath “liberals want government to focus on programs that help the middlie class and poor people”. While you may believe there is some distinction, the only way for government to do that is expand. That’s the only reason conservatives oppose those plans and the reason that they get unfairly stigmatized as against the poor and for me the rich. It’s unsustainable spending and only subsidizes the perpetuation of a dependent class. It’s unsustainable no matter how you look and no matter how much you “tax the rich”. There isn’t even any evidence that taxing the rich actually increases revenues long term anyways. On that point, Bush was certainly conservative. On the whole, the notions of “subsidies for big business, tax cuts for the wealthy and the military industrial complex” and categories that liberals came up with to box conservatives in. I find them meaningless because they are misrepresentations, as I explained with the whole “tax cuts for the rich” nonsense.

Tom July 19, 2015 at 7:23 pm

We will have to leave it at I think you are wrong on the facts, wrong on history, and definitely wrong when you say there is no evidence increasing taxes (back to historical norms) on the most wealthy increases revenue.

The Truth is when we had a government concerned with the success of the middle class and wealth was widely disbursed everyone prospered and the country thrived. But since the 1980s when the government began to focus on the wealthy and trickle down policies became the status quo, the average American has suffered. Poor people on welfare are not the cause of our increasing deficits.

Saying conservatives don’t care about the poor may in fact be an unfair assessment; but I have seen little evidence that is the case. .

Jack July 19, 2015 at 3:49 pm

It appropriate to honor a few of the Conservative Successes for our country. I can’t argue with the premise they have been successful in getting their things done.

Monopolies Controlling the Country
Child Labor
60 Hour Work Week and Company Stores
No education for factory workers and farm hands
35% Poverty Rate
50% Poverty Rate for people over 65
Stock Market Crash
Great Depression
Black Lung Disease Unchecked

Brown Lung Disease Unchecked
No work place safety
No voting for minorities
People injured on the Job left to starve and with no health care
No health care for the elderly and disabled
Unchecked Water and Air Pollution

Failing middle class
Great Recession
Iraq War

Give the the chance and I am sure they will continue this string fo successes.

Bible Thumper July 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm

If you want to go that route.
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War

Jack July 19, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Sure I do, and you said Conservatives not Republicans. i was listing the accomplishments of Conservatives. We won WWI and WWII. So I am ok with Progressives (liberals) being credited with those victories. They were wars worth fighting. And you were correct to point out Conservatives argued against us getting into both of those wars. In both cases Conservatives would have abandoned Britain and France to the Germans.

I am not sure why you blame Korea and Vietnam on Progressives. But I guess I would say that to the extent you have a basis for saying Progressives got us into those wars, they also got us out of those wars. In the end it was conservatives that fought to keep us in Vietnam.

So I am happy to compare the list of Conservative successes with Progressive successes. Because I honestly can’t really think of anything good Conservatives (or more accurately Regressives) have done for this country.

Scooter July 18, 2015 at 12:36 pm

They got a top notch recruit tonight. Something must be still working.

End Revisionist History July 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm

There has been a joint resolution to erase the names of the founding fathers off of the constitution because many of them were slave owners who did not believe black people, native americans, or women deserved any rights or were even people in general

Joe the Jet July 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Now they must rebuke and remove Dabo from the university. He is far more embarrassing to Clemson than Tillman.

TontoBubbaGoldstein July 17, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Now they must rebuke and remove Dabo from the university. He is far more embarrassing to Clemson than Tillman.

35 – 17.
Your butthurt is showing.

euwe max July 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm

I’ve seldom met a wit like yours that really gives a flying fuck about sports.

Please tell me how this sickness wormed its way into your heart, so I might become similarly addicted.

Soft Sigh from Hell July 18, 2015 at 9:13 am

In South Carolina, sports meningitis fits right in with the ubiquitous and prevailing ” ‘us’ versus ‘them’ ” worldview (i.e., tribalism).

VoiceofReason July 17, 2015 at 5:02 pm

People, CU walks to a different drum which is why it’s a top public university. This state is so ignorant and tries to hold it back but CU moves on and on and always will. Bye bye CU haters and distractors, we are leaving you in the dust and moving this state forward no matter what you think.

utah July 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Yes, leaving everyone behind by having the name of a notorious racist attached to its signature building. Where exactly are you going?

Reply July 17, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Look at the academic rankings, the faculty awards nationally, the ICAR success story, the high performance computing center and more. We are going into the 21 st century with or without a building called Tillman. USC is stuck in a time warp and anybody who sends their kids there swaying their money.

. July 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Other than the honors college, USC is a diploma mill. Blame Pastides and the BOT for turning their backs on students, staff, and faculty.

Captn July 17, 2015 at 7:12 pm

I fully agree – it is very sad to see what is going on at USC. Academically they are barely second class now – Pastides and whats left of his motley crew destroyed a lot of faculties hopes and aspirations. We got a few good ones like KRESOVICH and Koley but many are left in that cesspool in Columbia.
And fir all the gamecock haters : you xan win in football as long as you want to – that’s all you have left – bless your hearts.

VoiceofTruth July 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm

are you “leaving us in the dust” with your kicker driving drunk, or are you calling his coke dust?

ED July 17, 2015 at 5:05 pm

No one with a “life” should care one wit about this Tillman thing.

TED July 17, 2015 at 5:12 pm

You mean racist apologists.

Praying Mantis July 17, 2015 at 5:14 pm

In honor of racism, I’ll stop wearing my favorite SOLID colors – black and white. Seriously, you guys need to get a life. We are all human. Anyone who values a f*cking flag or statue above humans is scum or racist. Which are you?

TED July 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Only a racist would get all testy about that. Why does pointing out racist things bother you? Hit a nerve, I see.

Praying Mantis July 17, 2015 at 5:34 pm

You are trying really hard, but horribly missing the mark. I am stating facts as I see them. I asked a question and you answered.

TED July 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

As am I. Why does that bother you?

That's why July 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Because she’s racist.

Praying Mantis July 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Use a different color paint, this one is getting boring. (sigh)

Praying Mantis July 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm

It doesn’t.

erneba July 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm

My response was going to be, “move on.”
Evidently, the ignorant did not get the message.

Praying Mantis July 17, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Ignorance knows no bounds.

Hanceek July 19, 2015 at 4:24 am Reply
swampland July 18, 2015 at 11:28 am

Speaking of life, Tillman was a serial murderer.

E Norma Scok July 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Can you prove that?

CNSYD July 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Well the Clemson BOT elected a new Chairman today. I guess it was because of all the bad things Folks said about Folks, right?

CNSYD July 17, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Oops. “Folks said about Wilkins” it should read.

Lone Ranger July 17, 2015 at 6:43 pm

The trustees said…we prefer a longer six-month PC knee-jerk
because we’re most truly gutless and have no spines

And of course it’s what honest South Carolinians have to
fear from their Legislature…who are PC out of their minds !!!

Burt July 17, 2015 at 7:22 pm

Its not black football players that they should worry about, it’s word class researchers and administrators who don’t want to explain their visitors who Tillman was and why his name is used for a building in the 21 st century. lemon is a top 25 school with global aspirations and customers – change the damn name. call it McNair Hall, an MIT educated afroamerican physicist – USC isn’t able to honor his legacy at all!

sprite July 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

well you got one thing right, Clemson is a lemon,

Speak D Truth July 17, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Funny how they only spoke out against Tillman after being assured that the Legislature wouldn’t change the name. That the University of Pickens for you.

Bend Over Clemson. July 18, 2015 at 7:17 am

Clemson can “rebuke” all they want. But in the end, that name will be forced to come off that building before the eyes of 340,000,000 people in the USA.

Manray9 July 18, 2015 at 11:32 am

Why no widespread campaign to rename Tillman Hall? This is South Carolina:
1. Very few have heard of “Pitchfork” Ben. Remember — they were educated here.
2. If they have heard of that racist terrorist and panderer to rednecks, they approve because he represents “Heritage, not hate.”

Speak D Truth July 18, 2015 at 12:28 pm

You are clueless. There is a difference in being proud of the Confederate Flag. It does not represent racism to everyone. There are Confederate veterans both black and white that deserve to be remembered. The Confederate Flag only came to represent hate and racism to some people after the democrats formed the KKK and chose to use the flag as a part of their twisted rituals. Many people that oppose the flag today are only protesting the flag because they have been told to by the liberal media and hate groups like the NAACP. The NAACP and other groups need to invoke fears and feelings of unjust and unequal treatment among the black community so they can stay in business. Imagine if Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had to get a real job.
Ben Tillman contributed very little positive to society and the good that he did was far outweighed by the bad that he did. There is no reason that the monuments to him should be there. But since they are, They should also list the atrocities that he committed or in some way that he was a vile, murderous, Red Shirt, racist.

Manray9 July 18, 2015 at 11:49 pm

The Confederate flag represents treason against the United States. You may tap dance around the issue as much as you like, but read Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them…” That’s what the Confederates did.
As far as Tillman is concerned, the monuments and buildings serve to cast a veneer of respectability over the memory of a man who didn’t shrink from acts of racial terrorism to gain and keep political power, a man who pandered to the worst elements in society in order to advance himself, a man who abetted widespread murders. Such actions are the very definition of base character and scurrilousness. Should such a man be honored on public buildings even if he’s a part of our history?
Those who oppose the Confederate flag are no more victims of media manipulation or propaganda those those who support it. You need to retire the myth of the black Confederates. It’s not supported by any reputable academics (i.e., those unconnected to the Sons of Confederate Veterans). The best estimate was 60 blacks were mustered in Richmond in the final weeks of the war — but only in exchange for emancipation.

Speak D Truth July 19, 2015 at 7:52 am
What you call a myth is actually a recognized fact that is documented by the US Park service.

Manray9 July 19, 2015 at 11:09 am

I say again: “reputable academics,” scholars from established universities who have generated work in scholarly journals and books.

Speak D Truth July 19, 2015 at 11:41 am

I guess the fact that the National Park Service has researched this and recognized this is insufficient to satisfy you since it is contrary to you views.
It also notes that the South was willing to free slaves in exchange for official recognition from European Countries. Another indicator that the war was entirely about slavery.
As far as you earlier claims that the Confederates committed treason. That is another narrow view. The South had seceded and formed their own government and Army with little resistance from the North. The North had actually used military action or the threat of military action to prevent several border states from seceding also.

Manray9 July 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Here some of the very issues mentioned are addressed. You may find it of interest. Note the comment about failure to cite sources or identify photos. Click on the Ed Bearss link.

Bible Thumper July 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm Reply
Moooo July 19, 2015 at 8:08 pm

So the rednecks at Taterville want anything that has the slightest thing to do with the confederacy taken down, just as long as it isn’t at their shithole of a school. Typical hypocritical crap from those cow dung eaters up there. I am sure they meant to spell it KKKlemson. Thank goodness I don’t have to live in that state.


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