“CIRCUMVENTION OF PROCESS” DENIED SOUTH CAROLINA ITS VOICE
(Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series. For part one, click here. For part two, click here).
|| By MICHAEL A. PITTS || South Carolina experienced a horrific tragedy and America’s media rushed in blithering for another Ferguson or Baltimore. When the people of South Carolina did not respond accordingly, in came the race baiters; on (Jesse) Jackson, on (Al) Sharpton, to no avail!
Finally the radical racists arrived. They snarled, glared and postured – but even the Black Panthers and Ku Klux Klan failed to incite. The state with more Revolutionary War battle sites than any other, that fired the first shot of the Civil War, listed as friendliest and number one in patriotism, still did not comply. The Heritage of Dixie showed what the pious and indignant across the country know nothing of – a proud state setting an example.
I submit that failure came with circumvention of process. Immediately following the shooting, Governor Nikki Haley’s response to a question of the Confederate Battle Flag was appropriate. She said, ‘It has no bearing.’
Then the national media spotlight began to burn bright and she had an epiphany. She tearfully demanded retribution on the perpetrator. No, not Dylann Storm Roof, but a piece of cloth. The S.C. Senate sprung into action and produced a bill – S. 897 – taking it straight to the floor. This is the same Senate that produced little all year except a state budget. Like a well-placed pass from a Super Bowl quarterback, they zipped S.897 across the lobby directly to the S.C. House.
Our chamber received it – and with parliamentary moves not used in my thirteen years as a member of the S.C. General Assembly, brought it straight to the floor for debate. House leadership vacillated on what the next step would be, though, as many Republicans recalled their commitment to us that if S. 897 was placed in the Sine Die resolution (which governed debate during our extended summer session, and which we amended to include a debate over the flag), it would follow the proper committee process.
When this process was not followed, the voice of the public was not heard – nor did any vetting occur regarding the Senate proposal or alternative compromises. A mass of external forces became the lone voice on the issue – leaving those of us whose job it is to be the voice of the people abandoned. Their voice was three lone senators facing the tsunami and a core of representatives willing to stand and fight.
The majority of South Carolinians feel betrayed by the failure in the process and not necessarily in the outcome.
South Carolina hosts the “First in the South” presidential primary. Yet Republican presidential hopefuls feared questions on this issue. The answer for them was simple, “it is a state issue, next question.” Our governor is now at the top of the Vice Presidential candidate list. My question is, what if her endorsed candidate fails to win this crucial primary?
The State Senate lost a beloved colleague and deserves an extension of grace in this case. But the House leadership took the hot potato with one final lap to run with one objective – tossing it away. Our failure to engage in a meaningful debate on behalf of the people we represent became clear when I offered an amendment to replace the Confederate battle flag with our own state flag.
Supported by the speaker pro tempore, the assistant majority leader, the ways and means chairman, the judiciary chairman and the labor, commerce and industry committee chairman, an effort to table this amendment failed by a 60-60 vote.
This sent Governor Haley’s liaisons into a texting frenzy – while also sending to work the floor the majority leader and chief whip.
They flipped three votes – killing my amendment by a 63-57 margin. This brought Jesse Jackson to his feet, cheering in our balcony.
The Governor immediately held a public signing following an awkward ceremony removing both the flag and the pole – all of which appeared to have been done according to a pre-set schedule.
I have questioned the larger agenda – the white-washing of Southern history. Where are we now? Battle flags bloom in yards, on houses, and flutter in the backs of convoys of pick-up trucks. Retaliation of trespass, theft, and violence are occurring across the state. As graves are being disturbed and cemeteries desecrated, political correctness races across the nation in almost comical fashion, attempting to eliminate all things Southern.
The process of our government was designed to be slow for a reason. When accelerated mistakes are generally the norm. I believe in this case, failure was in the process and not necessarily the outcome. I believe the manner in which this issue was resolved has not united our state but created a deeper division. More importantly, I believe this division mirrors a nationwide rift created by the policies of President Barack Obama.
Michael A. Pitts is a retired law enforcement officer who represents the voters of District 14 in the S.C. House of Representatives.
Good words but they should be taken with a huge grain of salt when coming from a politician who is known to be two-faced.
Actually, Southerners have it pretty good, as they live in a land protected by the First Amendment and can fly their Confederate flags on their property, without intrusion. Try putting up a swastika in Germany or talking about Mussolini in Italy. The Confederate flag has no legitimacy as a government symbol and does not belong on government property, especially in a state that could not exist without the federal government supporting it.
Queers can fly the Rainbow Flag…your point?
I think that’s the point he’s making…
Who the fuck cares what this uneducated, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic asshole has to say?
Other uneducated, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic assholes.
Oh, shut up.
Yes Mr. Pitts there is a division and it is a mother fucking big one
However, it has nothing to do with “the flag”, racism or Buck Farack
The division is between taxpayers and you and your cohorts , i.e. Fucking Cockroaches
You Sons of Bitches sit up there in Columbia for months on end and do absolutely nothing to improve the quality of life for the citizens of this State
Schools are shit holes, roads are little more than connecting pot holes and the State House is full of ass holes
One can only hope that Donkey Carts, the Guillotine and Saw Grass Baskets are a possible reality rather than a dream
(But it’s South Carolina — sweetgrass baskets! Our heritage.)
That’s because the ALEC agenda tells these cockroaches to ignore the issues and problems in their own states and concentrate on the dog whistle national issues they can do nothing about.
And, they do it and the people who vote for them are too ignorant to realize what is happening.
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What a nice story, if it were actually a true reflection of events. The first even that transpired was that innocent people, including a state Senator, were gunned down in a church by a lone gunman wrapping himself and his cause in the confederate flag. Period. The next event was that at the State House grounds, that flag, which the gunman wrapped himself in, couldn’t even be lowered in honor of the dead. From there it was rather simple. It wasn’t national media and radical racial pot stirring. (And Kudo’s to FITS who early took up the cause) Everyone in SC knew that flag had been placed on the State House grounds since 1961 specifically to oppose equal rights. I represented a desire to maintain a society where a significant portion of the SC population had to use racially segregated (and often poor quality) facilities. Where a person could be denied a seat in a restaurant, a diner, a movie theater, on a bus or even hospital care, based on the color of their skin. The Senators that suddenly felt compelled to move this issue, did so out of respect for Senator Pinkney, and a deep held belief that the flag no longer represented who We were, as a state. So to come back now, after having that rag fly up there specifically as a middle-finger gesture to nearly 30% of the state’s citizens for a half century, and whine you didn’t get due process is crap. That you didn’t to debate maintaining a symbol on the State House grounds that was a symbol of contempt for equal rights for colored citizens of the SC, harks back to 1845, not 2015. Even the idea that you should be allowed some “due process” to continue a racist statement with that flag, is beyond my comprehension. That you actually argue for it, is shameful. The role of our state legislature, of which you are a member, is to work for all the people of South Carolina. Tom Davis did the right thing in moving that weekend to put in place a process to remove that flag. Governor Haley added her voice and solidified what was about to happen; that the flag would come down. You’re argument is an argument of a dying past, one that needs to be put on the trash heap of history. I’m sorry you didn’t feel like you got your due process. I’m sure those who died in Charleston were cheated of their due process as well. And they’re sin was simply they were black, and cloaked in that flag the shooter took their lives. If you can’t see how that simple fact outweighed your precious “due process” for a referendum, than you, and your constituents, have a lot of soul searching to do. Removing the flag was no panacea to race relations in SC. That has to come from the actual society, in how they respond to each other, how they take action against racism as in the case of the North Charleston police shooting. Removing that flag only suggests we can change and resolve the issues of race in our State, and having retained that flag, would have loudly said that small, vocal minority, can stop that change.
Rocky I just washed that red bed spread with the hammer and sickle.
Good, now wrap yourself in it and take a walk.
“Everyone in SC knew that flag had been placed on the State House grounds since 1961 specifically to oppose equal rights.”
Actually, No. It was placed there for the anniversary of the Civil War. It was left there, by democrats, in opposition to the Civil Rights Act.
Your crap doesn’t wash, check your history of SC. Specifically the time line you suggest
Sorry, 1961. Better now?
Yes.I was a gay Marine.
Notice the ven part of it, I’m. n it here to argue. Just get the facts straight.
Still doesn’t change the fact that it was placed there to commemorate the Civil War and left there to protest the Civil Rights Act.
Thank you, second part of your sentence. IT was left there to protest the Civil Rights Act. And it stayed there to protest the Civil Rights act. That’s my point.
Your original statement was that it was put there for that purpose. It was not put there for that purpose. I corrected you in my original post and clarified that it was left there for that reason. You agreed with me all along but wouldn’t admit it.
No, I’m admitting my description was off. But to me it’s a rather minor issue. That fact it was put up there, and kept up there is the issue. To me, anyway.
Bull crap. It was placed there and left there as a protest against Civil Rights. Period. Stop trying to revise history.
You stop trying to rewrite history. Here is a Time article that confirms the reason it was put up.
Everyone in SC knows, the 60s dems are now the pubs ! Damn, I want money for repeating this so many times,
No matter how much you say it, it won’t become fact. Some politicians did change party’s but not most. Just like after the republican revolution, some democrats changed party’s not most. It seems like every time republicans have the moral high ground some democrats start jumping ship to the republican party. They can do that without guilt because the democratic party has always been about what will keep them in office, whether it is racism or buying votes with social programs. They are without a productive vision for the future. Nothing that the Republican Party has ever done can compare to the racist atrocities committed by the Democratic Party. As a democrat, your only recourse is to claim that democrats of yesterday are republicans of today. As a party you do not own up to, acknowledge or accept the results of your racist legacy. Instead you point a finger at others to draw attention away from yourselves. You are the party of Jefferson- A slave owner. We are the party of Lincoln- Not a slave owner.
Do a Google search on ‘Southern Strategy’. While you are at it look up Albert Watson and Floyd Spence and Strom Thurmond. Democrats who turned Republican when the Civil Rights Act became the law of the land.
The Democrats of the ’60’s became the Wallace supporters of ’68 and the Republicans of the 1970’s and ’80’s.
That is some not most! Show where their voting records remained racist as republicans like where they were as democrats.
From the Department of the Obvious
To: Senator Mike Pitts
Re: The Confederate Flag
Can you just shut up already? The flag is down. It’s staying down. It’s not going to be put up anywhere else for the foreseeable future.
If you think you have the votes to get a “memorial” of some kind built then by all fricking means, offer up a bill, but before you do, consider this: http://s5.postimg.org/wbrygxuqv/nude.jpg
The memorial has no clothes and in this argument, neither do you.
Free speech is a wonderful thing on ‘adult forums’. We know that in class when you play a professor that you are able to brainwash young minds of mush into accepting your liberal views with threats and intimidation.Not here.
Agreed, Colonel fragg, has never been in the shit. That’s why his post are stupid.
I am easily the most conservative sane commenter on this blog.
In your mind,
Pray tell Sic, what are these liberal views that I hold?
If bullets fly over your head, what do you do? Properly no answer, you ain’t been there.
Near or far ambush?
I’ll leave you alone brother, u had your job, I had mine, truce.
You are more liberal than Rocky.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha – – – – – not a chance.
Rocky, you’ll notice I specified “sane”.
I’m the most sane “liberal” too – I guess. Though I don’t consider myself liberal, more left of center.
I’ll grant your sanity but insanity begins on the “not so fringe” left and works it’s way around to the “WTF were you thinking” right
Think of it as you’re looking at the moon. Down the center is the center. To the left or right are Democrats and Republicans (the moderate sane ones). The fringes wrap around the back. Thus, the fringes really, are on the dark side of the moon.
You are the socialist, you tax-raising douche.
Would that make me the most conservative insane commentator on this blog ? I can handle that. LOL
Rogue, I forgot to consider you in the equation – I might be the second most conservative commenter on this blog
I commend all old republican conservatives, but in office now are not them. Your pipe dream is gone, properly forever. Thanks to the tea party.
Sadly , you are most likely right. The Tea Party is the last hope for America the way it was “supposed to be”. Adherence to the Constitution was something that was expected rather than made fun of. Reverence to God was a natural occurrence . Respect for our fellow man was a given. 50 years ago I was considered an average run of the mill conservative. But the center has moved so far left after the Great Society skewed reality that I now consider myself an extreme right winger. I haven’t changed my attitude very much but everyone else has . I align my political views with Ted Cruz but at the same time realizing that those of that ilk are about 10 to 15% of the Republican Party. The establishment politicians , Bush, Christie, Graham are so far from my core beliefs as to be closet Democrats. Trump is saying the right things but I just can’t bring myself to trust him. He has the capability to win the primary and the nomination then flake out in the lead up to the general election and walk away. The only two candidates I really trust is Huckabee and Walker. Oh well, I have gotten completely off the original subject but you get my drift.
Only in Koch brothers eyes. I prefer Donald.
Yes, your drift is that you’re a jerk-off. Got that a long time ago.
Rogue, I take exception to that. This idea that the Tea Party movement is some last great hope to the way it’s “supposed to be.” The Constitution was designed to be flexible – hence recent SCOTUS rulings (Obamacare, Gay Marriage) is how it’s supposed to be. Our society and our country are forever evolving, and the Constitution was designed to evolve with it. I see the Tea Party as calling for a return to a lost era, that’s past, and gone forever. Might have been a great era, but it doesn’t mean the next eras are not equally as great.
Yeah, the same tea party that advocates and incites violence as a means to “take back their country”…..the same tea party that espouses racism through the use of coded words, e.g., “real americans”,etc…..the same tea lead by a brainless bimbo with an affinity for BBC and an uneducated, redneck alleged plumber and a Cuban born Canadian nutjob/zealot who incidentally is benefiting from the very same Obama Care that he has wasted an entire senate term trying to repeal without offering an alternative plan.
In short, take your ignorant redneck ass back to red bank or pelion and wipe your fat ass with your beloved confederate rag while the rest of us in the 21st century move on to other more important issues. Pathetic prick.
Oh no, not “real americans”. You mean like these guys:
If you want to claim the title you: a. Have to actually post, and b. Have too fight Rogue Elephant for it, I’ve ceded my title.
A strong delimiter.
It’s a rare trait among Republicans nowadays.
The Af./ Am. monument on the state house grounds is as offensive to me as the flag was to the liberals. It was also part of the “compromise” that put the flag at the memorial. Why is it still there ? I guess it makes me a racist for even thinking such things. Oh well.
Politics aside, I actually like the monument. I think it is attractive and does a good job telling the story of blacks in South Carolina while recognizing some great South Carolinians (though I could do without the slave ship/stokes litter).
It really is a good looking monument. I was commenting as to it’s origin and reason for being there. It wasn’t even on the radar until the politicians wanted to soft soap the black politicians to save face after lowering the flag from the dome. Compromise, it almost makes me gag to even write the word.
Lonnie Randolph and the NAACP take credit for that monument without accepting blame for the damage their failure to live up to their end of the bargain caused.
I know, public schools, but I really wasn’t very aware of the Black Laws until I saw them mentioned there. We know of slavery, we know of Jim Crow, but we tend to forget about the attempt in between to institute serfdom.
Yes, it does make you a racist.
I see more Mexican flags and banners and license plates than any other than Old Glory..didn’t we fight a war against Mexico and doesn’t the hate group LA Raza preach the re-colonization of the USA? Where’s the noise about that?
I like our comment. Look another way. Bingo for trouble.
They aren’t trying to take over here I don’t believe. They can have Texas and California. And we could agree to rename New Mexico if we keep it. We could flip a coin for Arizona.
Spend some time in Saluda…attend a LA Raza meeting…I caught the tail end of one and it was creepy…
I have indeed heard that Saluda in now a Mexican town (village?).
ON thing that you can count on with this administration, When they set out on an action they do so with little regard for the truth or for justice. They will be unwavering in their action no matter how misguided or unjust it is. Because, To waver from their path would be to admit their incompetence in choosing the course that they have set out upon.
Are you from SC? Please stop voteing for your republican family values candidates, they work for themselves, and not a help for real citizens.
I am who I am and you are who you are. I am from where I am from and you are from where you are from. Being who I am and from where I am from is much better that being who are and where you are from.
Well you clearly are for yourself, you need to try a SC government position.
‘The process of our government was designed to be slow for a reason.’ – So glad this applies to our roads.
The conservative mindset is to allow the roads to disintegrate into dust, thus saving the taxpayer the money required to strip up the asphalt.
If that ends up costing more in the long run we’ll just blame government, not the conservatives who ran it.
Yup, blame with fall on the “REPUBLICANS” and Democrats.
Who cares what that old homo Mike Pitts thinks? He wipes his ass with the US Constitution every chance he gets. He doesn’t give a shit about this state or nation, just doing whatever he can to keep the value of his shares in Smith & Wesson up.
How many chairmen, committeemen, speaker pro tempores, Sine Dies does it take to romove a flag? More than needed to change a light bulb? Process? You’re removing a flag, not a brain tumor.
Let me rephrase that.
You had a day long debate before the entire nation.
Everyone had their say. For the most part respectful.
Compromise is only for when you can’t get a majority.
A committee would not enlighten anyone.
A committee would have raised the specter of hidden deals.
The way it was done without delay was a propaganda win for the state.
Now you have done your three part series, let it rest.
Good Evening Herr Goebbels ;
All you care about is the “propaganda win” you sick Nazi bastard. What about input from the citizens of South Carolina, the majority of which didn’t want the flag removed. They could have had their say through the committee process.
Sieg heil to you and God bless.
“the citizens of South Carolina . . . could have had their say through the committee process”
What a rube. What a naif. What a maroon.
You are opposed to citizen input through the committee process. I guess you’re a good communist with ties to the communist Black Panther Party. What an ass wipe, what a raciest, what a Stalinist.
I love how quick the commenters here are to whip out the comparisons to Nazis.
“Strike when the iron is hot”
Everyone knows that the proposed “debate and consideration and public have it’s say” was just a ploy to delay and then use the delay to dilute, divert, dissuade, and if possible defeat the flag removal.
You got outplayed.
Chin up. Usually it’s the good guys who are outplayed.
Lord, what a wind bag.
Blah…blah…blah….I’m a racist and so are my constituents.
Did Fits really need a 3 part series from this douche to make that point?
His disrespect for the President of the United States makes this AssClown worthy of all the disdain and disgrace we can heap upon him. By his words, he bathes the people who voted for him in vile, vocal excrement, rather poor cconstituent services, I’ll say.
Mike Pitts—or as the indians know him…Waffling Dog…thinks
his PC spiel and not voting will save his political hide
But Laurens County voters—not fools—know that hypocrites are
NOT cool—and will politically cut him long, deep and wide !!!