NEW GOVERNOR’S SCHEDULED APPEARANCE AT WHITE TIE EVENT DRAWS CRITICISM …
Prior to becoming the 117th governor of South Carolina last month, Henry McMaster steadfastly refused to withdraw his membership in an exclusive Columbia, S.C. country club – one that refuses to admit minority members.
This weekend McMaster is scheduled to make his first appearance as governor at the Forest Lake Club – a white tie dance he is reportedly planning on attending with his wife, Peggy McMaster.
Several Democratic activists have confirmed to FITSNews their plans to protest the new governor’s appearance at this event, which will be held at the club’s Columbia, S.C. location (340 Country Club Drive).
Is this a big deal? No, not really. At least not to us.
We believe in judging politicians based on the policies they advance during their time in office (and more importantly the results those policies produce). Their social circles? That’s not especially important to us.
We would never join a club like that discriminated like that, however we don’t believe people who do join clubs like that are necessarily racist. In fact we know several who aren’t.
Anyway, McMaster’s membership at the Forest Lake Club was first uncovered by this website back in 2008 (along with his membership in several other “whites only” organizations). He and his wife have been members at the club for nearly four decades.
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(Via Travis Bell Photography)
Forest Lake’s “whites only” policy is not written anywhere in the club’s bylaws, incidentally – it is instead a condition of the deed to the property upon which the club sits.
“Our by-laws do not say no negroes,” one club member told us years ago. “The deed on the property says no negroes.”
Well then … that clears things up.
McMaster’s membership at the club became statewide news back in 2014 when he ran successfully for lieutenant governor – with both Democrats and Republicans urging him to withdraw. He declined to do so then, as well.
According to our sources, the event the McMasters are scheduled to attend is called “The Centurion” – and will take place at the club this coming Friday evening (February 3).
It’s not immediately clear whether the club is sponsoring the white tie event or simply renting out its facilities to another organization. We’ve heard conflicting reports, but hope to get additional information on the event soon.
In the meantime we reached out to the governor’s press office, but McMaster spokesperson Brian Symmes was not immediately available to comment – either on his boss’s scheduled participation in this white tie, “whites only” event or on the planned protests of the dance.
McMaster isn’t the only prominent Palmetto politico who belongs to Forest Lake – nor is he the first to attract scrutiny as a result of being a member. Former S.C. Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson, for example, famously pretended to quit the club during his failed bid to become chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) back in 2009.
Former S.C. Senate president John Courson is also a longtime member at Forest Lake.
Stay tuned. We look forward to updating our readers as to how these planned protests play out …
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