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SCDPS: “Reverse Racism” Alleged

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WHITE LEADERS NOT WELCOME

We’ve never bought into the concept of “reverse racism.” If you are a racist, you judge people on the basis of their skin color … period.

There is no directional distinction involved.

Is racism wrong?  Sure.  Even at the zenith of our nation’s “all in” divisiveness, most people would agree with this assessment.  It’s undeniably wrong to discriminate against people on the basis of their skin color when taxpayer resources are involved – and in our view it’s just plain stupid to discriminate on that basis in business.

On a personal level, though, we believe people should have the right to be racist if they want … recognizing that they will ultimately be held accountable to the creator of all people (who, the last time we checked, was not a racist).

Anyway, all of this is a lead-in to a curious example of alleged racism at one of South Carolina’s largest state agencies – which is responsible for performing a vital function of government.

We’re referring, of course, to the scandal-scarred S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) – which has been under intense scrutiny in recent months due to the failed leadership of director Leroy Smith (who is black).

Does Smith’s race matter?  Not to us … but apparently race matters a great deal to Smith (a fact our longtime readers are intimately familiar with).

What recent proof do we have of this?  Well, at this moment there are no white members on SCDPS’ command staff.  That’s right … every single member of Smith’s command staff is black (including a woman previously accused of coaching SCDPS staffers to lie under oath about allegedly race-based hirings and firings).

How’s that for irony?

As of last week there was one solitary white member of Smith’s command staff – S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) colonel Michael Oliver – but he resigned prior to the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Oliver’s replacement is black – just like the head of the S.C. Bureau of Protective Services (SCBPS), S.C. State Transport Police (SCSTP), S.C. Immigration Enforcement Unit (SCIEU) and the agency’s human resources and professional responsibility divisions.

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So … is SCDPS all-black command staff evidence of racism on the part of the agency’s director?  Especially considering eighty percent of the employees under his charge are white?

Hmmm …

We’ll ask the question another way … imagine if eighty percent of SCDPS employees were black and yet every single command staff member was white?  

Think there would be some headlines in that situation?  You better believe it.

Again, we don’t care about the racial composition of state agencies (or their directors or leadership teams), we care about whether these entities are performing necessary functions.  And if they are, we care whether they are performing these functions with excellence and efficiency.

Which brings us to the problem with SCDPS.

Earlier this year, a legislative oversight panel released a damning report on the abysmal results being produced by this agency – including soaring traffic fatalities, lax law enforcement, misappropriation of public funds, poor recruitment (and retention) of officers and double standards in the administration of internal justice.

Since then, it’s been revealed that traffic fatalities were even higher than originally reported.

What’s driving these elevated fatalities?  Trooper shortages, according to our sources.  At the conclusion of the latest S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) graduation ceremony, there were approximately 800 troopers patrolling Palmetto State roadways – well below the 1,200 considered optimum for public safety.

And what’s driving these trooper shortages?

“Leroy Smith,” one state trooper told us bluntly.

(Click to view)

(Via: SC Governor’s Office)

According to our sources, as many as ninety state troopers have left the agency in some form or fashion during the current calendar year.  As many as “four or five a week” are currently turning in their badges and guns, we’re told.

“Something has to change,” another trooper told us.

Despite the climate of chaos, S.C. governor Henry McMaster has repeatedly refused to fire Smith – even after state lawmakers (led by the highest-ranking black legislator) stripped funding for his salary from the state budget in protest of his performance.

Again, how’s that for irony?

McMaster may soon be facing even more pressure to fire Smith.

In the aftermath of the legislative oversight report, the S.C. Office of Inspector General (SCOIG) – an executive branch agency – has launched its own investigation into SCDPS.

This website has repeatedly called on McMaster to fire Smith and replace him with a capable, consistent manager.  Whoever is in charge at SCDPS, though, this agency’s ongoing failure to field a full contingent of troopers is an unacceptable neglect of a core function of government, one that must be addressed immediately.

As we noted last month, South Carolina state government has seen its annual budget explode in recent years (along with massive increases in borrowing).  That fact that our trooper force remains 33 percent below optimum capacity is simply inexcusable given the mountain of tax money sent to Columbia, S.C. each year.

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