To say the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has seen better days is putting it politely. The once-proud “pro-business” organization – a staunch supporter of crony capitalism – has seen its reputation within the S.C. General Assembly collapse in recent months.
Interviews for Pitts’ replacement are taking place this month, with our sources telling us chamber leaders are reportedly eyeing a “female minority” as the next leader of the organization.
We don’t really care who the chamber hires as its next leader … we care about the policies it advances (or opposes). And the chamber’s first shot out of the box ahead of the 2021 session of the state legislature is to go all-in on behalf of … a hate crimes bill?
That’s right …
“The time has come to pass a hate crimes bill this coming session,” Pitts announced this week. “The state’s business community looks forward to working with the House, the Senate, and the governor to quickly pass a meaningful bill that shows South Carolina does not condone crimes motivated by hate.”
As opposed to crimes motivated by … what, exactly?
This news outlet has repeatedly argued against the passage of such feel-good legislation. Our long-held belief – reiterated many times over the years – is that “crime is crime,” and that “some level of hate (is) necessary for the commission of any crime … especially a crime which involves taking the life of another human being.”
Adding superfluous charges in the hopes of criminalizing the thought processes that ostensibly led to a crime’s commission strikes us as silly – to say nothing of creating a slippery slope to, well, criminalizing thought.
We have also pointed out that what constitutes a “hate crime” in South Carolina is, um … debatable.
Also, the last time we checked the federal government (which has a hate crimes statute on the books) invariably usurps the authority of the state when it comes to high-profile cases … right?
Which makes this debate far less important than its proponents would have you believe.
To read our latest treatment of this controversial subject, click here … but our bottom line is as follows: It is patently ridiculous for government to focus on assigning politically correct labels to specific crimes – especially at a time when South Carolina is letting murderers roam free and simultaneously failing to carry out duly imposed sentences on convicted killers.
Seriously … where are our priorities?
Should we not focus on justice before focusing on optics?
Certainly that is the approach our elevated crime statistics would seem to warrant …
We weren’t the only ones shocked to discover this was what the “business community” decided to lead with as it unveiled its 2021 agenda.
“Somebody ought to tell them that the blue wave didn’t happen,” one lawmaker told us, referring to the 2020 Republican electoral romp that produced expanded GOP majorities in both the S.C. House and the S.C. Senate.
Irrespective of your views on hate crime legislation, though … are we seriously supposed to believe the passage of a duplicative, superfluous “hate crime” bill at the state level is really the top priority of Palmetto State businesses?
Because our guess is the South Carolina small businesses ravaged by the prevailing economic uncertainty would beg to differ …
Our guess is those businesses want to make sure they are not going to be slammed with higher taxes … beyond the higher taxes already imposed upon them by the chamber and its fiscally liberal allies, that is.
Our news outlet has had little use for the chamber over the years, repeatedly arguing that the group has “never met a spending increase or tax hike it didn’t like.”
Now it appears the chamber is veering even further to the left … ignoring legitimate public safety concerns in the name of advancing a “justice” agenda that has very little to do with its ostensible mission of creating jobs, raising income levels and expanding prosperity for the people of the Palmetto State.
Whatever your views on hate crimes may be, it seems pretty clear this is not the top economic priority in a state that has seen its workforce decimated by Covid-19 and its subsequent societal shutdowns.
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