State House

South Carolina Lawmaker Asks Black Colleague If He’d ‘Rather Be In Africa’

“What would you take … Africa or America?”

A white Republican lawmaker in South Carolina asked his black colleague last month whether he would prefer to be living in Africa – and then proceeded to lecture him about all the things he wouldn’t have today had his ancestors not been sold into slavery generations ago.

The cringeworthy exchange took place last month on Wake Up Carolina! – a popular talk radio show based in the Pee Dee region of the Palmetto State. The lawmaker posing this line of questioning? State representative Phillip Lowe of Florence, S.C. – a man who is no stranger to speaking before thinking. The lawmaker on the receiving end of the interrogatory? First-term state senator Mike Reichenbach, also of Florence.

“So I’ve got a question I don’t know … don’t answer if you don’t want to,” Lowe asked Reichenbach. “So if you could go back in time and you could say, alright, the first boat was headed over to Africa to bring slaves …”

“You asking me or you asking Reichenbach?” host Ken Ard interjected, seeking to clarify exactly where Lowe was going with his question.

“I’m asking Reichenbach,” Lowe responded, but he quickly added that “but anybody that wants to talk about it can call in to talk about it.”

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Continuing with his question to Reichenbach, Lowe went back to discussing that “first boat headed over to Africa.”

“So if you could’ve stopped that – but knowing that your lineage, you’d be here somehow that your mom and pa would have somehow found each other … would you trade living in Africa, growing up in Africa, and say that small village in Africa instead … and you could stop slavery, but you would be living in Africa, now,?” he asked. “If it didn’t happen then you are where you’re at now. Slavery happened. Whatever happened. And your lineage happened and you are here where you are in Florence, South Carolina – what would you take, Africa or Florence?”

What in the world, right?

“I can understand the genesis of the question but it’s an impossible one to answer because I’ve never lived in that small village in Africa,” Reichenbach responded.

Lowe apparently wasn’t satisfied with that response, and proceeded to rattle off all the advantages the successful car dealer enjoys as an American citizen that he presumably wouldn’t enjoy in the proverbial small village.

“Well, you don’t have … a dealership,” Lowe responded. “You don’t have a house over here at the lake, everything changes and you’re living in Africa in a small village.”

Huh? Has Reichenbach not busted his ass to run one of the areas most successful dealerships?

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Lowe proceeded to tell the senator “we’ve all been through stuff … terrible things you read about in the Bible” prior to restating his question about Reichenbach’s preferred geography.

“Would you be happier in Africa – or America?” he asked Reichenbach a second time.

To his credit, Reichenbach took the high road – equating the question to Jesus Christ asking his heavenly father in the Garden of Gethsemane whether the “cup” of his impending crucifixion could pass.

“It’d be a wonderful utopia to say like ‘well, it could be this or it could be that and they both turn out well, which one would you have?'” Reichenbach said. “But life isn’t that clean or linear or clinical.”

To listen to the entire exchange for yourself, please visit the Wake Up Carolina! website. The exchange between Lowe and Reichenbach referenced above is contained in the November 17, 2023 episode. It begins at the 1:19:45 mark.

Lowe, 64, has served in the S.C. House since 2007. Reichenbach, 51, was elected last March to fill the unexpired term of state senator Hugh Leatherman. Both lawmakers are members of the Republican party.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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11 comments

medmondsm Top fan December 11, 2023 at 5:18 pm

A previous FITS article pointed to Phillip Lowe’s SEXIST comments about a female lobbyist’s cuteness which highlighted the need for better drunk boating laws. Lowe pointed out that he is not in favor of better boating laws because, after all everyone likes to chug a few beers on the lake and he pointed out that it helps “pick up chicks”. And now Lowe’s RACIST remarks highlight how he really feels about his African American brethren.
So there ya’ go Florence SC – You have elected a Racist, Sexist man who thinks it’s cool to drive his boat while drunk.

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Frank December 11, 2023 at 5:43 pm

All pretty typical for Republican politicians. His questions will be considered entirely appropriate by members of the MAGA Cult. After all, Trump has welcomed white supremacists to Mar a Lago. And numerous republican politicians have attended conferences orchestrated by white supremacists. Everything old is new again in the GOP.

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VERITAS Top fan December 12, 2023 at 5:58 pm

What’s it like living in your world? You’re an idiot.

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Frank December 13, 2023 at 2:11 pm

Get your head out of the sand, Trump invited Nick Fuentes, to meet with him at Mar-a-Lago last year. Yesterday Mr. Fuentes called for the genocide of “perfidious Jews” and other non-Christians. He said, “When we take power, they need to be given the death penalty, straight up.”

This is the new Republican Party. This is the Cult of Trump.

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Undeniable Facts December 11, 2023 at 5:54 pm

If it isn’t already crystal clear, the Republican Party’s official platform is white-nationalism. They claim to represent Christianity, but don’t follow any of Jesus’ teachings. They are just straight up racists, who are vastly unpopular with voters, so they resort to domestic terrorism and anti-Democratic policies where they can enact them.

Republicans are the biggest threat to our Country and freedom around the World.

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B B BROCKMAN Top fan December 12, 2023 at 8:06 am

Not so, period!

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Frank December 13, 2023 at 2:29 pm

Then how do you explain Trump inviting Nick Fuentes to meet with him at Mar-A-Lago? Nick Fuentes is a white nationalist who has called for the execution of Jews and other non-Christians; along with spewing other racist hate language. Yet he is welcomed to meet with Trump and has been one of the headliners at or organizers of numerous “conservative” conferences where people like Marjorie Taylor Green and our own Ralph Norman have attended and is close friends with Paul Gosar and many other so-called conservative Republicans.

Trump is a neo-Nazi leader who wants to be America’s Putin and the Republican Party is falling in line to help him.

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J Monday Top fan December 12, 2023 at 6:32 am

Good grief-I take issue with Mr. Lowe’s questioning, but what does it have to do with Trump or the GOP? BOTH of these men are GOP. However, people on both sides of the isle think & say stupid stuff. All the time. Since the beginning of time. Should we expect more from our elected officials? Absolutely. But we currently have an illegitimate POTUS who is suffering from dementia & can’t put lucid thoughts or statements together. Maybe Mr. Lowe needs to be examined. Perhaps he just has diarrhea of the mouth, but either way, maybe he needs to go to the house? But Democrats in all their liberal glory always go to the same narrative-it’s Trump’s fault. Tell you what, I was much better off 4 years ago.

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B B BROCKMAN Top fan December 12, 2023 at 8:05 am

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the question, if it’s a serious question, and why is it racist. Mr. Lowe may or may not be racist, I don’t know the man. I think you have to take a look at what is factual and then answer his question based on the facts. Fact is, the living conditions and life expectancy in African Villages is much different than in Florence or America in General. Slavery was bad, we all know that, however, Slavery was a double edged sword. Slave traders and African Chiefs were both responsible for the enslavement of other human beings. Now that being said, African Americans who would rather be living in African Villages have the freedom to do so, they also have the freedom to live, as they now do, in America. If they choose the later, then they should accept the history of what brought them to America and identify themselves as AMERICANS, nothing more. These Black Americans should stop blaming everything on what happened 200 years ago. Everyone in America now have the same opportunities, IF, they take advantage of the opportunities, such as say, Sen Tim Scott. So many Black Americans claim they want equal rights, but actually they don’t, they want to be treated differently, with their “Great Claim”, “I want what I’m entitled to!” You are entitled to be an American citizen and the rights that gives you, not anything more or less. People with the “give me”, “it’s owed to us” and similar attitudes create the reasoning for questions like those from Rep. Lowe. This is not a issue created by White Americans or Donald Trump or Republicans. It’s a continued issue pushed forward by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and now the “Squad” and every Black elected to Congress. Finally, they do if for one reason, to divide this nation, and keep receiving donations to the coffers that have made them rich, in a Nation they hate. If you think this is not correct, just check the Net Worth of “the Honorable (sic) Maxine Waters!

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Beverly Shields December 12, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Let’s call Rep. Lowe’s comment/question and your rationalization of his comment/question exactly what it is: RACIST! NO amount of “man”splaining of economic benefits of slavery for African Americans” from you or Phil, is acceptable! Simple as that. Please note, I am not calling either of you a racist, but if the shoe fits…

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RC December 13, 2023 at 1:46 pm

“Why is this racist?”, asks man before going on a racist diatribe. Incredible stuff, really.

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