Friday, January 8, 2010


Steve Benjamin, the attorney who helped radio host Tom Joyner win a posthumous pardon for his great-uncles who were executed for a crime they didn’t commit, denounced a racial slur spray painted on the side of Columbia City Hall last week that may have been intended to intimidate Benjamin and another African-American candidate for mayor of South Carolina’s capital city. City workers removed the message, “No n----r mayor, die,” from the building’s wall early last Wednesday after officials discovered it, city manager Steve Gantt told The State newspaper.

BlackAmericaWeb News

I wanted to visit Myrtle Beach for a week when I graduated from high school. Most of my friends were going to be there and I was 99 percent sure that I was going to get laid. Alas, my politically minded parents would not allow me to go because South Carolina proudly displayed the Confederate flag in front of its statehouse. I knew that the Confederate flag shouldn't be there, but WHY did its presence have keep me from having a good time with my fellow graduates. I respected my parents' decision, but I was angry and disappointed.

I mention this piece of personal history because it relates to the Benjamin story. South Carolina has come a long way from its Jim Crow days, but race relations still aren't where they need to be. When I hear about these racially motivated incidents, my heart drops. I'd like to believe that most people aren't racists and that they want to distance themselves from the Deep South's horrible past. Stories like this make it hard for me to remain optimistic.

What a nigger do, what a nigger does
And a nigger is what a nigger was
And a nigger done read history but yet his eyes didn't see
The only reason you a nigger is
Cause somebody else wants you to be