South Carolina celebrates its past, but is it ready to celebrate its future?

By John J. Metzler – CNN International

March 31, 2020 (LONDON) — Washington Post…

South Carolina’s 250th…

One of the world’s most extraordinary tracts of land is South Carolina’s 250th birthday party at Myrtle Beach and Savannah, Georgia. Congress voted to recognize this unexplored public coastal region as a national monument in 1970. The National Park Service has been running tours at 35 historic sites on nearly 2000 square miles of flatter land.

The tract stretching from South Carolina to Tennessee and all the way to the state of Georgia traces the beginnings of the nation. A Civil War battlefield, a natural state animal sanctuary and important forts on St. Helena Island are just some of the premier sites covered by the national park service. The historic towns and rural stretches along the coast are tucked inside the National Historical Park System.

As the biggest contribution to the US economy since the tech revolution and as the largest oil producing state, one wonders, is South Carolina ready to celebrate their own history?

Massacre? The battle of Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina must be singled out for last year’s unprecedented two day Civil War centennial commemoration, The month of October 150 years on, many national park visitors know little of the closely knit Southern communities. When Confederate officers admitted to the massacre in a speech given to the troops in open field, some wondered why it had taken so long for awareness.

When the King of England hailed the penultimate entry of Union soldiers into the actual town at the center of the story, the square de ja vu captivated crowds and a national leadership girded for crisis.

There was a freedom rally in Williamsburg, near Newport News, Virginia. August was also the national celebration of Stonewall Jackson, who later followed Robert E. Lee south to the Confederate states.

Near Charleston, where Union soldiers marched on the harbour, the car was out and at once the Golden Wheel tower atop Fort Sumter, the city’s iconic landmark wittered above the patriotic parade.

Near several black cemeteries and north of Charleston even there was more with a Civil War pageant where confederate memoriaries were captured and reinterpreted for modern theatre.

Myrtle Beach, for decades a pioneer beach destination and later a summer escape, has seen a tourism boom of late, with coal powerhouses eager to tap into the tourism dollars for the Everglades National Park.

On Saturday, Congress passed a bill for a National Confederate Memorial and Museum with a 36 feet (11 meters) high tower erected where traffic once converged on South Carolina Highway 41, just north of Charleston, as Confederate General William Quantrill’s army attacked Lexington as he defended Harpers Ferry.

The senators backing the bill to build the memorial had faced fierce opposition from slave owners who described the statue as a symbol of racist oppression and asked why the nation was ‘striving’ to honor the Civil War.

Myrtle Beach unveiled a new statue of former President Barack Obama during the local military forum and a number of speakers pledged to help in a local effort to kill the statue, to stop Obama becoming a legacy icon of a failing America.

The Parliament Party’s proposed United States Monument was also opposed by state lawmakers, with Governor Henry McMaster and Senator Tim Scott leading an opposition effort to the bill.

The August anniversary period also saw a month of racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the aftermath of which was the wildest press coverage that the Congress Beltway has seen in some time, with phony ‘dignity’ marches of American flags and harm to blacks, a worldwide explosion of cartoonish rhetoric as bigotry or hate become the touchstone of a great theatre of ideas.

On Sunday, the 100th anniversary of Gettysburg, after President Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” Reuters would have reported of the 50th anniversary of the Governor’s Conference’s activity in South Carolina. Now the nation is home to a widely viewed documentary, the 24/7 Hate Chatter and the dismal situation of restoring security to a 21st century post-civil rights America. The Congress Beltway has produced this seminal exhibit of our real heritage.

It is an epochal event in America. That a state like South Carolina, which has long been a Roman Catholic stronghold, is in the forefront of an expanding Christian right, is almost unbelievable.

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