National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

A Victory in South Carolina

 |  NCR Today

There was a time, not so long ago, when black folk had difficulty voting in South Carolina. But, today, in that state’s Republican primaries, an African-American man, Tim Scott, appears likely to win the GOP nomination to run for Congress in the First Congressional District, defeating, of all people, the son of Sen. Strom Thurmond who ran for President on a segregationist platform as the candidate of the Dixiecrat party in 1948.

In the state’s GOP gubernatorial primary run-off, Nikki Haley, a first generation Indian-American, appears likely to win the nod to run for Governor, despite having been called a “raghead” by one opponent and facing charges about the sincerity of her conversion to Christianity by two pastors and allies of her opponent. Haley, however, won the only endorsement that seems to count for anything in the GOP these days, that of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

I would not vote for Haley or for Scott because I find their politics objectionable. But, it is a measure of how far the nation has come that two minority candidates can compete and win in a primary in South Carolina, and in a Republican primary at that. The Palmetto state is the land of the “fire-eaters,” those politicians who were chomping at the bit to secede from the Union in the 1850s and, indeed, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union after Lincoln’s election. The Civil War began with the shelling of Fort Sumter.

07-04-2014.jpgThere's more to NCR than what you read online. Subscribe today!

There were always more important things to know about a man than the color of his skin. But, that fact was obscured for decades in the Jim Crow South. That fact is obscured no longer. All Americans can take heart in the candidacy of Mr. Scott and Mrs. Haley. The wound has healed, and the scar that remains cannot be ignored, but it must be acknowledged that a scar is the mark of a wound that has healed, or is at least still healing.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 4-17, 2014

07-04-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.