Quote of the Week: October 19-25, 2014 … or Nikki Haley Gets It Wrong

Nikki Haley Letter

I deliberately decided to abstain from commenting about the passing of Mattie Clyburn Rice, daughter of Weary Clyburn. I saw no need to say anything. We already know the story of Weary Clyburn, and we know how that story has been distorted by people with agendas claiming that enslaved African Americans voluntarily enlisted in the ranks of the Confederate military.

Thus it is disappointing to see that the governor of South Carolina, who has recently been on a Confederate heritage kick, embraces the bogus tales about Weary Clyburn’s “service.” She thus joins the ranks of many who seek to distort history for the advancement of personal interest. It’s amusing to hear her argue that her election demonstrates that South Carolina is free of racism. Whatever.

Doubtless the governor is interested in winning reelection. Doubtless, too, she was responding to her opponent’s opinion on the display of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the state capitol (I can recall when it flew atop the capitol dome).  I believe she’ll win reelection, but it won’t be because she understands anything about the American Civil War or the life of Weary Clyburn. However, she may have shown a fine understanding of how some white South Carolinians understand those two subjects. This was not always the case. In the past the governor understood it was a hot button issue.

I just don’t know why Governor Haley won’t be as good as her word. If she thinks the Confederate flag is fine and that enslaved people fought willingly for their continued enslavement, why not simply tell the people of South Carolina that she so believes? Aren’t the voters in the Palmetto State entitled to know what their governor believes?

Don’t be tricky, Nikki. Let Haley’s Comet illuminate what you really believe so we can all see it.

12 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: October 19-25, 2014 … or Nikki Haley Gets It Wrong

  1. Stefan Jovanovich October 26, 2014 / 5:54 am

    Weary Clyburn’s Obituary, Monroe, NC Journal, April 1, 1930

  2. John Foskett October 26, 2014 / 8:54 am

    Thanks for posting that. According to the obit he “went to war to cook for his master”. It doesn’t say that he had a choice in the matter, that he chose to enlist, that he was manumitted, etc. Awfully sporting of the authorities to give him a uniform later on, but the implied rest of the story is fabrication.

  3. Bob Nelson October 26, 2014 / 9:04 am

    For those who don’t know or don’t remember, a version of CBF flew over the statehouse dome from 1962 until 2000 when it was removed and placed on a separate flagpole on the north side of the capitol building near a monument honoring South Carolina’s Confederate war dead. The monument and new flagpole were erected in summer of 2000 after a number of people objected to it’s being flown over the dome. Go here for a story from the New York “Times” regarding the incident. http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/race/041300race-ra.html Notice in the story that the writer refers to the flag over the dome as a “rectangular flag,” so was it a CBF or a Naval Jack? For a longer piece on the flag’s removal in 2000, see this paper from Clemson University. http://www.uvu.edu/ethics/seac/Satris%20Case%20Study.pdf

    • Michael Rodgers October 26, 2014 / 10:29 am

      Interested folks can also read the book and watch the movie.
      Book: Rally ‘Round the Flags Boys: South Carolina and the Confederate Flag by K. Michael Prince. link
      Movie: Confederacy Theory link

      • Michael Rodgers October 26, 2014 / 4:33 pm

        And for the too long, won’t read, prefer satire crowd there’s always Colbert and the Daily Show: Civil Whites

  4. Lyle Smith October 26, 2014 / 12:02 pm

    I wonder if there will ever be a politician who doesn’t ever distort history at some point in their careers. Some know it and protect it better than others, but I imagine every politician abuses the historical record to some degree.

    • Brooks D. Simpson October 26, 2014 / 12:21 pm

      She’s not unique. She was very opportunistic in this case, especially given her waffling back and forth on these issues.

      • Lyle Smith October 26, 2014 / 12:52 pm

        Yeah, definitely. It’s obviously fair to criticize what she’s saying.

  5. T F Smith October 26, 2014 / 11:12 pm

    Third sentence, third paragraph of the obituary:

    “He was always a white man’s darkey…”

    Pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

    My guess is the master’s horse had more agency…

    RIP, Mr. Clyburn – presumably you earned it.

    As as the governor goes, I wonder if she has ever signed a proclamation in honor of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers?

    Higginson’s regiment, that is?


      • TFSmith@gmail.com October 27, 2014 / 10:24 pm

        Be interestingif you get a reply.

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