Columbia, South Carolina (July 10, 2015) – Over the span of less than a week a couple of historic moments have occurred and, thankfully, I have been at both of them!
Last Friday, as most of you know the Confederate flag was finally removed from the State House grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. In the very early morning hours before the flag was slated to come down we decided to drive the nearly three hours south so our daughters could see the moment happen for themselves.
We arrived very early at around 6:30 AM and the only people around in front of the State House on Gervais Street were very early birds and the press. In fact, the press were out in force since the day before I overheard someone say. Local and national news trucks were there.
When we drove past the State House I literally gasped because it was unbelievable (absolutely unbelievable!) to me that the Confederate flag would still be flying in a state capital in 2015.
Since it was so ridiculously hot even at such an early morning hour we decided to sacrifice a prime area to take photos to sit on a bench in the shade for a few hours before the flag came down.
This was our view for those few hours which was just a few quick steps from the State House. By the way, there were agents camouflaged in the bushes in case someone decided to cut up! We saw a few pop out a few times and then disappear again in all of that green.
It was finally time for the flag to come down, but it happened so quickly I couldn’t get a clear photo of it, which was OK. No matter where I was I liked being around so many people from all different races, ages, and socioeconomic classes to witness history happen.
Winston Salem, North Carolina (July 13, 2015) – North Carolinians came out en masse to protest against voter suppression laws that were passed only one month after the Supreme Court voted that nine southern states that historically suppressed votes did not need federal approval for voting law changes. And, so that is precisly what the Republican majority North Carolina legislature did — change the voting law – and very quickly at that! Read this fantastic piece in The Nation by Ari Berman that outline the voter rights restrictions that were passed only after three days of debate in 2013. And read this piece (also by Berman) that talks about the Moral Monday march that took place just around the corner from me.