COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Five years ago, after eight Black church members and their pastor were shot and killed in a racist attack, South Carolina came together and took down the Confederate flag from the Capitol lawn.
Today, as more shocking killings of African Americans roil the country, bringing a wave of pulled down statues and the removal of names of historical figures who repressed or oppressed other people, South Carolina leaders, who gave themselves sole authority to decide what happens to historical monuments and names, appear to be sitting out.
The statue honoring former South Carolina governor and U.S. senator "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman is seen on the grounds of the Statehouse in July 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.
The time has come to take down the monuments that honor the evil that was done in the name of Charleston, in the name of South Carolina,” Rivers said Tuesday at the foot of Calhoun’s statue.
In this June 23, 2015, file photo, Joe Patrizzi III power-washes graffiti from a statue in Charleston, South Carolina, of John C. Calhoun, who was a vice president, U.S. senator and congressman from South Carolina.