Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Republican women heart slavery days

Making the rounds of the internet, you tube and facebook is a photo taken at The National Federation of Republican Women’s Conference, in South Carolina


South Carolina Senator Glenn McConnell (in Confederate Navy costume) with re-enactors

I actually got quite a few messages from friends who have facebook who were not amused.

Hat tip to Kossak MeMeMeMeMe for this diary, South Carolina GOP Holds Nostalgic Gathering

McConnell, has a different take on this innocent visit to the glorious past of South Carolina.

McConnell defends photograph

Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell says a picture circulating on the Internet of him dressed in a Civil War-era military uniform alongside two African-Americans outfitted in period costumes was an innocent moment among friends – nothing more. The picture, taken during a Republican women’s conference in Charleston last week, however, has managed to capture national media attention. Some think the image callously evokes the state’s slave-holding past.

McConnell, a Charleston Republican, is perhaps the most powerful lawmaker in the state, also chairing the pivotal Senate Judiciary Committee.McConnell also is widely known in the state as an avid Civil War enthusiast and re-enactor. His passionate advocacy for restoring the Confederate Hunley submarine is legendary and controversial.McConnell insists the image is being misinterpreted. “It was a friendly photograph,” McConnell said Wednesday. “It’s a great statement as to how far this state has come.””Receive it in the spirit it was presented that evening,” McConnell urged, adding there were no apologies to be made for the effort.

But others said the image evokes painful memories of historic oppression in this state. South Carolina once had the nation’s second-largest slave port in Charleston, where the photo was snapped.”That’s the senator’s unfortunate world view,” said Rev. Joe Darby, first vice president of the state NAACP, noting the African-Americans in the picture are in a seemingly subservient role. “The troubling question is how much does his world view affect his approach to public policy?”

As a student of the south, the history of slavery in the US, north and south I am sick and tired of those people steeped in sugar-coated, cleaned up images of happy darkies and the glories of the Southland.

Oscar Brown Jr. did a better job in his classic tune “Bid Em In”.

Reenactment’s of the days of enslavement show no pain, no whips, no chains, no blood sweat and tears.

My family history should never be portrayed as someone else’s “nostalgia”.

I actually have to agree with Cenk Ughar, who covered the story.

How is this “history” of the south as a nostalgia journey any different than German’s perhaps re-enacting the era leading up to WW2?

According to the article, the black folks invited to perform were part of a cultural group:

Among the invited re-enactors were members of a Gullah-Geechee cultural group, which travels around bringing to life the Lowcountry African-American experience during the mid-1800s, including their dress, music and singing.

Nice.  I too celebrate Gullah cultural survival against all odds.  But context is all important, and somehow I don’t think Republican women have the interests of current day blacks in South Carolina, or anywhere else for that matter, as a core value.  

Unless of course we get back in where they think is “our place”.

Cross-posted from Daily Kos



  1. spacemanspiff

    … and have no clue why people would consider it offensive. Let alone racist.

    “Don’t mind me just dressing up as a leader of an army who fought to conserve the great Southern institution that was slavery. While posing next to 2 negroes dressed up as slaves. Grinning and happy slaves!”

    p.s. Shout out to the 2 idiots who dressed up like slaves. Stay classy.

    Another example of a racist fool is this dumbfuck who doesn’t have a clue.

    Props to the dude who pwned his ass.

  2. People are going to want to celebrate their heritage, both the good and bad. They glorify some aspects and minimize others. People really enjoy Renaissance Days events, yet it could be argued that these celebrate aristocracy and serfdom. One could also argue that a Renaissance event glorifies ignorance, superstition, and disease. It’s all in how you look at it. The white southerners that celebrate the pre-abolition era have a romanticized view of those times. They will say they are celebrating the good parts of that history not the worst parts, like slavery.

    I agree with this

    Nice.  I too celebrate Gullah cultural survival against all odds.  But context is all important, and somehow I don’t think Republican women have the interests of current day blacks in South Carolina, or anywhere else for that matter, as a core value.  

    Unless of course we get back in where they think is “our place”.

    But I think getting the people involved to see what is so offensive about things like this is a losing cause.

  3. jsfox

    I belonged to a fraternity. It was a southern College and a very southern fraternity ( with most of it members from the mid Atlantic or NE, go figure).

    Robert E Lee was the frats role model and every year they had Old South Weekend where they dressed up in Confederate uniforms and dates in antebellum dress and paraded through the middle of town.

    Well my first year in the fraternity the weekend died and quiet death. The town said no to the parade and more than a few of us thought the whole thing was beyond poor taste. The year was 1968. We still had an old south weekend, no more uniforms, no more parades just a weekend of serious drinking. So it was like every other weekend 🙂

  4. spacemanspiff

    We have our own problems in the left blogosphere that should be called out.

    I’m not saying it compares to the case diaried here but since the topic is racism I think it is relevant.

    A blog that DailyKos has linked as “Kos’s Blogfather” is frontpaging some twisted stuff.

    “Just Desserts for Chocolate Carter”

    Can you believe this D?  ::SMH::


    worked to get President Obama elected in ’08 who are now feeling disenchanted?  I mean in the real world.

    I ask because I keep seeing online and on TV that people are disappointed but everyone I know thinks Obama is doing a really good job given the hand he was dealt.  And so do I.

    Even my friend who was a die-hard Hillary supporter says she loves this President and isn’t sorry he won.

    We had Democratic Party booths at various fairs and events in my county over the summer and people would come up and say things like “We just have to win this fall.  We can’t let the Republicans take over.”  Lots of Hispanic people in this area and seemed pretty fired up to me.

Comments are closed.