Old Barriers Gone, New Ones Rising?

Gina Smith, The State, February 21, 2012

When state Sen. John Matthews first became a member of the S.C. House of Representatives in 1975, segregation still was rampant.

“Back then, it was racism in your face,” said Matthews, D-Orangeburg. “But there was a willingness to deal with legislation that could help African-Americans and the poor in this state.

“People wanted to change things.”

Thirty-seven years later, Matthews—the longest-serving African-American lawmaker in the state—says that willingness to change is eroding.

“Most statutory impediments that hurt African-Americans are gone,” said Matthews, a retired school principal. “But you find that, in the past four or five years, Republicans have begun to introduce new impediments to limit people.”

A GOP-backed law to require voters to present a photo ID at the polls is weighing heavy on the minds of black lawmakers this month, which is Black History Month.

That law is being challenged in court. But another Republican-backed bill—to require groups that conduct voter-registration drives to register with the state Elections Commission—is working its way through the State House now.


Redistricting—the redrawing of legislative districts that happens every 10 years—increasingly has resulted in majority-black districts, controlled by Democrats, and majority-white districts, controlled by Republicans, who control the S.C. House and Senate without ever winning any black votes, Matthews says. “We have insulated white Republicans from any black political influence so they’re not paying black South Carolina any attention because there is no consequence.”

Republican disagree, pointing to U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, an African-American Republican from Charleston, and Gov. Nikki Haley, the state’s first non-white governor, as proof the GOP is increasingly diverse. They also say their legislative priorities—lowering taxes and bringing jobs to South Carolina—help all residents, regardless of color.

Matthews is unconvinced. But he says he’ll keep fighting.



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  • Hirschibold

    Ah yes, asking for all people to present ID regardless of race is certainly little differen than releasing dogs on them and hitting them with hoses. Liberals don’t really do “gray” as it were.

  • Liberalssuck

    Yes, liberals and nonwhites need to keeping finding ‘white racism’ to blame others for their failures, to not deal with reality and for money.  Those are the only reasons I can think of for finding ‘racism’, eh?

  • Guest

    Photo ID  is race neutral.  It is no more racist than a drivers license or a passport photo.  

  • 1975 was eleven years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  So his timing is eleven years off.  There was no de jure segregation in 1975.  None too bright is Mr. Matthews.

    • Rocky Mountain

      Do you really think that everything just changed in S.C. the moment the law was passed?

      • You said it yourself, “when the law was passed.”  And the Feds wasted no time in enforcing it once LBJ’s signature ink dried, (only to help certain protected minorities, whites need not apply).  That’s the essence of “de jure.”  And that’s what Matthews is talking about, de jure segregation.

  • chuck_2011

    I just have to think that as a group, african-americans, are stupid to the point where they don’t know up from down. The dumbest of them have reproduced and the result is a lower than average IQ. How can this group of stupid people possibly contribute to the success of the nation?

    • Rocky Mountain

      It would be a real change to have a set of comments on an article in AMREN without one person bringing up IQ as though that answers everything.  I lived in a place where there were very few blacks but a huge number of really thick white people.  So if you lived exclusively there and were observant you could come to the conclusion that most white people are stupid to the point of no return.  At the end of the day IQ, group or otherwise, is only a part of the problems that are discussed here and personally I’m inclined to think its only a small part of it because stupid white people were behaving at least somewhat better.

      • chuck_2011

         while its true that a persons IQ does not always predict behavior the collective IQ of a community could explain why it never moves forward. For instance if one considers how a person from china is able to succeed within a single generation yet the black community cannot…what is the difference?

  • Boereseun

    ‘“Racism” never ends.’

    Well, yes it does. When all whites are dead. That’s the name of the game. After that, it morphs into the ‘legacy of racism’. There is no point in trying to argue that you are not racist. Merely accept that because you have a white skin, you are a racist.

    Then accept that being a ‘racist’ is nothing to fear. It’s as natural as breathing air or drinking water.

    The truth is that eventually, those willing to speak up, might end up having to go to jail and be condemned for their ‘heresy’. That’s what happens when speaking the truth becomes a crime. You can try not speaking it, shutting your mouth, placing your hands over your eyes and ears and pretend that the unjust world that whites live in doesn’t exist. However, in the end the truth is what matters. You cannot cheat it and nor can the PC liberal brigade. Truth is truth.

    Embrace it!

    • I just tell people that I evolved this way.

  • libertarian4339

    “Old Barriers Gone, New Ones Rising?”

    Yes, it never ends, does it?  Nor does the incessant crying and complaining about a lack of black achievement even though it’s their own faults.

    I’m wondering if any of this non-stop black whining ever makes the sheeple think that maybe blacks should be given their own geographical area, while Hispanics and others get theirs, while whites…..less the rabid leftist ones……..have their own area.

    Separate but equal. 

    What’s wrong with that?

    I mean if it doesn’t happen peacefully it will happen via civil war.  That’s a foregone conclusion.  

    According to the black on the link below, they might quit murdering whites if blacks are given reparations.  He says on his blog, showing white victims and their black murderers, that the white people shown would be living today if blacks had been given reparations earlier.

    He makes it clear also that the killings will continue until blacks get their fair share of reparations.  (This is one of Holder’s “people,” which is why he’s not been hammered by the Justice Department, since he would have been,  ten times over,  if he were white spouting the same thing about blacks.)


    • It would be just the opposite.  If we gave them reparations in a formal sense (ignoring the fact that LBJ’s Ungrateful Society was a form of reparations, according to its proponents), black-on-white crime would soar, for they would rightly interpret us as weak and gullible.

    • whathappened2ourcountry

      The SPLC’s all over these guys:
      “Whether they are active Nuwaubians, people drawn from other black supremacist cults like the Nation of Yahweh, or freelancers who have created an entirely new concept, the National Black Foot Soldiers Network has brought Dwight York’s apocalyptic hatred of whites into the 21st century. York, whose release isn’t scheduled until the 22nd century, would be proud.”


  • radical7

    I agree that there is a serious and sinister effort to return America to the pre 1950s era where Blacks, Women and other non-Whites were second class citizens. lynchings, rpaes, cross burnings and other horrifc forms of terrorism ruled the day.  That is why the 2012 election is so important. We cannot allow this nation to return to such a dark era of intolerance.

    • No, no way we can go back to the pre 1950s.  I won’t want to be rpaed. 

      Besides, my grandfather always told me stories about his grandfather having to walk 20 miles one way through a foot of snow just to burn a cross.

      • MekongDelta69

        No, no – you have it incomplete. Our grandfathers had to walk 20 miles, UPHILL BOTH WAYS, BAREFOOT in a blizzard and had to eat rocks for lunch – before they burned a cross. (And you left out some lynchings to pass the time, in between cross burnings.)

        Please work on your embellishing skills the next time. : )

        (And in case you didn’t know it before, ‘Radical7’ is AmRen’s friendly new personal troll. You know the sign in the zoo: “Please don’t feed the trolls.”)

        • Worry not.  I’m not feeding the troll, I’m ridiculing the troll.

    • Oh Child!

      Non-whites can have their own Communities and be just fine.  I have Great Faith in Non-Whites and I think you should too.  I find them to be perfectly capable of being by themselves.

      Non-Whites do not need White People.  White People, Truth be known, hinder them.  Non-whites are also being disrespected by White People as well and that’s another reason why they should disengage from The White Peoples in all manners.

      Also, ya’ll should take better note of how “racist” White People are and that of course, should make ya’ll not want to be around any White People.

      You oughta help me help non-whites understand how much better off they’d be if only they’d all just stay in their own little areas.  It’d be Good for all of us and you do care about all of us don’t you?

  • MekongDelta69

    African-Americans and the poor.

    One of THE MOST used expressions in endless thousands of stories. It implies that some non-blacks are poor, but ALL blacks are poor.

    …And somebody call me when hyphenated minority groups disappear or “European-Americans” or “Caucasians” appear in any story.
    But please try calling me before the month formerly known as ‘February’ is over. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

  • The only Solution is Segregation.

    I used to say that all the time and I reckon it’s time to get back to it.  No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get people to understand that if “Equality” is what they want, they first have to play fair.  Nor will they explain how things like color and gender makes them qualified.

    Nor do they give Credit to The White Peoples who gave them Homes, Phones and Welfare.  I leave out Education because, well, because you can’t force Learning upon the Unteachable.

    There’s just a forever supply of “white racism” for non-whites yet there ain’t a non-white to be found who’s been assaulted based on their race.

    Non-whites, with all their Non-White Privilege of Today, STILL want more.  There is literally, no end.  Yes, Segregation really is, the only Way.

  • Majority black districts never have to win white votes.

    I don’t see the problem here.

  • Presenting an ID is a barrier?  I’ll keep that in mind the next time I cash a check, purchase wine, fill a prescription, apply for a job, etc. 

    • Actually, you should accuse them of “racism” for daring to even ask you.

    • …buying cans of compressed air duster, buying drain cleaner, going to a tanning bed, getting many outpatient physician services…

      (I hope someone picks up where I left off)

  • JackKrak

    “We have insulated white Republicans from any black political influence so they’re not paying black South Carolina any attention because there is no consequence.”

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate and honest to say that “We will never vote for a Republican no matter what but when they are in power we expect them to treat us like their most loyal constituency now and forever”?

  • Christopher_Nelson

    “A GOP-backed law to require voters to present a photo ID at the polls is weighing heavy on the minds of black lawmakers this month, which is Black History Month.”

    Um, how is that racist? Wouldn’t whites have to show ID also?

  • Lynching was the only real form of punishment in areas that had no developed criminal justice system.  Lynching was common in the west, and a lot of whites were lynched.

    • Rocky Mountain

      I’m not against capital punishment but I’m pretty sure that lynching  didn’t have much to do with due process and I’m not interested in giving that up.

      • You’re right.  Lynching was what filled the void when due process didn’t exist.  It really didn’t have any racial or regional connotations, except that black men in the underdeveloped (from a legal point of view) rural South often committed the certain kinds of heinous crimes for which lynching was used as punishment. 

  • Rocky Mountain

    What Mathews means when he says ‘segregation’ is two sets of justice not just physical separation of the races.

    • Well then he must be imagining things, because there are not two different criminal justice systems.  That wasn’t even the case during the time of de jure segregation.

      • robinbishop34

        Thank God for de facto  segregation.

  • Rocky Mountain

    Good point on the stats; i.e. lynching vs. black on black killing but I still don’t think its a comparison that should make us yearn for lynching.

  • A show, BTW, that in six seasons, only had one episode where a black actor had a speaking part.

  • MikeofAges

     I’m not trying to rationalize lynching as a reasonable substitute for due process. But I am pretty sure that most of the victims were men who had committed heinous crimes. The father (now deceased) of a friend of mine, in the 1930s in San Jose, California, witnessed the lynching of two white men who had murdered the son of a local businessman.

    I would call lynching a sordid part of American history. But consider it in its totality. If the perpetrators were always or almost always white men, let the chips fall. If the victims  largely were men who were guilty of heinous crimes, let the chips fall. If some of the victim were innocent men, let the chips fall. If some of the innocent were killed for racial motives, let those chips fall too.

    “There is not an existing truth which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world” – Jefferson.