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Orangeburg, 1968-2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

28 comment(s) | Default | Large

This article is adapted from a presentation by South Carolina State University history professor Dr. William Hine at The Citadel Conference on Civil Rights in 2003. The entire article will appear in an anthology of essays on civil rights in South Carolina to be published later this year by the University of South Carolina Press. The 1999 appeal, "Orangeburg, Let Us Heal Ourselves," will appear in that book. Except for three years in graduate school, Hine has taught history at South Carolina State University since 1967. He is currently working on a history of South Carolina State.

Forty-five years ago on January 23, 1963, Harvey Gantt enrolled as the first black student at Clemson College, an episode characterized by The Saturday Evening Post as "integration with dignity." Forty years ago on Feb. 8, 1968, three students were killed and 28 young men were injured in the Orangeburg Massacre, an event no one associated with dignity -- not to mention non-violence or peaceful change.

Though -- and unlike Kent State -- the Orangeburg Massacre has been all but ignored by American historians, it has endured in South Carolina's past as one of the genuine tragedies of the 20th century. For four decades, the Massacre has been an open and festering wound that has deeply divided the black and white communities in Orangeburg. There have been two primary reasons why this racial animosity has persisted for so long.

First, South Carolina State University has held a memorial service every Feb. 8 since 1969. That ceremony has usually attracted newspaper and television coverage, which has laid bare diametrically opposed views of what happened in 1968. Most people in the black community regarded it as fitting and proper that there be an annual tribute to those whose lives were sacrificed in a fusillade of gunfire from untrained and racist highway patrolmen. To the contrary, more than a few people in the white community considered the young men not martyrs but angry and dangerous black militants, incited by outside agitators, who were bent on mayhem and violence. Only the heroic efforts of the highway patrolmen saved Orangeburg from destruction and devastation.

Second, many white people in Orangeburg regarded the book written by Jack Bass and Jack Nelson and published in 1970 as no more than a series of misrepresentations and inaccuracies that utterly failed to explain what really happened in Orangeburg. The book has remained in print and thus has continued to be a disagreeable reminder of a past that many do not believe happened.

On the 30th anniversary of the Massacre in 1998, an especially unpleasant series of exchanges were published in The Times and Democrat that finally prompted many black and white people to join together in 1999 to begin the slow process of reconciliation.

"History cannot be rewritten," they declared, "but it can and should be used to move forward and rebuild racial relations." They acknowledged the importance of the yearly commemoration of the tragedy. "The annual memorial service must continue to be the foundation for better relations among the races, not the root of increased tension in the Orangeburg community." More than 250 people signed the statement, published on a full page of The Times and Democrat on Sunday, Feb. 8, 1999. It was a singular achievement for a city not renowned for its racial harmony.

The process of reconciliation took another step forward in 2001. With funding provided in part by the South Carolina Humanities Council, South Carolina State University collaborated with the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston to conduct an oral history of some of the survivors and people directly involved in the Massacre. There were, however, unintended consequences of what simply began as an effort to enlarge the historical record of what had happened in 1968.

The participants in the oral history project were also invited to take part in a public program on the 33rd anniversary of the event, and it became a profoundly moving moment of remembrance and reconciliation as hundreds of people assembled on the campus of South Carolina State. The committee responsible for initiating the oral history asked then-South Carolina State University President Leroy Davis (who was a student at the time of the Massacre) to invite Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges. Davis did and Hodges accepted.

Hodges proceeded to apologize: "We deeply regret what happened on the night of Feb. 8, 1968. The Orangeburg Massacre was a great tragedy to our state. Even today, the state of South Carolina bows its head, bends its knee and begins the search for reconciliation." Perhaps the most astonishing development occurred days earlier when Capt. David Deering, commander of District 7 of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, asked President Davis if a delegation of highway patrolmen could attend the ceremony. Six patrolmen -- three white men and three black men -- did attend and were recognized during the program. As much as anything else, the voluntary participation of a younger generation of highway patrolmen eliminated the ugly and mean-spirited rhetoric that erupted around previous observances.

In 2003 Republican Gov. Mark Sanford also issued an apology on behalf of the state on the anniversary of the Massacre. This served as another step toward healing.

Now on the eve of the 40th anniversary, there is a further effort to promote "truth and reconciliation" among people in Orangeburg and South Carolina. This year's observance will be broadcast statewide on South Carolina ETV.

No one who lives in Orangeburg in 2008 would contend that the community has freed itself of racial rancor and division. It has not. But neither is it the same community that it was in 1968 or even in 1998. With the willingness and commitment of local citizens to take a public stand for racial healing in 1999, with the governor's apology in 2001, with the presence of the six highway patrolmen at the same ceremony and with 40 years having passed since the Massacre, Orangeburg has exorcized some of its racial demons. But the process is far from finished. Will that dedication to strengthening bonds and ties among all of the community's residents continue or will it falter?

 
28 comment(s)
The following comments are reader submitted. They do not represent the views of The T&D or Lee Enterprises.

sweatr wrote on Feb 10, 2008 11:58 AM:

" While others might be convinced, based on some racial agenda, that this was a massacre, I will not. The State never intended to massacre, kill, or wound any one of these students. Even thought the issue may have stemmed from a single incident, it soon spiraled out of control; for this the students deserve a lot of blame. The internet is a wonderful thing and while I wasn’t there, along with a lot of other people who participated in the marches and rallies of this week and now want “more than an apology”, I was able to locate information on the event.
Two days before the shooting, several students were beaten by police during a confrontation with officers in the bowling alley's parking lot. Police said they were trying to control a crowd of 300 to 400 that gathered when several of the protesters were arrested for trespassing…. After the clash with police, students carrying rocks and bricks broke windows at a half-dozen businesses and damaged cars at a dealership…. That led then-Gov. Robert McNair to send 250 National Guard troops to Orangeburg to join more than 50 troopers and 25 other agents in an effort to keep the peace. During the next two days, community leaders met with the students to try and diffuse the situation while authorities closed the main highway in front of campus because cars were being hit by rocks and bottles thrown by other students. On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, students built a bonfire. Authorities decided to send a fire truck to extinguish the blaze, but its arrival agitated students. Troopers, guns drawn, protected the firefighters. The students retreated, then returned, and some rocks were thrown. (Collins, 2003) “Students set grassfires and tried to burn down a vacant house” (National Park Service, N.D.). Earlier a few .22-caliber pistol shots from the adjacent Claflin College campus were fired over the heads of a patrol squad across the highway and railroad tracks from the campus. Traffic had been diverted because of objects tossed. As students retreated to the interior of the campus, one tossed into the air a banister rail from an unoccupied house. It hit one patrolman in the face, leaving teeth marks on the wood and knocking the officer to the ground, his face bloodied. Before an ambulance arrived, a patrol car took him to the Orangeburg Regional Hospital for treatment. Some thought he had been shot. Tension intensified. (Bass, 2007)
These officers faced a mob of people; they were outnumbered even with the Guard presence. Shots were being fired toward the officers. One of the officers goes down, blood coming from his head but is quickly taken to the hospital. His comrades do not know if he was shot. The students continue to incite the violence by pelting the officers with objects. They hear shots, warning shots by one of their fellow troopers, or shots from students, who’s to say. I am sure you’ll say from the trooper, but it has already been admitted that students had fired toward the officers. They opened fire on the crowd because they feared for their safety. The FBI investigated the 1968 tragedy, with the probe leading to charges against nine troopers. When a federal grand jury refused to indict the troopers, prosecutors decided to try them anyway on a charge of imposing summary punishment without due process of law. A jury of 10 whites and two blacks acquitted all of the defendants a little over a year later, finding they acted in self-defense (Times and Democrat, 2007). These people were tried, although it couldn’t possibly have been a fair trial, right? Public property damaged, the health and safety of the community threatened, officers shot at and attacked with objects, what do you suppose should havw happened. Military in charge, that possibly might have made more sense but opens up a whole new world of legality. The fact remains that this wasn’t a massacre, the students and their leadership made no efforts to stop the violence; in fact, just the opposite, they intensified the situation at every turn. You have your opinion and I have mine, and I doubt mine will change from what I have seen.

Collins, J. (2003, March 16). After 35 years, S.C. black leaders still seeking answers in campus protest that left three dead. Times and Democrat. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from http://thetandd.com/articles/2003/03/16/news/news6.txt

Bass, J. (2007, March 31). SATURDAY'S COMMENTARY: How 1968 Orangeburg shootings began. Times and Democrat. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from http://thetandd.com/articles/2007/03/31/opinion
/doc460dd8f9c9360688932867.txt

Times and Democrat (2007, December 16). Feds make right decision on ‘68 probe. Times and Democrat. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from http://thetandd.com/articles/2007/12/16/opinion/doc4762fcc7bb04d867542496.txt

National Park Service (N.D.). South Carolina State College historic district. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/civilrights/sc2.htm

"

fhsmct wrote on Feb 9, 2008 6:46 PM:

" The orginal issue stemmed from a single man, Stroman, not being allowed to bowl. That is the fact and it's indisputable!


What grass fire? Then and now, there's nothing but concrete at that location unless you're speaking of the spot where the current admin bldg in located.

The only public road that was initially closed was the section of Hwy 601 that runs in front of the campus. Later, when the students were sent home for several days, the streets on campus were closed, with all the campus entrances manned by the military.

Go to court? Please cite the case that was filed and pending on this? The national law had already been passed and, there was a less than a few hours between when Stroman was denied access and the 1st wave of students responded was not nearly enough time to file a federal action!

And, as for the trial you speak of: do you REALLY thing it was a fair, impartial trial? It was the same kind of trial that Edgar Ray Killen initially receive in the Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman case, that Byron De La Beckwith initially received in the Megars Evers case and which Cleve Sellers received in this instance.

Yet again, a clear case of documentably untrained troopers over reacting. The fact remains the military, who were trained for that contingency, should have been the primary responders and the troopers should have been off site, held in reserve (and that's not even a hindsite observation) . . .


"

sweatr wrote on Feb 8, 2008 2:29 PM:

" fhscmt, you are wrong. I have read the accounts from the author of what the T&D; has touted as the authority on the matter. He reports that for several days the students gathered in protest. They were asked to leave on several occassions and refused. Some even entered the bowling alley and were arrested. They broke store and vehicle windows. They set grass fires and forced the closure of a public road by throwing things and firing .22s. How does this not meet your definition of a riot? All of that activity was ok though right? The issue originally stemed from blacks not being allowed into the bowling alley, but this was a mute point. The Civil Rights Act was forcing the end of segregation and this very incident was to go to court. The alley would have been desegregated without the acts of these students or it would have been forced to close as it lost income or became a private club. These students didn't have to act as they did. they didn't have to violate the law and they darn sure didn't have to fire on, or as you have stated, far to the flank of the officers. There has already been a trail on this matter, least we forget, and the officers were aquitted. Granted this needs to be rememebered, as it is history, but I still contend that it was an accident brought on by the actions of people on both sides of the issue. "

ANNUAL wrote on Feb 8, 2008 1:26 PM:

" Where is all the outrage at the recent shooting problems at State. Well just asking lets focus on current problems that we can deal with now. "

fhsmct wrote on Feb 8, 2008 12:05 PM:

" BTW:

a. I will NEVER forget that ?NY Times? picture of Smith, having been dragged down the slop and off campus by the troopers, still very much alive and clearly pleading for help only to later arrive at the hospital in a condition from which he would not recover.

b. As for the condition of the Orangeburg schools, if you're not a part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

No matter how long people wear blinders, the failure of our students will eventually have an effect on the entire community so running away from the issue doesn't, never has and never will solve anything. In some ways, it adds to the problem.

The, "well, not mine" lament just doesn't hold H2O . . . "

fhsmct wrote on Feb 8, 2008 12:00 PM:

" BHT:

Are we looking at different pictures?

That picture you're referring to is clearly on campus, in front of O D - Bulldog Stadium and most probably a planned, coordinated student event.

Since when do they have to get a ""Parade Permit," "Lawful Assembly Permit," or a Burn Permit Number from the Forestry Department"?

I find it intriguing that someone would think or imply that the Forestry COMMISSION (not "Dept") would have jurisdiction over the campus of SCSU and will not even address the other possibly implied(s) from that one!

AND, the only thing they need is permission from the administration for a formal gathering although informal gatherings on college campuses have long been a time honored tradition so WHY would or should SCSU be any different? The City and County LEOs have enough on their plates without being asked to intervene in an otherwise peaceful, commerative gathering.

AND, are the students at Clemson, USC, et al required to get that plethora of permits you speak of when they hold their various gatherings before their annual pigskin contest?

Has anyone ever been charged, much less investugated, for defacing public property when, as one example, those painted paw prints show up on highways and streets around the state?

Just asking . . . "

fhsmct wrote on Feb 8, 2008 11:40 AM:

" The word "riot" keeps popping up. There was no riot and bedlam didn't breakout until those shootguns, .38 pistol and carbines were fired into the crowd of students!

A Riot is usually defined as:
a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc., in the streets.
2. Law. a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes.
3. violent or wild disorder or confusion.

On the day in question, the "noisy, violent public disorder" more describes the troopers than the students, the students may have been, to an extent, somewhat "disruptive" but not truly "tumultuous".


"

beast wrote on Feb 8, 2008 9:49 AM:

" BHT: Please take note that law enforcement was well aware of the mock protest and bonfire. Fire officials were on the scene of the bonfire and numerous Orangeburg VIPs were well aware of the events of yesterday.

There was no parading around the streets, the students were taken to the location outside the bowling alley by van/bus. It is rumored that the mayor was the one who suggested the students take a van/bus due to their safety.

Nevertheless, where that be true or not, yes, everyone who needed to know, knew. The events planned for this week have been a matter of public information for some time now.

Sounds like you may be holding a grudge. I can tell you that as an observer of this event, it was done with the respect of the community in mind.

Please refrain from making assumptions in the future and attempts to prove these assumptions to be fact. "

BHT wrote on Feb 8, 2008 9:34 AM:

" What a wonderful picture on the front page of the newspaper this morning. I wonder (and doubt seriously) if a "Parade Permit," "Lawful Assembly Permit," or a Burn Permit Number from the Forestry Department was obtained and I think that Chief Davis needs to look into this. I also wonder if these students had permission to stomp around singing on private property? Of course not. Only law abiding citizens that get arrested for such stuff have to have that. They, as always, are exempt. I also wonder if anything has ever been done to try to solve the burning of Dukes-Harley Funeral Home. I know the answer without asking. Of course not, they were just a bunch of lawless students and their out of town friends having "FUN" at Homecoming trashing and doing whatever they want to the town we pay taxes in. Please, anyone out there that can think at all, realize that this stuff has got to stop. These students that live here are subject to the same laws that we are and someone somewhere has got to make them understand it. Meanwhile, we the taxpayers, just have to pay for their "FUN." "

sweatr wrote on Feb 7, 2008 9:18 PM:

" An FBI agent "involved in rudimentary riot control training for the patrol" made the suggestion to use buckshot. While the suggestion is made that the students fired no shots, Jack Bass reports that some students where firing, although he mentions that the shots were above the heads of the troopers. So, obviously the troopers had a reason to believe they were not safe. Why would students be firing shots near, around or in proximity of lawenforcement in the first place? Far to the right, or above their heads, not a really smart thing to do. If you have ever been tasked with gaining control of a large crowd, your cohort is being assualted and shots are being fired in your general direction it is not a great leap to assume that the troopers believed their lives were in danger. Also, why not have APC's presenting a sense of power to prserve the peace? Have you seen the destruction that occurs with a riot? Why risk further hostilities damage. "

msjones wrote on Feb 7, 2008 8:33 PM:

" A group of people are violating the law; even if you don't agree with it, it is still the law. The case is before the courts, in regards to the bowling alley, but the students shouldn't have to wait. They repeatedly gather and cause chaos for several days. As this large mob is escourted, or forced, back to campus, they break shop and vehicle windows. They set multiple grass fires,culminating into a large bonfire that the FD has to respond too. A section of highway has to be closed because objects are being thrown. Even Jack Bass admits that students were firing weapons, he tempers that by saying "over the heads" of the troopers. A trooper is hit by an object resulting in him being knocked to the ground and blood being drawn. The troopers hear shots and begin to fire into the crowd. Keep in mind that a grand jury would not file charges, however these men were tried and it was found they acted in self defense. The majority of the officers stated they fired as a result of hearing gun fire. Some people on this board can try to recall the "facts" that fit with their story, some people can say this was just a racial incident those white cops just wanted to shoot and kill the students. Law enforcement risk their lives daily to protect and serve the community. When they are threatened by mob mentality, shot at and assaulted, I believe they should have the right to defend themselves. The root cause of this incident was not racial hatred, it was not following proper procedures, in relation to protesting,it was breaking the laws of the times, and it was assualting law enforcement personnel. Many will say, how is change to occur? Change occurs over time using the system and working within its limits and bounds. I don't ever remeber reading or hearing thet ML King destroyed property or assualted law enforcement. Nevertheless, he is considered one of the foremost leaders in the civil rights movement. I don't see how this qualifies as a massacre. These officers didn't intending on harming anyone and acted in self defense. Even if the shots where above their heads, they had no way of knowing where the next shot would go. "

yesscsu wrote on Feb 7, 2008 1:15 PM:

" sweatr, as I wrote, here is the "Root cause" related to this tragedy:
"The barriers were obvious and infuriating, especially for students who wanted to bowl at Orangeburg’s only bowling alley, the All Star Bowling Lanes.

As whites-only signs fell throughout the South, the owner refused admission to African-Americans, saying it would ruin business." source: The State Newspaper.

Re-read my post for better understanding.
"

beast wrote on Feb 7, 2008 12:18 PM:

" Well said, SCMOM2008. I agree, It does begin in our homes. "

SCMOM2008 wrote on Feb 7, 2008 11:00 AM:

" Please do not judge all of Orangeburg by a few comments on this messageboard. There are a lot of people who have been in Orangeburg all their lives and are not racial. Just because a few express their opinions on here is not the whole town. When this massacre happened it was a different time period. Things have changed a lot since then. The bowling alley was a privately owned business that was not necessarily the opinion of the whole city of Orangeburg even back in 1968. In other words, even back then my family thought it was wrong and disgraceful how the owner did not accept everyone into his business. But unfortunately that was his business and look what it caused. Back then there were procedures in handling riots. Whether it be in Orangeburg or any other state, when riots happened and were not under control then further measures have to happen and someone gets hurt. That is why riots are forbidden for all peoples safety. They are not always fair. The fact is that it did happen and we all do remember it. It was a sad time and I for one am glad that times have changed since then. We should learn from it and move forward. But to keep lumping all of Orangeburg into one racial accusation is not right. Start teaching your children in the home, no matter what race you are. Teach them to honor all races. Teach them that there is good in all races. Then maybe we can break the racial tension chain. Or at least start. It begins in our homes not just the schools. "

beast wrote on Feb 7, 2008 10:23 AM:

" It never ceases to amaze me, all the closet racists and fascist undertones you will find in and around Orangeburg County. I moved away a few years ago, came back and now find a community that has only changed a LITTLE for the better.
We have got to do a better job of moving past the race issue in this community so that this community can finally grow to its full potential. We need to see eachother as men and women instead of white, black, hispanic, etc.
If you ask me, I think plenty of our race related issues in this area could be blamed on our local schools. I think better education and an understanding of local history could help to diminish stereotypes and misunderstanding that often hold this community and other communities like ours behind.

BTW - take a look at how our local schools are doing, it is pathetic - http://www.thetandd.com/reports/schoolreportcard.html

As far as The Orangeburg Massacre is concerned, like it or not, it is a big part of local history and a part of that story seems to be the big topic of discussion on this message board. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what happend and a different recollection of the facts.

We need to see this event as one that needs firm answers and needs to be remembered so that we can prevent this type of thing from ever happenning again. So legislators can make better decisions, protestors understand what can happen when picketing goes wrong and our children - white, black, hispanic, etc. - can coexhist more comfortably and build a more unified community and stronger future. "

fhsmct wrote on Feb 7, 2008 7:43 AM:

" Talk about revisionist history!

1.
RE: "RIOTS AND LOOTING AND BURNING"

What was looted, what burning (aside from from bon fire on the street in front of the campus where the admin bldg currently is), and what riots (plural)?

2.
RE: "THERE ARE HOLES IN THE HOUSES ACROSS THE TRACKS TO PROVE IT."

There were exactly three (3) houses across the street from where the action took place: the Trinity Methodist Church parsionage, the current Wesley House (or whatever the United Methodist call it) which was were Rev Bradley & his family resided at the time and the "shootgun" house, occupied at the time by the Thomas family, that was next to the old tax preparation business bldg.

The only one of those bldgs that would have been in the line of fire from students allegedly shooting towards where the Troopers were is the United Methodist ediface.

To hit the other two bldgs, as well as the "ice house" (which was further to the right of the parsionage) would take someone shooting far, far to the right and left of where the state troopers and national guardsmen were positioned.

Also, why were the troopers issued buckshot versus riot control rounds for their shotguns?

If shots were fired by the students, why did only the troopers return fire and not the National Guard troopers? For that matter, were the Guardsmen even issued ammo?

There's no rumor: the Guardsmen did, in fact, have and use half-tracks and other personnel carriers in the days after the shootings. I distinctly recall seeing them patroling up and down 601 (at the time, my family resided directly across the street from the Nance residence on 601) as well as manning the front entrance to the campus during the days afterward when the school was closed and the students sent home.

Then, again, why marr a good story with facts when rumors and innuedo will do? [ : - O ]. . "

sweatr wrote on Feb 6, 2008 5:37 PM:

" Where is the racial hatred? You can't re-write history because it doesn't fit with your agenda. "

yesscsu wrote on Feb 5, 2008 6:51 PM:

" Our attempt to record history, honor the deceased, and seek solutions in order to move forward are blurred while overlooking the root causes, as in this case, pure racial hatred. "

ANNUAL wrote on Feb 5, 2008 4:52 PM:

" year after year this story gets brought up by the liberal press and why do they never get both sides of story is beyond me. Ask someone from both sides what went down that day and you will get a better idea of what happened. Ask the national guard how they felt when they were being shot at, but ya never hear that do ya. Hum I wonder why??? "

scsu76 wrote on Feb 5, 2008 8:48 AM:

" I grew up in Orangeburg and was 14 attending Thackston Junior High in 1968. I remember the National Guard housed in our gym and their armored troop carriers in the playground for us to go inside. Marshall Law was declared on the City and we were told when we could leave our house - not good for any American citizen to be controlled). I also remember the ice house burning down shortly after the shooting - some claiming to cover up the bullet holes from the students firing on the police. Others claimed students beoke into the ROTC indoor shooting range and obtained 22 rifles). Also, some claimed armored troop carriers were stored in warehouse afterwards, in anticipation of any more trouble. The point I am making is that all the rumors and facts, good or bad, need to come out and those guilty should confess. Also, Orangeurg as a City should embrace SCSU - it is a jewel to help the economics of this area. One physical way would be to build a pedestrian bridge over the R/R tracks so students could safely enter downtown. Also, businesses should place their stores close to campus (from the Dairy O to US 601) so Orangeburg could become a truly college town and not just a commuting area. "

minimouse wrote on Feb 4, 2008 4:42 PM:

" Never forget, but we have to forgive and embrace the now and the future. I was 5 years old and had lived in oburg just about a year when this tradgedy took place. My Pennsylvania parents were ready to move back to the north with all the racial tension the south was experiencing. They stayed I grew up here and finally realized after moving away that the majority of the country(white or black) does not pick at their civil rights wounds so as to keep them festering and unhealed like this town does. True, history has shaped us. But the future awaits us. The rest of the state is miles ahead because they have moved on. Please do the same my hometown friends. "

BHT wrote on Feb 4, 2008 1:23 PM:

" THIS WAS NOT A MASSACRE!!! POLICE RETURNED FIRE AFTER OUT-OF-CONTROL GROUPS HAD ALREADY SHOT AT THEM AND THERE ARE HOLES IN THE HOUSES ACROSS THE TRACKS TO PROVE IT. ALSO, GREEN'S WAREHOUSE WAS BURNED DOWN, AND A WONDERFUL GAME OF "FOLLOW THE OUT OF CONTROL LEADER" FOLLOWED. RIOTS AND LOOTING AND BURNING NEVER SOLVED ANYTHING, REGARDLESS OF SOME PEOPLE'S BELIEFS. IF THE TRUTH IS SO IMPORTANT, THEN TELL BOTH SIDES OF IT. "

fhsmct wrote on Feb 4, 2008 12:20 AM:

" Let's face it: open and honest dialog with indepth, object critical analysis is the only path to reconciliation and healing.

My home town (Orangeburg) would be much better off had the process begun many, many moons ago . . . "

fhsmct wrote on Feb 4, 2008 12:17 AM:

" As a child, having been on the scene that 1st night at the bowling alley (yes, I and my father stopped when we saw the crowd and noticed Dean Butler and the police out there), how can anyone say those students "stormed a building"?

Such statements have all the false credibility of the allegations that Dr Cleve Sellers, born and raised/grew up in Denmark, SC was an "outside agitator from the north".

Let's see: those students should have accepted overt segregation, the indignities that came with it and been happy with their place in life at that time in our history?

I think not . . . "

oburg wrote on Feb 3, 2008 3:17 PM:

" How responsible? "

palmettohawk wrote on Feb 3, 2008 10:59 AM:

" The story of what happened that night has only been told from a one sided perspective in the news media. Every time this event is told on a national stage there are many parts of the story that are left untold. If these young men were trying to better race relations then why did they resort to violence prior to the gunfire? I also do not see why the state of South Carolina has to offer an official apology for this event. There is never a large movement to apologize to other racial groups for injustices such as Native Americans. "

swillabill wrote on Feb 3, 2008 10:09 AM:

" What is more of a concern is why only the politically correct version of this story is ever talked about. I agree with bmore, let's take this to trial. Let's show the evidence of bullet holes in the buildings behind the police. Let's show the destruction done to the local area, let's show how the storming of a public building and occupying it would be handled today. There are two sides to this story, it is curious as to why only one side is ever presented. It is dangerous to accept the path of revisionist history. "

bmore#1 wrote on Feb 3, 2008 9:00 AM:

" It has always concerned me that the State of South Carolina has never accepted and acknowledged responsibility for this massacre. The State should bring the living perp's to trila and bring closure. Then we will truly have a new day in South Carolina race relations. "



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