You're An Asshole: Glenn McConnell & The Murrays

By MXL on 9/19/2010 03:13:00 PM

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No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That really is two people who look like slaves standing next to a man dressed as a Civil War soldier. As if that weren't bad enough, the White dude is an elected official.

From the Post & Courier (SC):

COLUMBIA - Glenn McConnell says he doesn't want to live his life worrying about being politically correct.

The man widely considered to be the state's most powerful politician on Wednesday characterized as nonsense a nationwide Internet firestorm over a recent photo of him smiling in a uniform, the one he wore in the movie "The Hunley" to portray Confederate Gen. Thomas Jordan. McConnell stands between a black man and woman who appear to be dressed as slaves.

McConnell, a white Charleston Republican and president pro tem of the Senate, said the snapshot actually shows just how far the state has come in race relations, despite what the blogosphere might have to say. ...

Dot Scott, president of the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said when she looks at the picture she sees "the master standing in the middle with the two slaves standing at his side."

I think everybody in this photo should be ashamed of themselves, but, of course, they all say there's a perfectly reasonable explanation.

More after the stretch.


McConnell and a handful of white Civil War-era re-enactors were invited along with Gullah storytellers Frank and Sharon Murray, who portrayed traditional Lowcountry blacks from the 1860s, to participate in "A Southern Experience," an event hosted Friday [Sept. 10} in Charleston by the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women. ...

McConnell said the event Friday night was conducted in a respectful, historical context. Re-enactments include blacks and whites and draw people from all across the country who want to learn more about history, he said.

"Tell me what is offensive about having the differing parts of the culture there? What are we going to try and do in America, sanitize history?" McConnell said from his office in the Statehouse. ...

"These folks didn't ask me to take this picture or participate in this skit because they were trying to make some political statement. This picture says, if anything, how we cross the culture lines."

Frank Murray

Sharon Murray

Unlike the slaves they're apparently NOT portraying, the Murrays were paid for their performance.

Sharon Murray said she and her husband were neither portraying freedmen nor slaves. They were invited to teach the women about the Gullah culture, she said. Their garments were replicas of clothing worn by skilled craftsmen of the Civil War era.

The Murrays were paid for their time, and Sharon Murray said the night also offered the couple a chance to network with political activists who might, in turn, become educated on the Gullah culture and help promote efforts to preserve the history.

The Murrays are well known in the Charleston community for their work.

"My husband and I are preservationists," Murray said.

OK, even if the Murrays were innocently trying to school folks on Gullah culture, I don't see how they failed to recognize what a turrible idea this was.

Because these pictures seem to SCREAM "that's racist." Just like my lil' homie Toothless Rufus.


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