Category Archives: South Carolina

“Carolina Reaper Madness,” by Alpha Unit

The first time Steven Leckart had a Carolina Reaper is an experience he’ll never forget. He says he popped one into his mouth, chewed it thoroughly, and swallowed. Without warning, he says, a numbness shot through his right pinkie, then up into his biceps. Strangely, a mellow head rush set in and a tear trickled down his cheek. And then (as he described in real time):

All hell just broke loose in my mouth. My tongue is burning. My upper lip is stinging. My eyes are bloodshot. It’s like being face-fucked by Satan himself.

He had just eaten a sample of the hottest chili pepper on Earth, as declared by the Guinness Book of World Records. When you first bite into a Carolina Reaper, you’ll find it sweet with a fruity essence. But within moments the astronomical amount of capsaicin takes over. The results are not pretty and might include vomiting and severe abdominal distress, to put it nicely.

The Carolina Reaper is the creation of Ed Currie of Fort Mill, South Carolina. He had been crossbreeding plants since his boyhood in Michigan and eventually used his skills to produce some potent marijuana plants. He began crossbreeding peppers after he read scientific papers suggesting that their chemical compounds might reduce the risk of heart attacks and cancer, two diseases that run in his family.

It took 12 years of crossbreeding for Currie to produce his world-famous chili pepper. He tested hundreds of hybrid combinations before he crossed a LaSoufrière pepper from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and a Naga pepper from Pakistan to create Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper. The company describes its effect as a tidal wave of scorching fire.

Pepper aficionados measure the heat of chili peppers in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The Carolina Reaper has an official heat level of 1.5 million SHU (the hottest individual Reaper was measured at 2.2 million SHU). By comparison a jalapeño pepper ranges from 3,000 to 10,000 SHU. Currie’s employees at the PuckerButt Pepper Company (the actual name) have to wear two pairs of protective gloves while peeling the chilis and scraping out the seeds. The chili oils will eat through one pair of gloves in 15 minutes.

Demand for Currie’s peppers shot up after the Guinness Book named the Reaper the world’s hottest pepper. Americans are eating more peppers than ever, in fact, and a lot of those peppers are made into salsa. But only a fraction of fresh peppers eaten in the US are grown in the US. Most chili peppers (more than 70 percent) are imported from Mexico. Pepper production in the Southwestern US has been plagued by drought and plant diseases – and concerns about labor costs, naturally.

Ed Currie says he never doubted that he could grow the hottest peppers in the world in South Carolina. He grows most of his peppers in greenhouses, which allow him to fine-tune the microclimate for each crop and variety. All of his products (he also grows onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and spices) are organic and are grown in either greenhouses or irrigated fields.

No research has confirmed Currie’s beliefs about the curative powers of the subcapsinoids in chili peppers, but he eats Reapers throughout the day, every day, and swears to their health benefits. His wife doesn’t know how he stands it.

What’s going to happen to the average person who tries a Carolina Reaper for the first time? “You’ll be crying for an hour,” Currie answers. “Literally crying for an hour.”

Lauren Laubach reported on what Currie calls the strangest reaction anyone ever had to trying a Carolina Reaper. A young woman tried one at the New York City hot sauce show in 2013. Currie recalls:

She put it in her mouth, looked at me and gave me the finger, took five steps back and planted herself flat on the concrete. For 20 minutes straight the string of expletives that came out of her mouth was unbelievable. After 20 minutes she stopped, came over to me and gave me a big kiss and said, “I love you. Let’s do it again.”


Filed under Agricutlure, Alpha Unit, Asia, Caribbean, Guest Posts, Health, Latin America, Pakistan, Regional, South, South Asia, South Carolina, USA

Paybacks Are a Bitch

Serves him right.

Karma, paybacks, etc. are just basic physics, Newton’s Third Law in action. Let’s face it. This punk got it because of a universal law about the universe. Not a crackpot notion, not even a theory, but a damned law. Try avoiding some of the laws of the universe. You can’t. Mother Nature always bats last.

One thing that I often tell my counseling clients is that you cannot run from your fears because that is exactly what most all of them are doing. And in a similar way, I have a feeling that it is often pretty useless to try to hide, avoid or run away from your karma. Your fears, like your karma, always catch up to in the end no matter how fast you run. We have to face our karma whether we want to or not. It’s like the Day of Reckoning that’s always looming outside your door, rain or shine, day in and day out until the end. And you can’t stay inside forever.

Instant karma’s going get you, Dylan. It’s going to knock you right in the face!


Filed under Corrections, Crime, Law enforcement, Philosophy, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Regional, South, South Carolina, USA

“To Fly or Not To Fly (the Confederate Flag),” by Nominay

 To Fly Or Not To Fly (the Confederate Flag)

by Nominay

That flag again.

That flag again.

Recently, I had an unpleasant debate with a friend of a friend about the Confederate flag and its usage. My friend had an ideological take on the subject which I didn’t find to be practical. Basically, his view was that flags are just woven material with patterns and designs, and don’t mean anything. It’s just that because we are all crazy that we project meaning onto these inanimate objects we call flags, and use them as an excuse to display emotions improperly. Therefore, it was okay for the state of South Carolina to sanction and fly the Confederate flag, as it would have been for it to fly any flag on its public grounds, or to have had no flag at all. For him it was just a First Amendment issue marked by relativism.

My friend’s friend agreed, but he took it a bit further. He stated that the American Flag was just as offensive as the Confederate Flag because white men owning slaves founded the United States. Along with slavery, the American Flag flew full mast over segregation of African Americans, internment of Japanese Americans, and worst of all, a genocide of Native Americans.

But really he was playing Devil’s Advocate, because the Confederate flag flying on state grounds was just fine by him as it represents southern heritage to many. He even posted a link to a poll which showed that, prior to the Charleston massacre, only 61% of blacks in South Carolina wanted the Confederate flag to come down, and 27% of black South Carolinans wanted to keep it up! I couldn’t have imagined that that many blacks didn’t have a problem with the Confederate flag. My take? More South Carolinans, black and white alike, have since come to their senses. That damned flag is now down.

The argument against the flag is apparent and pretty straightforward. The Confederates were domestic terrorists, traitors, and were willing to die to treat black people like cattle, and worse. To defend the Confederate flag today as a symbol of southern heritage is as dishonorable as it would be for Germans to defend the swastika flag as a symbol of their heritage. I acknowledge that there are aspects of the US Civil War and Germany in World War 2 that do not parallel each other, but the principle is the same. On human rights issues and on territorial claims, both, the Confederacy and Nazi Germany, were in the wrong and deserved to lose.

The Americans were traitors and terrorists to the British, but on a continent apart and against an abusive king who sought to expand a colonial empire of oppression. As victors over the British, however, we proved our character to be no better than theirs during the American Indian wars. Our flag should not be flown over American Indian reservations … but if – for all of America’s crimes – the American flag should be brought down throughout the rest of the country, then we might as well wish to renounce our citizenship and leave.

The truth on this issue of the Confederacy, the Union it fought, and of its flag, was summed up best by yet another participant in the debate I was in, as follows:

The Confederados of Brazil are using the flag to represent their heritage. Granted, they are Brazilians now even if their ancestors were American confederates. The battle flag is not seen as racist in Brazil but is seen as the flag of a distinct ethnic group. So I can agree, these rags are nothing more than symbols that have different meanings to different people.

When I lived in South Korea, I saw swastikas on Buddhist temples. It was kind of strange for me, because I had never seen a swastika in that context. The swastika is used in India and other parts of Asia and has no connection to Nazi Germany. Surely, the Native Americans who used swastikas in designs on pottery and woven cloths weren’t Nazis.

What bothers me about the battle flag isn’t that some use it to mark their heritage or that others malign the flag because of its links to slavery. Rather, what bothers me is the narrative behind the flag more than its symbolism.

For example: To hear some southerners tell it… “The south just wanted to preserve a way of life that was gentile and hospitable where the sun shined upon the beautiful plantation fields where slaves worked eagerly to please their masters. Slaves were treated kindly and were better off under slavery than free blacks in the North who were starving in the streets. It was not until the Northern invaded us that we went to war to defend our way of life.”

This revisionist viewpoint is utter nonsense.

On the other side, the narrative of Northerners as benevolent non-racists who freed the black man from the shackles of their white southern oppressors is equally as nonsensical. I’ve seen movies/documentaries where Lincoln is portrayed as this enlightened gentleman who holds a black child on his lap and promises to free their people. Lincoln only cared about preserving the union with or without slavery. Neither of the above narratives is truthful or intellectually honest.

If this country ever wants to move past this schism, then we have to appreciate the history of how we got to where we are today. This includes teaching the good, the bad, and the very ugly parts of our history. To me what is more dangerous than a rag hanging from a pole is historical revisionism.

Indirectly related, he added:

All facets of history should be taught. I’m frankly quite irritated at the Texas School Board due to their decision that the KKK and Jim Crow laws need not be mentioned in history books any longer. Several years ago, the same school board axed Thomas Jefferson as a great political thinker because of his views on the separation of church and state.

Sounds like some are still fighting the Union!


Bailey, Isaac J. July 1, 2015. I’m a Black Southerner Who’s Seen Racism All My Life. Why Do I Stay Silent? Politico.

Basler, Roy P. 1953. “Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Galesburg,” in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 226. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press

Basler, Roy P. 1953. “Letter to Horace Greeley,” in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume V, p. 388. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.

Brown, Emma. July 5, 2015. Texas officials: Schools Should Teach that Slavery was ‘Side Issue’ to Civil War. Washington Post.

Civil War Trust. 2014  10 Facts about the Emancipation Proclamation.

Libresco, Leah. June 22, 2015. Before Charleston, Not Many People Wanted To Take Down the Confederate Flag. Five Thirty Eight.

Wikipedia. American Civil War.


Filed under Amerindians, Blacks, Education, History, Modern, Politics, Race Relations, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Sociology, South, South Carolina, US, US Politics, USA

New Interview with Me Up


There is a new interview with me up at Robert Stark’s site. In this interview, we discuss some of my recent articles and some other themes:

Topics include:
Racist Mass Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
The shooter’s motivations.
The characteristics and causes of mass shooters.
Dylann Roof’s Manifesto.
White Nationalism, Sex and Gender.
On Sluthate.
Why People Say Looks Don’t Matter for Men.

Feel free to let me know what you think of it if you choose to listen to it.


Filed under Crime, Criminology, Gender Studies, Little or None, Man World, Psychology, Race Relations, Racism, Regional, Sex, Sociology, South, South Carolina, USA, Vanity, White Nationalism

Charleston Church Shooting Had a Proven Racist Motive

Food4Thought writes:

How do we know this shooting is “racist?” What exactly is “racism?” Lastly, why is black on white crime not “racist”, and, if we don’t refer to those crimes specifically as “racist” whenever they occur, then should we be referring to the rare and occasional white on black crime as “racist” before we know anything about it?

Oh it was racist all right! He reloaded five times and while he was doing it one of the times, someone asked him to stop, and he said, “I have to do this. You rape our women and you are taking over our country.”

Also that church is very famous in civil rights terms.

Why is it racist when a White does it but not when a Black does it? Depends on the motivation. Most Black killings of Whites are probably motivated more by just general criminal motives as opposed to a racist motive against Whites. However, some Blacks do commit racist murders against Whites. The Washington DC snipers and the Black man who shot up the subway in New York are two excellent examples.

It’s not always a racist crime anytime a White kills a Black, but this case, just based on the initial facts of the case, appeared to have a clear racist motive. Now that we hear the statements he made in the shooting, this crime obviously had a racist motive.


Filed under Blacks, Crime, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, South, South Carolina, USA, White Racism, Whites

Racist Mass Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

Great big huge story.

This just happened 8 hours ago and it’s all over the news. A young White man walked into a historically Black church at 9 PM during a prayer meeting and sat down. At some point, he stood up and started opening fire. 9 people were killed. No word on how many wounded yet, if any. It appears that most if not all the dead are Black. The man then fled and has not yet been apprehended. A suspect was detained for 2 hours, but he was not the suspect. The suspect is a young White man aged approximately 21 years old.


Filed under Blacks, Crime, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, South, South Carolina, USA, White Racism, Whites

“Who Wants to Work in the Logging Business?” by Alpha Unit

The logging business in Arkansas has been down so long, says Jan Cottingham, that people are skeptical of any predictions of an upturn. And yet some observers are that confident. What they wonder is whether or not the workers will be there to meet the demand.

Labor concerns in Arkansas reflect what’s going on nationwide: the lumber industry workforce is reaching retirement age and employers don’t know if they’ll see new recruitment coming in. Even with some modest increases in the labor force, challenges remain in drawing young people to the industry.

Much like farming, the logging industry is often multi-generational and family-run, says Matt Jensen. He is the vice president of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and a third-generation logger. He says:

This is a business that is really hard to learn and it’s really a lifestyle. If you don’t teach your children the work ethic, they’re not going to continue.

One of the biggest challenges facing the forestry industry is the negative perception about wood usage, according to Scott Bowe of the University of Wisconsin. He thinks it’s hypocritical, because people use wood everyday. “We need fresh, young people to carry the business forward,” he says. “We consume more wood every year. The wood’s got to come from somewhere.”

The question is, who will replace the current generation of loggers?

Logging is capital-intensive, requiring an initial investment of roughly $1 million for heavy equipment like fellers, which cut the trees; skidders, which move the felled trees; processors, which de-limb the trees; and loaders, which lift the logs from piles to trucks. Lenders are reluctant to provide money for new logging businesses.

Whether the businesses are new or established, the amount of work you do depends on the weather. In Arkansas, logging time can be about 40 weeks out of the year. So you’re not going to make a lot of money working in this business. The appeal just isn’t there for a lot of young people.

Steve Richardson owns a logging business in Arkansas and says that every logger has either gotten more productive with fewer people or has gone out of business. Some timber companies are considering forming their own logging crews, a practice that largely disappeared when workers’ compensation insurance rates soared. Vertical integration, in which a company owns the supply chain for its products, used to be typical in the industry, but Richardson is skeptical of its reinstation, saying that those companies don’t know how to work this labor.

These folks that work for me are fiercely independent. They’re not college graduates. They want to make a living, they want to go hunting and fishing on the weekend, and some of them want to start getting drunk on Friday afternoon.

And that mindset doesn’t fit with most business plans, Cottingham says.

Marvin Larrabee of Elk Mound, Wisconsin, says that logging almost has to be passed down in the family. He has four sons assisting him in the business but knows how hard it would be for them to strike out on their own. The expensive equipment is just the start of it. Loggers also have high fuel costs and extremely high insurance premiums. The occupation is consistently ranked one of the most hazardous in the country.

Larry Altman of Vermont was a logger for 20 years. He has pins in his ankle from the time a tree fell on him. On another occasion, his arm was crushed between two logs, but luckily he was working that day with a friend who freed him 45 minutes later.

“You’ll get hurt bad at least one time logging,” he says.

Altman says he’d still do it if you could make money at it, but you can’t.

In this whole picture, there’s a ceiling, and that ceiling is the price paid at the mill. There’s very little wiggle room for the individual logger.

The roots of logging run deep in Vermont. Its first sawmill opened in 1739, and by the middle of the 19th century logging had become Vermont’s largest and most lucrative industry. But today, says Larry Altman, many people, especially in Burlington, have no idea that logging still goes on in Vermont.

Those that become aware of it lump the local timber industry in with large-scale, ecologically devastating logging operations in the Pacific Northwest, Canada, South America, and Asia. The fact is, the vast majority of local loggers are sole proprietors, working alone in the woods, usually equipped with little more than a chainsaw, skidder, bulldozer, and truck.

Some young people are drawn, nevertheless, to the logging business. Will Coleman, 26, and his brother Wesley, 24, started Coleman Brothers Logging LLC, in December 2012. They operate out of Richburg, South Carolina, harvesting pulpwood and saw timber.

The Coleman brothers were able to buy a used Tigercat skidder and feller/buncher with a loan from Natural Capital Investment Fund’s Logging Initiative. NCIF is a business loan fund that provides debt financing to small businesses in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, south Georgia, and the Appalachian regions of Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio.

The Coleman brothers say they doubled their loads in the first week after running the equipment they purchased with their loan.

Out on the West Coast, Billy Zimmerman, 25, has launched his own company, Zimmerman Logging LLC, in Rainier, Oregon. Zimmerman was raised on a tree farm his great-grandfather bought in the 1920s, and discovered his love of tree farming at age 10, when his father let him set chokers – setting cables around logs so they can be hauled away – for the first time. He helped his father with farming before and after school and after football practice.

In December of last year he decided to go into business for himself. His father gave him a bulldozer, saving him the $160,000 he might have needed for a new one, and his parents gave him $3,000 in seed money. He was in business by March, with a company consisting of Zimmerman, his best friend, and his father Ron.

Zimmerman works 11-hour days and is willing to underbid others so he can build a client base and his reputation. And his specialty are small jobs. As he puts it:

There are a ton of little 5- and 10-acre jobs that the guys with big machines cannot justify bringing out there to work that job. But we can. We found our niche in smaller jobs, at least for now, and for what we have it’s been working well.


Filed under Alpha Unit, Guest Posts, Labor, North America, Northeast, Oregon, Regional, South, South Carolina, USA, West, Wisconsin

Lindsay Graham, Gay Republican

Lindsay Graham is a hard rightwing Republican senator from South Carolina. He is about as rightwing as a politician gets. Problem is that he is also something else – gay.

When you want to learn who is gay and who isn’t, you need to go to the gay community, preferably the local gay community. The gay community does tend to know who is gay and who isn’t. Contrarians say that the gay community lies about such things, but I have never heard of a case. If you’re not not gay, don’t screw the same sex and don’t hang out in gay bars, there is no way that the gay community is going to spread lies about you being gay.

Although a lot of morons have insisted that I am gay down through the years, I would look around for some evidence. If someone is gay, you can usually find lovers or sex partners. So where are all these guys claiming that they have had sex with Robert Lindsay? Well, there are none because they don’t exist! The gay community isn’t going to make up lies about me. They don’t lie about people. But when prominent closeted gays keep insisting that they are straight while the gay community keeps seeing their same sex lovers and keeps seeing them in gay bars, the gay community tends to start talking.

There is indeed a gay community in South Carolina, believe it or not. They are rather discreet of course given the nature of the state. But the SC gay community has long insisted that Lindsay Graham is gay. It’s a fact so well known in the local community that it’s not even considered to be news. People who have looked into the issue have noticed that he is in his 50’s and has never married. This is also true of me and other straights, so it’s not definitive. However, all of Graham’s friends are men. 100% of his social circle are males, and it’s been that way for some time now.

All in all, the evidence seems to be excellent that Lindsay Graham is indeed a deeply closeted gay man.

Too bad more people don’t know this…

Looking for the evidence? Google “Lindsay Graham gay” and there you have it.


Filed under Homosexuality, Politics, Regional, Republicans, Sex, South, South Carolina, US Politics

“It’s the Year of the Peach,” by Alpha Unit

It’s been 40 years since the Allman Brothers Band released their album Eat a Peach. In celebration the band has named 2012 “The Year of the Peach.”

This is also the year they’re going to be given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which, according to the Recording Academy, “honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.” (I know some people are cynical about the Grammys, but I can’t be cynical about the Allman Brothers Band – and there are too many people who are the same.)

Eat a Peach is a double album that was recorded after what critics call the group’s “breakthrough” album, At Fillmore East, and contains live tracks that didn’t make it onto that album, including “One Way Out,” a blues song that the Allman Brothers made popular with rock audiences. The Allmans knew blues music, and had been playing it from the time they began forming bands in the early 1960s.

After making it to Southern California where they opened for acts like The Doors and Buffalo Springfield, the Allmans moved back South, to Macon, Georgia. That’s where they began to put together the group of players who would join them in forming the Allman Brothers Band: guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley, and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson – a Black drummer who had started out in R&B and had toured with such acts as Otis Redding and Sam & Dave.

According to one chronicler:

At the same time, Duane Allman began doing session work at the Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, where this skinny White hippie quickly earned a reputation as a stinging, soulful accompanist. Duane and Gregg both exhibited a natural feel for Black music that the much-hyped British “blues masters” of the period couldn’t begin to match.

Growing up in the South, they absorbed gutbucket R&B and sanctified gospel along with the more common influences of soul and freedom jazz and came up with an unprecedented sound…

It was a sound that combined “deeply Southern” strains of music – blues, country, and gospel – with rock and roll. Some called it New South.

Critics and fans love Eat a Peach, but the album cover art is famous, too. The album cover includes a gatefold mural featuring a “fantasy landscape of mushrooms and fairies and folklore,” as described by one writer. It is the work of brothers James Flournoy Holmes and David Powell, from Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The brothers were in their early twenties when they went into the graphic design business. James had a fine arts degree from the University of Georgia; David was a photographer and businessman who had a degree in sociology from Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina. Their association with the Allman Brothers began, according to a Billboard piece written back in May of 1974, after the band played in Spartanburg, noted the brothers’ talents, and asked them to do an album cover for their Capricorn release.

Eat a Peach was among the album covers displayed in an exhibit of J. F. Holmes’ cover art that ran a couple of years ago at Spruill Gallery in Atlanta. Bo Emerson wrote about Holmes and some of the bands he did work for (like the very first cover he did, for Wet Willie), groups on the Capricorn label and elsewhere – like Charlie Daniels and the Marshall Tucker Band.

“He would maybe take the feeling that the band gave you musically and develop it into something that you could get by looking at the album cover,” says Dick Wooley, who was vice president of promotion at Capricorn during the 1970s. “A lot of the bands didn’t have an identity, and he’d come up with something.”

Holmes was talented in watercolor, airbrush, and ink and pen, said Emerson, and his style depended on the music inside.

The clear, spare rendering of the postcard joke on the front of Eat a Peach ( a flatbed hauling a house-sized piece of fruit) contrasts with the crowded, trippy landscape on the gatefold interior, with its mushrooms, dragons, and grotesque figures that he says, “I stole, sorry, ‘borrowed,’ from [Hieronymus] Bosch.”

All of Eat a Peach – the music and the cover art – came from the imagination, skill, and artistry of Southerners. David Quantick calls this album the work of “Southern rock” pioneers at their creative peak.

But Gregg Allman has often been quoted as saying:

Well, to say “Southern rock” is kind of redundant, isn’t it? It’s like saying “Rock Rock.”

This is because, as Swampland puts it, rock and roll and all of its precedents – blues, gospel, jazz, country, bluegrass – are products of the American South.


Filed under Alpha Unit, American, Art, Culture, Guest Posts, Music, North America, Regional, Rock, South, South Carolina, USA

The Charleston Five


It’s hard to believe that this happened in the US in the year 2000, but this is the sort of thing that goes on in the rightwing capitalist “democracies” of the 3rd World that so many of you commenters love so much. Unions are attacked by police. The police are used as agents of the state to attack workers and their organizations and any and all other progressive organizations. In other words, the cops are used as an army of the ruling class and the capitalists to attack anyone who opposes their interests.

What’s interesting is that this is what happens just about everywhere you have capitalism, although in the more evolved varieties as in Europe and much of the Anglosphere, it doesn’t happen that much anymore. As such, it seems to be a feature, not a bug, of the capitalist system. If capitalism is so great, then why is using cops (and in many cases, the national army itself) against popular organizations seemingly an essential part of this system? Commenters please respond.

A friend of mine spent a couple years in Alabama 20 years ago. The US South has a nearly caste-like class structure, and the one thing they hate more than anything else down there are union organizers. The whole system is based on cheap labor and always has been. My friend said that the White capitalist class are “assholes,” who behave similar to a Latin American ruling class, exploit all workers savagely and do not socialize with the White working class.

They have used racism as a tool for dividing White and Black workers (as capitalists often do), and it’s worked great. My friend said that the White and Black workers at his plant hated each other and had nothing to do with each other. They worked in separate parts of the plant.

There was a Black side of  town and a White side of town, and each group pretty much kept to their own side of town. The only Blacks on the White side of town were very well-dressed and on very good behavior. If any more scruffly Blacks showed up on the White side of town, Whites would quickly confront them and they would be gone back to their own side.

Similarly though, the Whites would not go to the Black side of town either. It was regarded as dangerous to go there if you were White. My friend went there to eat at a soul food joint, but they were the only Whites in the area.

The line pitched to the poor and downtrodden racist Whites of the South has always been, “At least you’re not a nigger.” These Whites, who as victims deserve sympathy more than anything else, have always found solace in the fact that as low as they were, “At least I ain’t a nigger.” That is, they could always look down on and feel superior to the Blacks who were even lower on the pole than they were.

And via racism, the White workers have always voted for the parties of White racism (formerly Democrats, now Republicans) instead of supporting parties that worked for their class interests. So White workers voted for the parties that were viciously exploiting them in the workplace.

This sort of crap used to happen a lot in the US a while back, with the last major outbreak in the 1930’s when cops were called out to violently break up strikes, opening fire on and killing some workers.

The etiology of the riot is hard to put together, but it looks a police army was set up outside the union hall to prevent the workers from picketing the scabs being used to break a dockworkers strike at the port of Charleston. The dockworkers union is targeted in South Carolina because it is one of the only powerful unions in the state. This particular union represented Black dockworkers.

The city jail had been emptied the night before to prepare for the riot that the cops knew was going to happen, since the cops were going to create that very riot. Workers walked up to the police line and told police that they wanted to go picket the scabs at the dock. Each time they were driven back with batons. So you see the police army was preventing the workers from having their peaceful labor picket.

After this went on for a while, workers started fighting back, grabbing police batons. There was yelling and screaming and racist cries from the cops, “We’re going to beat the Hell out of these niggers!”

Workers picked up rocks and started throwing them at cops. Union leaders went to the line to separate the two groups and got savagely clubbed. Workers went nuts, overturned light poles and hit photographers. Cops charged the group with a police armored car and a Highway Patrol car drove straight at the crowd. The crowd rushed up and smashed out the windows on the cop car.

In other words, a police riot.

The prosecutor later charged 5 workers to make an example out of them, break the union, and as a blow against union activity in the state. . The governor himself said that it was the state’s “right to work” (terribly anti-union law) law that was at stake.

Charges were eventually dropped

We think we are so progressive here in the US, then something like this happens and it seems like we are back in 1934.


Filed under Labor, Law enforcement, Left, Race Relations, South Carolina, US, White Racism