Black leaders rip SC governor candidate for saying she's 'proud of the Confederacy'

Black leaders rip SC governor candidate for saying she's 'proud of the Confederacy'
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Black leaders in South Carolina are condemning gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton's remarks that she is “proud of the Confederacy.”

“I don’t think she understands the diversity we have in South Carolina and that we’re not all a bunch of flag-waving yahoos,” Joe Darby, the AME church’s presiding elder over the Beaufort district in South Carolina, told the Post and Courier.

“When you elevate the Confederacy, you stomp on the memories of those who were subjugated, the slaves. She’s stomping on my ancestors. If she’s proud of her heritage over nine lives, it’s a shame,” he continued.

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Charleston NAACP president Dot Scot also criticized the comments in remarks to the Post and Courier.

“We’re continuing the same mindset that brought us Dylann Roof," she said, referring to the man who entered a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 and opened fire, killing nine people.

"Dylann Roof did not rewrite history. He was reflecting history the way it is,” Scott said.

Templeton offered remarks praising the Confederacy after she was asked how she felt about the removal of Confederate monuments and symbols in the wake of the of 2015 Charleston shooting. 

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“Not on my watch. I don’t think there’s anything else to say about it,” Templeton said at a town hall on Tuesday.

“You cannot rewrite history. I don’t care whose feelings it hurts. You cannot rewrite history," she continued.

“I’ve already said and mean it from the bottom of my heart that I’m proud to be from South Carolina, I’m proud of the Confederacy. But I’m not going to second guess what the people in the Statehouse did when I wasn’t there," she said.

The 2015 shooting led then-Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to sign legislation to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds. The legislation had bipartisan support.

Templeton has not backed down since hearing the criticism.

“I am who I am because of my ancestors,” Templeton told the Post & Courier. “I’m proud of my family, and that doesn’t make me a racist. History may make us uncomfortable, but it made us who we are.”

Templeton is not the first politician in the state to stir controversy regarding the flag debate in recent days.

House GOP candidate Sheri Few garnered attention when she appeared in a video attacking her Republican primary opponents Tommy Pope and Ralph Norman for supporting Haley in taking down the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.

Few was defeated by Norman in the primary, who went on to win the general election to fill White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney's former House seat.