By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator


MAY 2, 2014 -- The subject of racism is so sensitive, full disclosure is necessary.

When I came to the U.S. Senate in 1966, Senator Ed Brooke, from Massachusetts, and I were speakers at a dinner for freshmen. I followed Brooke to the rostrum saying: "You've just heard from the black Senator elected by the white vote. You'll now hear from the white Senator elected by the black vote". This is not completely accurate but I never could have served 52 years in public office without the black vote.

The Clipper owner, Donald Sterling, stated: "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you are associating with black people. Do you have to?..." Finally: "Don't put him (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to any of my games." A Democrat would never "have to call" Sterling. Magic Johnson is a hero to us Democrats.

Kathleen Parker, in the Washington Post (4/30/14) writes: "Consolation can be found in evidence that Americans on the whole have no tolerance for racism or discriminatory behavior."

I hesitate correcting one of my favorite writers, but the Republican Party is organized on "discriminatory behavior". Republican Governors and Republican Legislators gerrymander African Americans out of their party. We have seven Congressional Districts in South Carolina. Six of the seven districts average two to four counties. But the Sixth District of Congressman James Clyburn has been gerrymandered to cover five full counties and parts of ten others for a total of fifteen counties. The State Supreme court and the U.S. Supreme Court supports this racism.

The all-white Democratic Party of the South has become the all-white Republican Party of the South.

Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).

© 2014, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.

About Fritz Hollings

Ernest F. Hollings served the public for 56 years -- 38 years in the United States Senate and as South Carolina's governor, lieutenant governor and a member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

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