The NAACP will hold a rally in Columbia in honor of Martin Luther King on Monday, January 17. In keeping with the NAACP’s focus on carrying forward the activism of the civil rights movement the rally will stress the protection of immigrant rights, and the preservation of Medicaid for South Carolinians and the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.
NAACP rally to target health care and education cuts
By JOHN O’CONNOR – firstname.lastname@example.org
The State. Published Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010.
The South Carolina NAACP will use its annual January State House rally to oppose cuts to state health care and education programs as well as a proposed Arizona-style immigration bill.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally also will renew the S.C. NAACP’s call to remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds and for groups to boycott S.C. tourism until the flag is placed in a museum, S.C. chapter president Lonnie Randolph said Wednesday.
The civil rights group also plans to use the rally to counter myths about the origins of the Civil War, which began 150 years ago in South Carolina.
“We don’t celebrate atrocities of any kind,” Randolph said, referring to a recent gala to mark the 150th anniversary of South Carolina’s secession. “Things don’t heal that easily. … We take it seriously.”
The NAACP has rallied at the State House on King’s national holiday for a decade, hosting prayer services and marching through downtown Columbia.
The rally originally was organized to oppose the Confederate battle flag that flew atop the State House dome until 2001. The event continued after lawmakers moved the flag to a Confederate monument on the State House grounds – a compromise the S.C. NAACP opposed.
In addition to the flag, Randolph said this year’s event would encourage attendees to oppose other forms of injustice, such a state immigration law or cuts to the state-run Medicaid health care program for the low-income and disabled.
Bills have been introduced in many states, including South Carolina, to crack down on illegal immigrants, a federal law enforcement issue. The proposals have been modeled after a recent Arizona law, which would allow police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop. That law is being challenged in federal court.
Columbia attorney and former lawmaker Tom Turnipseed said an Arizona-style anti-immigration law would encourage racial profiling of immigrants. Passing such a law also likely would spark a lawsuit, he said, adding the state could find better ways to spend the money that would be needed to defend and enforce the new law.
“It’s just totally political,” Turnipseed said. “It’s just going to cost us money.”
The State doesn’t mention a time or place for the rally, a little surprisingly. Post and Courier reporter Yvonne Wenger does provide rally info and adds the following details:
“We will not sit back quietly,” Randolph said of the events at the state capital. He was flanked during the announcement at NAACP state headquarters by youth members of the group and others, including Tom Turnipseed, a Columbia attorney and former state senator.”
“As many as eight bus loads of people recruited by Detroit radio talk show host Mildred Gaddis will travel from Michigan to join the protest and show support for the NAACP’s boycott.”
Post and Courier article: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/dec/30/naacp-will-not-sit-back-quietly/