These could easily be seen as dark times in South Carolina, with black churches burning to the ground and elected officials in the Upstate stamping gay bashing with the seal of government approval. But while the state continues to confirm the rest of the country's worst suspicions about us, many South Carolinians with the most to lose see these tantrums as a chance to turn things around. Ill will always threatens to boomerang; this time it is just so public. May we all learn from these lessons.
Black and gay activists see recent events as a call to action, and welcome this kind of clarity in an election season. Believing in the basic decency of human beings, they think these kinds of displays of hatred only serve to motivate the public to defend the ideas this country was founded on: freedom, equality and religious tolerance. Some people think all of our battles have already been fought in this country. Events like these remind us that they have not.
Given the ugly backdrop, this is a great time to organize in South Carolina. We suggest you peruse the listings in Do Something (page 13) and find a way to connect with those around you and use your talents for the greater good. If, after that, you are still a rebel without a cause, give the South Carolina Progressive Network a call at 803-254-9398 and see how you can make a difference.
The Network will be working with the Rainbow Action Network in the coming months conducting public education and a voter registration drive across the state. Look for them at your local catfish stomp/vegetable fest from now until November. If you want a nonpartisan voter guide (sort of Cliff Notes on the issues facing the South Carolina legislature) write to the Network at P.O. Box 8325, Columbia, S.C. 29202.
This month's POINT feels a little lighter in your hands because we are only 16 pages long instead of our customary 20. It is a nod to our poverty and sloth nature both. Sue us. Better yet, send us money.
Finally, if this month's issue is shot through with typos and grammatical problems, blame it on Victoria, our proofreader. A real trooper, she read this issue, but was also was busy birthing child Number Four, a little girl with lots of names, the most important of which is Dakota. Welcome aboard, kiddo.