SC Senate leader defends photo evoking slave past

Published September 16, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina Senate leader is defending a photo he posed for wearing a Civil War uniform alongside two blacks in servants' costumes reminiscent of slavery.

Senate President Pro-tem Glenn McConnell said the photo taken in Charleston last week was an innocent moment among friends. The Charleston Republican is well-known as a Civil War enthusiast and re-enactor.

He says the National Federation of Republican Women's conference asked him to arrange re-enactors to depict parts of the state history.

A black Gullah-Geechee cultural group was among the re-enactors to demonstrate the mid-1800s.

Some say the picture evokes the oppression of blacks. McConnell says it shows how far the state has come.

The NAACP's Joe Darby says McConnell has an "unfortunate" world view.

Written by Associated Press

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