Tag Archives | South Carolina

Seven Inmates Got 20 Combined Years In Solitary Confinement For Making A Music Video

Zero tolerance for music vids in prison.

CJCiaramella via BuzzFeed News:

Seven inmates in a South Carolina prison were punished with a combined total of nearly 20 years of solitary confinement — for making a rap music video and posting it on WorldStar.

The investigation into the rap video and the punishment were revealed in public records obtained by Dave Maass, an investigative researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Last year, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) launched an investigation after the group of inmates released a rap video that made its way to WorldStarHipHop:

Records show five of the inmates received 180 days in “disciplinary detention,” while two others received punishments of 270 and 360 days, for “creating or assisting with a social media site.”

But additional punishments for “security threat group” (gang-related) materials, and possessing a contraband cell phone added up to a combined 7150 days, or 19.75 years, in solitary confinement for the inmates.

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No Honor: Humbling Words from a Descendant of Confederates

Bill Starr can trace back his family lines in South Carolina to before the Revolution, and he pulls no punches when it comes to talking about the Confederate flag and its legacy of violence. He was interviewed by Story of America while waiting in line to pay his respects to Clementa Pinckney, the pastor and State Senator who was murdered last month by Dylann Roof:

According to Starr: “All of these memorials need to come down. I would like to see a memorial which says that all of these men were murdered by the slavocracy. I’d like to see an end to Confederate Memorial Day. I’d like to see an end to all of these streets named for Confederate generals. I’d like to see a monument here to the 1st South Carolina Infantry, who were black soldiers who fought for the Union. Or to men like Robert Lee Smalls or Denmark Vesey, who fought for freedom.

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Charleston and the Age of Obama

There’s so much to say about the Charleston atrocity and no shortage of commentary throughout the media. One of the most perceptive analyses we’ve found is from David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker:

Between 1882 and 1968, the year Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, three thousand four hundred and forty-six black men, women, and children were lynched in this country—a practice so vicious and frequent that Mark Twain was moved, in 1901, to write an essay called “The United States of Lyncherdom.” (Twain shelved the essay and plans for a full-length book on lynching because, he told his publisher, if he went forward, “I shouldn’t have even half a friend left down [South].”) These thousands of murders, as studied by the Tuskegee Institute and others, were a means of enforcing white supremacy in the political and economic marketplaces; they served to terrorize black men who might dare to sleep, or even talk, with white women, and to silence black children, like Emmett Till, who were deemed “insolent.”

Dylann Roof's Facebook photo with jacket showing  the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa

Dylann Roof’s Facebook photo with jacket showing the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa


But the words attributed to the shooter are both a throwback and thoroughly contemporary: one recognizes the rhetoric of extreme reaction and racism heard so often in the era of Barack Obama.

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Legal Moonshine On Sale In South

File-The_Moonshine_Man_of_Kentucky_Harper's_Weekly_1877If you’re hankering for some moonshine, head on down to South Carolina, where it’s finally legal, reports Harriet McLeod for Reuters:

Two entrepreneurs are taking advantage of new micro-distillery laws in South Carolina to make and sell traditional moonshine whiskey legally for the first time in the southern state.

The Dark Corner Distillery will open next month in Greenville, where engineer Joe Fenten, 27, and longtime home beer brewer Richard Wenger will produce and sell small batches of 100-proof moonshine from a custom-made copper still.

The distillery, housed in a 1925 building, will also include a tasting bar and a museum dedicated to the history of the Dark Corner, the local mountains that were once full of moonshiners, feud and mayhem, Fenten told Reuters.

The area was settled, along with the nearby Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, by Scots, Irish and Welsh who migrated down through the Appalachian mountain chain from Pennsylvania in the 1700s.

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South Carolina’s Going Greene

If someone meets the U.S. Senate candidate requirements (at least 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for nine or more years, and having residency in the state where campaigning) are they equipped to run for election? South Carolina seems to think so. Alvin Greene, a 32 year-old unemployed veteran, won 60% of votes at the Democratic primary. His inexperience in politics and minimal campaigning strategy gave rise to many questions and conspiracy theories. Given Greene's simplistic interviewing responses, the question of why he won is still unanswered. Did Greene win because his name was first on the ballot? Was he planted by the Republican party? How does an unemployed man, living with his father after being discharged from the Air Force fund a $10,440 filing fee with little to no fund-raising? What are the details to his felony obscenity charge from his arrest last year? Keith Olbermann addresses these questions in an interview on MSNBC:
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