South Carolina

Whites, African Americans in SC strongly disagree on slavery reparations, poll finds

Do Confederate memorials honor soldiers killed in war or memorialize racism?

A Confederate monument in Cornelius was vandalized Sunday, a day after violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters left a woman dead and dozens of people injured in Charlottesville, Va.
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A Confederate monument in Cornelius was vandalized Sunday, a day after violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters left a woman dead and dozens of people injured in Charlottesville, Va.

South Carolinians are divided on racial and party lines on whether reparations should be made to the descendents of slaves, according to a new poll from Winthrop University about the controversial issue.

Overall, a majority of S.C. residents — 59 % — are against the idea, while 31% support it, the poll found.

But the poll shows significant disagreement between S.C. whites and African Americans.

While 75% of whites oppose slavery reparations, 72% of African American respondents were in favor of them.

Winthrop poll director Scott Huffmon said the idea of reparations has grown more popular among African Americans since a national poll that asked the same question two years ago.

“This may be because overall attitudes in the black community have evolved, or because African Americans in a Deep South state may be more likely to face frequent prejudice than African Americans in other parts of the country,” Huffmon said.

“It could also be because African Americans in the South frequently see monuments, flags, and statues that glorify the Confederacy and frequently bring to mind the period of chattel slavery.”

On Monday April 30, 2018, Maya Little defaced UNC-Chapel Hill's Confederate monument, Silent Sam, with her own blood and red ink. "He's covered in black blood...that's his foundation," Little said.

Opinion also split along party lines. Among Democrats, 63% favor reparations, with 29% opposing them. Eighty-four percent of Republicans are against reparations, with only 9% in favor.

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Bristow Marchant is currently split between covering Richland County and the 2020 presidential race. He has more than 10 years’ experience covering South Carolina. He won the S.C. Press Association’s 2015 award for Best Series on a toxic Chester County landfill fire, and was part of The State’s award-winning 2016 election coverage.
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