From Ta-Nehisi Coates, finishing up Confederate History Month:

[Ben Tillman in 1900:]

We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be equal to the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him. I would to God the last one of them was in Africa and that none of them had ever been brought to our shores. But I will not pursue the subject further.

Tillman didn’t give this address in the backwoods of South Carolina, he delivered it on floor of the United States Senate. The Confederacy birthed the Ku Klux Klan. It introduced [a] century of criminality and lawlessness which was tolerated for over a century. The South is still recovering.

There’s a statue of Ben Tillman in front of the South Carolina statehouse. Some of the legislators want the statue removed. The statue should stay–and they should add a plaque with excerpts from this speech.

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