Today’s King Day at the Dome featured state and national NAACP leaders, including NAACP president and South Carolina native Benjamin Jealous, who told the few thousand people that “people of color are simply the canaries in the great American coal mine– that what gets us, ultimately gets everybody.” He referred to the housing mortgage crisis as one example, in which the NAACP tried to alert financial leaders and were not taken seriously.
One issue particular to South Carolina, the Civil War battle flag that flies in front of the Statehouse. Today’s crowds gathered under that very flag, in a crowd much diminished from the 50,ooo that rallied to bring it down from the dome held in that same spot 10 years ago.
Clinton native and SC State University board member, Lumus Byrd, Jr. remembers: LumusByrdRemembers
Though politicians were not invited to the podium this year, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous did not hesitate to address politics.(Selection of Jealous speech MP3 5:53)
This was the first King Day at the Dome rally for Inez Neely from the South Carolina coast, St, Helena Island.She says that even though she does not have to see the Confederate flag at the capitol entry every day, “We know that it’s here and we cannot forget that it’s here.”