Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday condemned the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, but said he does not think the white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally for a Robert E. Lee statue should prompt the removal of old Confederate monuments in South Carolina.
The Post and Courier reports the governor said he does not think South Carolina could see more Confederate monuments coming down such as is happening in other states.
“We have been over these issues over the years,” McMaster said. “I think our people are different.”
In a tweet Saturday night, McMaster referenced the state’s reaction after the 2015 killings at Emanuel AME church in Charleston. He said South Carolina showed her heart when confronted by hatred and violence.
After the Charleston shooting by Dylann Roof the South Carolina Legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds. Roof said he wanted to start a race war.
McMaster also offered prayers for Charlottesville. “That kind of hatred, that kind of violence, is off the scale. It has no place in this country. Certainly no place in South Carolina.”
The governor spoke to reporters for a few minutes while attending a jobs fair in Chapin his office helped to organize. The event was set up to help former nuclear construction employees who were laid off when two utilities abandoned work on two reactors in Jenkinsville.
Saturday’s violence came as several white supremacy groups took over a protest in Charlottesville this past weekend. Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and National Socialist Movement rallied against the city’s plans to dismantle and sell the Robert E. Lee statue and its members got into fights with counter-protesters. The violence culminated with one self-identified white nationalist driving his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others. Police have charged 20-year-old Alex Fields with second-degree murder for the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.