U.S. Senate candidates come to town – League of the South members protest Beasley in Greenwood
May 18, 2004
By WALLACE McBRIDE
Index-Journal senior staff writer
David Beasley got a red, white and blue welcome when he arrived Monday in Greenwood.
Members of the S.C. League of the South were posted around Inn on the Square in anticipation of Beasley’s arrival for a local political rally. Each brandished variations of the confederate flag, reminders of an issue that has hounded Beasley since his term as South Carolina governor.
“Beasley is a scallawag,” said Robert Hayes, director of the S.C. League of the South. “He lied to the people of South Carolina. He promised when he was running for governor the first time that he would do nothing about our flag. Yet he is the first one that said the flag should come off the dome.”
Beasley was elected governor in 1994, but alienated some of his fanbase when he called for the removal of the Confederate Flag from atop the Statehouse.
Beasley, who lost a re-election bid to Jim Hodges in 1998, said he was not threatened by the persistent presence of the League of the South at his campaign stops.
“It’s the same 10, 15 guys that travel around the state,” Beasley said. “God bless ‘em. I pray for them, and hope life turns out OK for them.”
Monday marked the 15th time the group has picketed Beasley during his travels around the state, Hayes said. “We will not forget, and we will not forgive,” Hayes said. “We don’t care who is elected, as long as Beasley is not elected.”
Monday’s protestors traveled from Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville and Greenwood for the event.
Turnout for the “flagging” was hampered because Monday is a workday, Hayes said.
“Us overburdened taxpayers have to work for a living,” he said. “The numbers are not what’s important, it’s the fact that we’re showing we will not give up. We shall quit when he is defeated.”