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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Karma can get you and sometimes, as outsiders we have to laugh one someone truly deserves it. In this case, South Carolina House Rep. Chris Corley, R-Graniteville is feeling its wrath. The “man” who sent Christmas cards out with the Confederate Battle flag after the Mother Emanuel shooting, chastising lawmakers for bringing the flag down, is now in jail on charges of domestic abuse.

You can read about the charges here

But what would cause karma to strike so hard? Well, this:

In the season of peace, love and light, South Carolina House Rep. Chris Corley, R-Graniteville, has sunk to a new low with a divisive Christmas card to his GOP colleagues in the General Assembly.

Instead of reconciliation and good cheer, Corley chose to craft a holiday message dripping with venom directed at those who supported removing the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in July.

Corley, a member of the Aiken County Legislative Delegation, said those who may be offended by the card don’t understand his sense of humor.

“Those who know me and know my sense of humor, probably walked away after reading the card, having a good laugh and saying, ‘That’s just Corley being Corley,’” he said.

Corley’s card reads “Merry Christmas” on the front, showing a photo of the South Carolina Statehouse with the Confederate battle flag flying on the grounds.

The inside of the card is inscribed, “May your Christmas be filled with memories of a happier time when South Carolina’s leaders possessed morals, convictions and the principles to stand for what is right. May you have a blessed Christmas, and may you take this joyous time as an opportunity to ask for forgiveness of all your sins such as betrayal.”

In a report from The Post & Courier, the card also references Dante’s “Inferno,” consigning those guilty of treachery to hell.

“This is Cocytus, the ninth circle, the fourth and last great water of Hell, and here fixed in the ice, each according to his guilt, are punished sinners guilty of treachery against those who they are bound to by special ties,” the card reads.

Corley didn’t send the same card to his Democratic colleagues, instead giving them a card with a photo of his kids on the front.

“The message I was sending, I was sending to my Republican colleagues only,” he said. “I had a problem with the politicalization of the flag removal movement. I believe my colleagues caved to political correctness, and I have an issue with that.”

Demands to take the flag down permanently gained momentum after nine churchgoers, including pastor and late State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, were gunned down on June 17 at Charleston’s historic black Emanuel AME Church by Dylann Roof, a white gunman who authorities said posted online photos of himself holding a handgun and a Confederate flag. Corley took exception to the portrayal of the shooter.

“The Confederate flag did not kill those nine people,” Corley said. “Dylann Roof did not choke anybody with a Confederate flag, he used a gun. To use a tragedy like this for political gain was wrong. The Democrats used the tragedy to cram the flag issue down our throats. I think the entire process was wrong.”

Corley said if the movement to take down the Confederate flag had followed the normal process, he would have voted against it, but he would have accepted the process.

“There’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it, and at every turn we chose the wrong way,” he said. “We would have discussed it, and we would have debated it, but it would have followed the process. If they had done it the right way and it came down, I’d have said, ‘If you have a problem with it, see how your representative or senator voted and take it up with them.’”

Corley said the Confederate flag means different things to different people, and not every interpretation of the flag is rooted in evil, racism or bigotry.

“To me the flag represents a time when the states decided their individual rights mattered more than a centralized federal government exerting their control,” he said. “It represents a time when people felt the federal government was too big.”

How far back in history would you have us go, Mr. Corley?

Should we return all the way to the days when states exercised the authority to make people property and allowed them to be enslaved to others? Perhaps we should fast-forward from the period 50 years when women had not yet secured the right to vote and the leaders of the Palmetto State were fighting their right to do so every step of the way. Where is this sweet spot of yours exactly?

Would returning to the 1960s and the days of Jim Crow segregation and the valiant battles to keep the races separated, fought by the “leaders” you cite, be more to your liking, Mr. Corley?

Despite your protests to the contrary, sir, the majority of South Carolina residents will gather for the holidays and give thanks that the flag issue is settled at long last.

You may continue to pout as you wish, but the rest of us are moving on – with or without you.


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