Jasper County Council candidate's FB post cause controversy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Jasper County Council candidate's FB post cause controversy

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Samuel Gregory Samuel Gregory

A Facebook status posted by Jasper County Council candidate Samuel Gregory earlier this week announcing his plans to run in the primary has a lot of people talking.

Many are saying the post is offensive and racist.

His post read, "It's time for us as people to remember, united we stand, divided we call … We should be proud people and become future role models for our children and not let others of a different race raise nor dictate how our children should act, nor how they should be …"

"I'm not a racist," said Gregory. "If they think that, I'm sorry that they do, but racism is in Jasper County. It ain't just started because I did that post."

He said he wrote the post to let people know that black people in Jasper County matter. He claims there's a group of people in the county that are trying to stop black people from winning elections.

"If ya'll ain't going to vote for my people anymore, then my people need to learn to vote for us until we teach them to understand that we are people too," he said.

Gregory said he wants black people in the county to only vote for black candidates until the white voters start voting for black and white candidates.

"If you want our vote, then vote for somebody in my race as well," he said. "That's all I'm saying, vote for somebody in my race."

He said he doesn't want people to vote for black candidate just because they are black, instead saying they should also be qualified.

Gregory was a council member until losing the election two years ago. He's running against fellow Democrat Martin Sauls in the primary.

"My opponent's segregated mindset does not represent the citizens of Jasper County as a whole," said Sauls. "I believe his statements were very offensive and appalling."

Gregory used to teach Shannon Sankas' son in Jasper County schools.

"I thought this man was a good man. I thought he was a good role model for my child," said Sankas.

She was shocked when she read his post, and she said his claim that white people don't vote for black candidates is absurd.

She said she voted for the sheriff, who is black; the county council chairwoman, who is black; the school board, which is predominately black; and she was going to vote for Gregory until she saw the post.

Other voters told WTOC that Gregory is causing a division that the county simply doesn't need tight now.

"I don't agree with it, but he's entitled to his opinion," said Regina Shuler. "It's up to us as adults to use our common sense. It's not about the color, it's about who's doing the job."

Even though he's well aware that some people are calling him a racist, he said he's not taking his post down.

"Everybody may not like what's on my Facebook, but it's woke somebody."

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