COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A group of people gathered at the Ben Tillman statue to demand that it be taken down. The group says Tillman is a known racist and shouldn’t be commemorated on State House grounds.
The protestors held signs that read “Take Tillman Down” and “This man boasted about murdering black people. It’s time for him to come down.”
Tillman was the governor of South Carolina in the late 1800′s and a known white supremacist.
There have been ongoing protests calling for the removal of Tillman’s statue.
One father said he brought his children to the protest because he wanted to teach them the importance of making their voices heard.
“I came out here today because I believe the legacy of Benjamin Tillman is a poor one and shouldn’t be commemorated at the Statehouse. I also came because I wanted to normalize protests,” Daniel Vance said. “I’m a white married evangelical Christian who lives in the suburbs and works in construction and his statue is so bad it shouldn’t just be the young, the politically active, or those affected.”
Group organizers say the statue was put up in the 1940′s at a time when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum in the South. It was meant to send a clear message to the people of color that “this isn’t your statehouse.”
The protestors say it’s time to come together and remove the memorial to white supremacy.
One person who supports the statue counteracted the protester’s argument saying if they remove one statue they will have to remove them all which would be like erasing history.