Young and old crowd SC State House for King Day rally

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - To many, Monday is all about remembering the dream.

More than 1,000 people attended the "King Day at the Dome" rally outside the State House. The event honored Dr. King's legacy and addressed issues facing South Carolinians.

It was a pretty chilly morning as the King Day events got underway at Zion Baptist Church, but hundreds made the march from there to the State House. Those gathering were no less convinced they needed to be there. "He taught me how to stand up and not be afraid of nothing," said Desmond Antley of Orangeburg.

Mary Myers of Columbia attended and brought her three grandchildren in hopes they would learn something about Dr. King. "That he stood for equal rights for everybody," she stated, "Not just blacks but you know for everybody in the United States. So we all could be treated justly."

State NAACP President Dr. Lonnie Randolph aimed much of his commentary at the General Assembly. "Eleanor Roosevelt said nobody can treat you bad without your consent, and we must stop consenting to the maltreatment that comes out of this house, that belongs to us," he stated.

This year's "King Day at the Dome" featured a heavy law enforcement presence, but unlike previous years, there was no group present to support keeping the Confederate flag flying at the State House. The banner still drew sharp criticism. "We pledged also to renew our commitment to not spend one dime in South Carolina until that Confederate hateful flag comes down," expressed Edward Dubose of the Georgia NAACP.

One of the speakers suggested the state had made progress with the election of a minority woman to the Governor's office. Governor Nikki Haley did not attend the rally. She did issue a statement calling Dr. King a "visionary man of faith" who led a historic struggle that changed the nation forever.