Man rejected by Charleston Rifle Club speaks out at race-based event

Updated: May. 22, 2019 at 12:36 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A man rejected from the Charleston Rifle Club spoke out about his experience at a race-based discussion in hopes of change.

Dr. Melvin Brown III would have been the first black member of the club if he was accepted into the all-white Charleston Rifle Club.

On Oct. 1, 2018, the club voted to admit 13 new members and refused membership to Brown. He believes he was rejected because of his race since he was the only black candidate.

On Tuesday, the Living Your Truth series held by the Social Justice and Racial Equity Collaborative, tackled a conversation about membership and discrimination.

In a news release the collaborative said, “ The club’s anonymous voting process, which allows for only six votes to blackball a candidate, reinforced the club’s 164-year practice of discrimination."

Brown’s sponsor, Dr. Andrew Savage was a member at the Charleston Rifle Club and also spoke out at the event.

Both men talked about experiences with racism and the need for change, not only in a professional setting, but all of Charleston.

“There’s been a strong push from inside the club to change its rules and bi-laws,” said Savage. “I think what I want to look for is that we begin to have more places in Charleston where you can look out across the room and it’s like this, together.”

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