‘Overtly racist and deeply offensive’: SC state rep. calls for colleague’s resignation

A state Hate Crime Bill passed the House on Wednesday after years of failed attempts.
Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 11:15 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On the day a Hate Crime Bill passed the South Carolina State House after years of failed attempts, a controversy erupted over one state lawmaker’s comments.

In an effort to explain why he was voting against the Hate Crime Bill on Wednesday, Rep. Vic Dabney, R-Camden, posted a statement on Facebook that one of his colleagues has called “overtly racist and deeply offensive,” saying Dabney should resign from office.

Dabney said in the post, which he has since deleted, that he would not vote for the Hate Crime Bill because he had spent his 63 years “watching our society give in to the Liberals.... and it’s never enough.”

He said he feels his way of life has “been vilified” by Democrats.

“It’s our whiteness and our ‘straightness’ that keeps getting in the way,” Dabney wrote. “No matter how much we give in to them, we just can’t seem to get it right.”

He added: “In our ‘color blind’ society, we are constantly reminded that we are the problem because of our skin color. We are the reason that blacks can’t seem to succeed in our society.”

Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill, issued the following response:

“I am shocked, appalled, and disgusted by the words of Representative Dabney. His statement was overtly racist and deeply offensive to me, my colleagues, and all South Carolinians who believe our elected officials must do better.

Claiming that “blacks can’t seem to succeed in our society,” asserting offensive stereotypes about black families, and spreading outright lies about crime statistics – there is no place for this in the South Carolina General Assembly.

We have a problem when racists like Vic Dabney feel comfortable expressing their bigotry. But we have an even bigger problem when we allow racist statements to go unaddressed. We cannot turn away and stay silent in the face of hate. I ask Republican leaders to take a stand by condemning Vic Dabney and I call on him to resign his office in the South Carolina House, as he has revealed himself to be incapable of serving the people of this state.”

Wednesday evening, an email was shared with WIS that appeared to show lawmakers discussing a resolution to censure Dabney for his comments.

When any such resolution is officially announced, this story will be updated.

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