By Professor Damon L. Fordham, MA
The following is the text of a speech given by Professor Fordham at the rally regarding the appearance of former Trump Administration Chief Strategist Steve Bannon at The Citadel on Thursday, November 9, 2017. It is reprinted here to inform the general public as to what Mr. Bannon represents.
I want to start out by saying that Mr. Bannon is in there right now with our current governor and one of the gubernatorial candidates. Now it seems to me that if Mr. Bannon says he is at war with the establishment Republicans as he said on October 10, 2017, then the governor and the gubernatorial candidate need to be right out here with us! Now of course that is the case only if we use reason and logic, and we all know that both are in short supply these days. And if we who possess reason and logic do not speak out in times when this nation is lacking in these qualities, then it is our fault if our beloved America devolves into “Ancient Rome II at a Theater near You.”
Now while we are here, it is important to understand that, as Dr. Martin Luther King said in his last book “Where Do We Go from Here” in 1967, that whenever we deal with our opponents, we must be as armed with knowledge as they. So it is not enough to say that Mr. Bannon is a racist. We must show and prove that we know of what we speak. According to the Los Angeles Times of December 9, 2016, Mr. Bannon described himself as the “Leni Riefenstahl of the G.O.P” For those who don’t know, Leni Riefenstahl was a filmmaker for the Nazi Party of Germany. He has supported such groups as the anti-immigration French National Front, the German Alternative for Deutschland, and the Philippine dictator Rodrigo Dutere. This was in the Daily Beast of November 13, 2016.
Under Mr. Bannon’s tenure as publisher of the Breitbart website, he has approved such stories as “Bill Kristol- Republican Spoiler and Renegade Jew” (May 15, 2016), “Would You Rather Your Child had Feminism or Cancer?” (February 19, 2016), and “Gabby Giffords-The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield” (March 8, 2015). Miss Giffords was the Arizona Representative who survived a shooting and was left with a brain injury in 2012.
We must be mindful that over a century ago in our State, men whose names were once glorified spoke a message of hatred against blacks and immigrants. They were called the leaders of their time because they were popular at the moment. Men such as Benjamin Tillman, Coleman Blease, and “Cotton Ed” Smith, who led this State down the dark path of Jim Crow. These men are either remembered in shame today or have been forgotten into the ash heap of history. This should serve as a reminder that those who receive the cheap applause of today may be scorned in disgrace tomorrow.
And finally, to those who continue to ask, “Why don’t you protest when blacks kill each other,” I have five words, “We have and we do.”