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NAN Calls on the Charleston Rifle Club to End Racist Membership Policies

Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III

The Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III, national vice president of Religious Affairs and External Relations of the National Action Network (NAN) and Mr. Charles Tyler, president of the Tri-County Chapter of NAN are now calling on the Charleston Rifle Club to immediately end its racist membership policy of excluding African Americans from membership in the club on the basis of race. It has been widely reported through the local and national media, and from the club’s own members, that the Charleston Rifle Club has no black members and that black people are specifically excluded from club membership. This practice cannot continue to go unchallenged.

“Today, we call on all business leaders, public officials, faith and community leaders to publicly denounce the policy of racial discrimination as practiced by this 163 year old segregationist organization,” exclaimed Rev. Rivers. “Just three years after white supremacist attack that murdered nine innocent black Christians at Mother Emanuel AME Church because of their race, the leaders of the Tri-County area of Charleston cannot publicly condemn but yet privately support this kind of rampant racism in 2018,” Rivers continued.

“The Tri-County Chapter of NAN is appalled that the hateful and racist policies of so-called private clubs, restaurants and other businesses of the 1950s and 1960s are still being practiced today by the leaders of the Charleston Rifle Club,” Said Mr. Tyler. “The Charleston Rifle Club’s leadership seems to think or hope this will all go away; well we want them to know we will not rest until they end their intentional and immoral practice of barring a person from membership simply on the basis of their race,” said Tyler.

NAN has found from public records that the Charleston Rifle Club receives its water from the Charleston Water Service, its sewer services come from the North Charleston Sewer District and their electrical services are provided by South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCANA) which means their racism is being subsidized by the taxpayers of South Carolina. Rev. Rivers declared that “There should not be any public resources used or subsidized to support private racism!”

“We call on members of the local legislative delegation to examine the South Carolina Public Accommodations Law to determine if organizations like the Charleston Rifle Club can be barred from practicing race discrimination while using taxpayer funded utilities. While it may be determined that private racism like this being practiced by the Rifle Club is legal, it is still morally repugnant and not one dime of my tax dollars should be used to help this ‘whites only club’ to discriminate against Black people in 2018,” Rivers says.

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