SC lawmakers slammed for GOP-proposed bill that would make 'voting in favor of monument removal' a crime

SC lawmakers slammed for GOP-proposed bill that would make 'voting in favor of monument removal' a crime
Cville dog [Public domain]

South Carolina lawmakers are proposing a three-part legislative plan to protect historical monuments erected across the state. While they believe the pieces of legislation will be beneficial for the state, South Carolina residents and social media users are arguing otherwise.

According to WIS-TV, the collaborative piece of legislation, dubbed "The Story of America," focuses on enforcing protections for monuments and historical plaques. However, it doesn't stop there. The bill also seeks to control historical narratives in classrooms.

During a recent press conference, Rep. Bill Taylor (R-Aiken, S.C.) explained how House Bill 3249 would lead to "severe penalties for local governments that remove historical monuments. He proposed to withhold funds from local governments if they take down monuments or change monuments, and that's not all."

"Local government officials voting in favor of monument removal would be guilty of a misdemeanor in office," Taylor said. "It's time to stand up and defend the history of South Carolina and of our nation."

Shortly after introducing the bill, Republican lawmakers were hit with an array of opposing reactions as others expressed their concerns about the multifaceted bill. Rep. Seth Rose (D-S.C.) pushed back against the bill as argued that some of the monuments deserve to be removed.

"If someone wants to do something on their private property they can, but this is public ground," Rose argued. "It belongs to all walks of life."

One Twitter user criticized lawmakers' push for the protection of monuments and their proposed curriculum for K-12 students. That person tweeted, "South Carolina Republicans want to make it illegal for localities to remove lost cause monuments in the name of 'defending the history of South Carolina.'"

The user added, "The state is ranked #44 in education but state lawmakers also want to mandate that schools teach the fever swamp historical fiction of Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh."

Another user agreed saying, "Once again confusing lionizing their ancestors with history. The statue defenders want to gloss over actual history in exchange for something that makes them feel good about themselves."

According to WIS-TV, the final version of the proposed bill "would require all plaques to be approved by the Department of Archives and free of opinion just fact" despite lawmakers' refusal to commit to providing a curriculum that focuses on full, factual history.

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