Man Wants Statue Off State House Grounds

7:52 PM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The State House grounds are no stranger to controversy - but as the session starts - there are calls to take a piece of history off the lawn.  

"This statue has bothered me for a long, long time," Will Moredock said.

When Will Moredock lived in Columbia he said being on State House grounds wasn't pleasant.

"I used to fantasize about just bringing a pick up truck right up there, just backing it up to the statue and tossing a rope around the neck and yanking it off of that pedestal," Moredock said.

Just to the right of the State House is a statue of former governor and state senator Benjamin R. Tillman, labeled a patriot and a statesman.

"If you put his real record on a monument, on a sign, on a plaque I think people would be shocked," he said. "In 1900 he said, 'We scratched our heads, we thought about it, we did everything we could in our power to stop blacks from voting.'"

Moredock decided to take out a full page ad in the paper to urge South Carolinians to support the cause called "Down With Tillman" by calling state senators and representatives.But that method has been done before.

"[Rep. Todd] Rutherford introduced a bill a couple years ago, never got out of committee. They just canned it right away, didn't want to talk about it," he said.

Moredock says Tillman is a critical piece to understanding South Carolina's past, but says he should not be on a pedestal.

"We do not want to erase him from history, we have to remember him," Moredock said. "We have to remember what he did, but we should not glorify him, we should not give him a place of honor on our State House grounds."

When asked what he would do with the statue Moredock said it could be melted down.

For more information on the cause, go here.

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