"Confederate Affirmative Action" NAACP on McConnell being a fina - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

"Confederate Affirmative Action" NAACP on McConnell being a finalist

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Local NAACP leaders address the media at the College of Charleston on Monday. Local NAACP leaders address the media at the College of Charleston on Monday.
Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell also a College of Charleston graduate is a finalist for the school's top post. Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell also a College of Charleston graduate is a finalist for the school's top post.

The College of Charleston founded in 1770 is considered America's oldest municipal college. Those from the NAACP say hiring Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell would be an historic mistake.

Out of a trimmed down list there were ten people, now there are three left one of them will be the next President at the College of Charleston. One getting a lot of interest is Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell. He didn't make the cut at first but was added back into the mix.

That is one of the several things those at the NAACP take issue with. Reverend Joe Darby called it "Confederate Affirmative Action" Rev. Nelson Rivers said it's how it's done in the state.

"Why is now Glenn McConnell a finalist when he did not come out of the search committee process?-- because of the politics of power in South Carolina."

NAACP leaders also take issue with McConnell's voting record at the Statehouse and his pro-confederacy stance regarding the flag. Saying McConnell is the face of the Confederate States of America in South Carolina.

At a news conference on Monday to make public their stance, the NAACP said McConnell lacks the sensitivity and the leadership to nurture diversity and added a single photograph is all they need.

"The NAACP will help the College understand why it won't work because everywhere we go everyone we know we're going to send a photograph and asked them-- Do you want your child to go to that school with this man as president? If you do-- lord have mercy."

Enter Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell who has never tried to hide his passion for Civil War re-enacting and he explained the photo. It included McConnell dressed as a Confederate with two African Americans in tattered clothing standing at either side.

"It was an historical presentation to a group on uniforms of the period and Gullah-Geechee heritage. Those re-enactors that were there, they're performers and educators."

McConnell, a graduate of the College of Charleston backs the effort the make the College more about research while keeping its liberal arts core. He says he wants to be President to help the institution move forward saying he knows how and who to talk to in Columbia.

And when it comes to being progressive, he says he has a record that shows he fosters diversity.

"My response to the press conference and the issue would be this-- I should not be judged by their rhetoric but by my record."

The College of Charleston may have a decision on a new President as soon as next week.

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