CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Tuesday night, the City Council for the City of Charleston voted to not move the Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Conciliation (SCEIRC) forward to become a permanent committee. The commission was created following the death of George Floyd.

Harry Griffin, the Councilmember for District 10 said, “what we see in front of us is to continue forward with these ideals that our citizens just don’t support”. 

With a final vote of 7 to 6, the commission’s future failed after a disagreement on the language used.  

William Dudley Gregorie, a Councilmember for District 6 questioned the motion set by Peter Shahid, a Councilmember for District 9 regarding the line, “the advancement of the Special Commission report” and the issue of removing annual reports to the council and public.

While Shahid said he only wanted the language removed and not the annual reports, many were stuck on what language he was referring to.

Those who worked on the commission, like Marcus McDonald, are left disappointed and frustrated.

While the 500-page report is still heading to subcommittees to see what recommendations are feasible, McDonald says he and others on the commission feel used.  

Our Ancestors labored for free and we labored for free for the city—just for them to ignore what we have to say. 

Marcus McDonald, CHS BLM, SCEIRC Commission Volunteer

McDonald says he constantly hears that the city is partnering with other communities, however feels that when it’s a “black issue”, it encounters roadblocks such as language barriers or that certain constituents won’t vote for it.

McDonald says now, it’s up to the City Council to support the current recommendations that remain and rectify the vote to repair the ties with the black community.