Two men from Charleston

00_LuciusGanttSeems like everyone on social media has posted something about the tragic murders of Black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C.

But as always, The Gantt Report will provide a perspective that so-called Black leaders, Black benefactors, Black community supporters and friends of exploited, oppressed and oftentimes-murdered Black people don’t want you to hear!

Always racist
South Carolina has long been the role model of how states should mistreat and disrespect Black people.

Instead of talking stupid about the geographical areas where some Black people live, someone should try to explain why a city like Charleston is the way it is and the way it will always be, until all of the people in South Carolina rise up and oppose the city’s unjust ways and its racist historical traditions.

The media sources that you love will suggest how unusual it is for some Carolina Whites to believe that “Blacks want to take over,” or that “Blacks rape White women.” That kind of mentality has permeated South Carolina ever since there was a South Carolina!

Perhaps I am the man I am and I write the way I write because my own ancestry takes me right back to South and North Carolina. There are many Gantts in the Carolinas. I have even attended Gantt family reunions in South Carolina.

Comparatively speaking, South Carolinian slavemaster Gantt must have been OK as slavemasters were during slavery days, because there are not too many of us Black Gantts!

The Black man
Let’s start with the Black guy and his connection to Charleston, the killing of Blacks and Whites, and the very church where nine Blacks were murdered by a White racist.

Denmark Vesey, known as Telemaque (1767 – July 2, 1822), was a former slave in Charleston who is noted for his plan for “the rising,” a major slave revolt in 1822. By some accounts, it would have involved thousands of slaves in the city and others on plantations miles away.

A skilled carpenter, Vesey had won a lottery and purchased his freedom at age 32 in 1799. He had a good business and a family, but was not able to buy his wife and children out of slavery.

Vesey became active in the Second Presbyterian Church. In 1818, he was among the founders of an African Methodist Episcopal church in the city, which later became the Emanuel AME Church. The church was supported by White clergy in the city and rapidly attracted 1,848 members, making it the second-largest AME congregation in the nation. City officials twice closed it for violating slave laws related to times and purpose of gatherings.

Vesey and his followers were said to be planning to kill slaveholders in Charleston, liberate the slaves, and sail to the Black republic of Haiti for refuge.

They were not just interested in killing slaveholders. Their objective was not to “rape” White women in South Carolina. They planned on killing every White man, woman and child they ran across in South Carolina!

Slavery-time snitches and informants, just like the ones of today, couldn’t wait to rat on Vesey and run to Massa and tell them about Vesey’s plans. City officials had a militia arrest the plot’s leaders and many suspected followers in June before the rising could begin.

Vesey and five slaves were among the first group of men rapidly judged guilty by the secret proceedings of a city-appointed court, condemned to death, and executed by hanging on July 2, 1822.

Don’t look for any holidays or schools or streets named after Vesey in South Carolina or anywhere else in America.

The White man
But everywhere you look, you can see something in remembrance of John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782 – March 31, 1850). Cities and counties are named after him. Streets and schools everywhere carry his name to this day.

Calhoun began his political career as a White nationalist, modernizer, and proponent of a strong national government. He is best known for his intense and original defense of slavery as something positive.

Calhoun built his reputation by redefining republicanism to include approval of slavery and minority rights – with the Southern states the minority in question. He asserted that Southern Whites, outnumbered in the United States by voters of the more densely populated Northern states, were one such minority deserving special protection.

Calhoun led the pro-slavery faction in the U.S. Senate in the 1830s and 1840s, opposing both abolitionism and attempts to limit the expansion of slavery into the West. He was a major advocate of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, which required local law enforcement officials in free states to return escaped slaves.

Calhoun saw owning slaves as a badge of civilization. He believed that the spread of slavery into South Carolina’s backcountry improved public morals by ridding the countryside of the shiftless poor Whites.  Calhoun was convinced that slavery was the key to the success of the American dream.

Calhoun died 11 years before the start of the American Civil War, but defense of slavery was partially responsible for escalating Southern threats of secession in the face of mounting abolitionist sentiment in the North.

No surprise
It’s is no surprise to me that worshipers at the church in South Carolina that had Denmark Vesey as one of its founders was the place chosen by a White racist to be the place where he would murder innocent Black people.

My ancestors from that state lived long enough to instill in many “Black Gantts” the courage to fight for what is right. Most of us are church people like Denmark Vesey was. But we know oftentimes “proper limits” might have to be exceeded in order to right a wrong in South Carolina or in any other place in the world.

Sometimes marching and praying might not be all that needs to be done.

Sometimes we have to do more than beg governments and politicians to take down Confederate flags. Sometimes we even have to defend our people, our churches and our communities!

Calhoun taught his family and friends why Blacks should be enslaved, exploited and oppressed.

But you tell me. Where are the descendants of slave revolters that taught their families and friends why they should rise up, rebel and fight against the racism and slavemaster mentality that exists right now in South Carolina?

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