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Post & Courier: Opinion: Three extraordinary SC museums

Dear Editor,

In the 1970s – I wasn’t the smartest kid in my middle school class – even though most times the ignorant and entitled brat in me thought I was at least two steps ahead of all the world. These days I am a gratefully humbled grandfather.

With the realization I had been carried on the shoulders of my ancestors, I understand they groveled so I could take a stand. They accepted less so that I would demand more.

So, I took time to examine more closely the various contradictions of scientific and historical information by visiting three starkly different South Carolina museums. These museums were The Revolutionary War Park, The South Carolina State Museum and The International African American Museum. The contrasts and narratives caused me to read between the lines I wasn’t mature enough to do so decades ago. The study was an overwhelmingly emotional roller coaster ride. But, in retrospect, the wretched, debatable and hopeful presentations are South Carolina’s truth.

Those opposite mental reactions were as mixed-matched as my joyous pride was from my disdain. Believe it or not, the mountains of data, antique documents, and artifacts couldn’t begin to tell the whole story – I naively thought I had participated in.

When the who, what, where, and when about these events were put to pen and paper then displayed – ethical, religious and judicial matters became compromised. And it is a sad commentary why some museums exhibits thankfully exceeded my expectations while others left more questions than answers.

You see, I’ve been around long enough to understand that there were at least three or more sides to those American stories, one person’s side, the other person’s side, and then the curators’ truth.

And what I’ve had to learn the hard way – was that – facts and statistics can be manipulated or simply played down. This meant that some conditions with variable influences were on display by a winning military or a cabals’ purchased, gerrymandered, pandered, yet democratic leading to a runoff vote.

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