COLUMBIA, S.C. — Starting Monday, South Carolina will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War with a series of events that underscore the state's central role in that titanic, tragic struggle.
It will be a delicate task.
Two of the first events scheduled to mark the anniversary — a privately sponsored secession ball Monday in Charleston and an effort to display the original Ordinance of Secession — show just how divisive the Civil War remains.
The ball, organized by the Confederate Heritage Trust and sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, has been criticized as a celebration of treason and slavery.
“There does appear to be an effort to make this a festive occasion,” said Lonnie Randolph, president of the NAACP’s South Carolina Conference, which plans to protest the ball. “It’s more about celebration than history.”
At a subsequent press conference, Randolph was even more critical, saying, "We are not opposed to observances. We are opposed to disrespect. This is nothing more than a celebration of slavery."Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/19/105532/150-years-later-s-carolina-celebration.html#ixzz18eUodXcE