Andy Brack

BRACK: Let’s be thankful for one of our own, Septima Clark

BRACK: Let’s be thankful for one of our own, Septima Clark

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  All South Carolinians – white, black, brown, newcomer and native – can stand to learn more about a real homegrown patriot, the late Septima Poinsette Clark.

The mere mention of her name today invokes reverence in the black community.  But white Southerners seem to forget that she was so respected for her work in the civil rights movement that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked her to accompany him to Oslo, Norway, in 1964 when he accepted the Nobel Peace prize.

“In a sort of casual way, he would say, ‘Anything I can’t answer, ask Mrs. Clark,’”  she recalled in a 1986 memoir.

From 1916 when she was 18 until she was fired 40 years later with 41 others in Charleston County for being a member of the NAACP, Clark was a teacher, first on John’s Island and then in Charleston, McClellanville, North Carolina, Columbia and again in Charleston.

by · 11/20/2017 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Push back on dumbing down of American citizenship

BRACK: Push back on dumbing down of American citizenship

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  If you periodically read commentaries like this one about public policy, you are probably considered a pretty good citizen – somebody who cares about how our society operates and is governed.  You probably vote, fret about tax rates, get roused by bureaucratic incompetence and care about issues of public importance.

But what about people across our state and nation who don’t read much, pay little attention to what’s going on in neighborhoods and towns – people who tune out, not tune in?   What about other people, liberals and conservatives, who have perverted American principles for their own ends to make America less than what it has been?

by · 11/13/2017 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
View from atop the lighthouse -- a great reward for those who climb a wooden, 77-step circular staircase.

COMMENTARY, Brack: Visit to Sapelo Island is familiar, special

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  A weekend visit to Sapelo Island, one of Georgia’s sea islands proved it to be special, a place only accessible by ferry or boat.  But Sapelo is also familiar – a coastal haven that feels much like Bull’s Island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge near Awendaw.

Like Bull’s Island, Sapelo island is protected from development.  Almost all of the 16,500-acre island, other than a 440-acre Geechee community called Hogg Hammock, is owned by the state of Georgia.  Much of it is used by University of Georgia researchers to study the coastal ecosystem of the barrier island.

Mayor John Tecklenburg, left, speaks at an event earlier this month at Williams Terrace.  At right are Charleston Housing Authority Executive Director Don Cameron and the agency's board chair, Edward Kronsberg.

BRACK: Vote YES on Charleston’s $20 million housing bond referendum

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Charleston needs more places for police, firefighters, teachers and seniors to live if we want to keep the fabric of our community diverse and strong.  If there aren’t affordable places for people to live, we’ll keep heading down the path of becoming a historical Disney world for rich tourists and rich folks who want to have a second home here.

You can do something to keep Charleston vibrant by voting YES in a Nov. 7 citywide bond referendum that seeks $20 million to buy, build and equip safe and affordable housing for people and families with low to moderate incomes.  

“We need more housing that working families can afford — firefighters, police officers, nurses, teachers and more,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg told us.  “That’s why this bond is so critical to our city’s future, and it’s why I’m asking our citizens to support it on Nov. 7th.”

by · 10/30/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Cast of characters grows in corruption probe

BRACK: Cast of characters grows in corruption probe

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  With three politicos added last week to the ongoing corruption scandal at the Statehouse, it’s getting kind of hard to keep up with the cast of characters.  Here’s a handy guide for what’s going on:

To date, seven Republicans – six legislators or ex-legislators and uber-consultant Richard Quinn Sr. – have been indicted in the probe that goes back to 2014 when state officials started looking into the campaign finances of the sitting House speaker.

by · 10/23/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
COMMENTARY, Brack: Looking beyond corruption at the Statehouse

COMMENTARY, Brack: Looking beyond corruption at the Statehouse

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  The S.C. General Assembly is far different than 27 years ago when Operation Lost Trust blew open the cozy culture of the Statehouse with federal charges against 28 legislators and lobbyists in a cash-for-votes sting.

People went to jail.  Some avoided it.  Ethics rules were changed to become some of the toughest in the nation as it became virtually impossible for people to buy a cup of coffee legally for a friend in the legislature.  

by · 10/16/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
COMMENTARY, Brack: Demand real gun control now

COMMENTARY, Brack: Demand real gun control now

y Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   Let me be crystal clear:  It is time for real gun control.

No more pussyfooting around the edges.  No more talk and blather as more people are killed in mass shootings in churches, schools, nightclubs and music festivals.

Real. Gun. Control.

Let me also be clear:  This does not mean the government is going to take away your guns. Remember when President Obama got elected president and the nutcases shouted and screamed that he would take away guns?  Did he?  No.  Instead, a vocal sub-minority of zealots pitched an NRA-led fit to make people believe authorities would take away their guns.  And the violence continued.

by · 10/09/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  More gun violence prompts reprint of 2016 column

BRACK:  More gun violence prompts reprint of 2016 column

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  After the Orlando shootings, my wife wrote a letter to several newspaper editors that made me think.  

She boiled all of the back and forth about escalating gun violence in America into a simple, salient point that many seem to have missed:  It’s become an issue of national security.  

The glut of guns solely made for killing people — handguns and assault rifles —  is changing America into a country where fearful people feel they need more and bigger guns to protect themselves.  They respond to patronizing rhetoric from groups like the National Rifle Association who taunt that the federal government is going to take away people’s guns.  Throughout the seven years of President Obama’s term, we’ve heard such chants time and time again, yet Obama hasn’t taken away guns.

by · 10/02/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
COMMENTARY, Brack:  Alexander offers a lesson of poetry’s power

COMMENTARY, Brack:  Alexander offers a lesson of poetry’s power

Kwame Alexander was the keynote speaker of Saturday’s Black Ink, a gathering of four dozen writers celebrating African American writing in a six-hour book festival that filled the main library.  The festival, now in its second year, reportedly did very well, with writers selling two or three times as many books to hundreds of attendees.

In a poignant talk about memories ranging from a boyhood spent selling books for his father to his mother’s recent death, Alexander kept his audience spellbound with his passionate, strong voice.

But an extended version of a relatively new poem, “Take a Knee,” cut to the core.  It showed how a rat-a-tat-tat of common-day phrases starting with the word “take” can generate real emotion and lead, perhaps, to new ways of considering issues.

by · 09/25/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
COMMENTARY, Brack:  My, how things have changed over 100 years

COMMENTARY, Brack:  My, how things have changed over 100 years

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  One hundred years ago yesterday, my great-grandfather, weakened by the flu, died of what’s believed to have been a ruptured appendix.  He was 38 years old.  The season’s cash crop, cotton, was about ready to pop in the fields.

Charles Columbus Brack left a 31-year-old widow and six children, aged 1 to 10.  They lived in rural middle Georgia in an unpainted house five miles from the nearest town.  It was only a mile from their Baptist church where a family reunion of sorts occurred yesterday. 

Tables in the church hall showcased just about every sort of Southern food – from fried chicken and roast beef to at least four kinds of beans, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, rice salad, and plain salad salad.  The dessert table was almost as long with the 16-layer chocolate cake being the talk of the room.

by · 09/18/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views