Letters to the Editor

in Voices by

Museum includes Reconstruction exhibit

I just read Bill Rauch’s article “On its sesquicentennial, Beaufort let Reconstruction slide,” in the Sept. 29-Oct. 5 issue of The Island News, and I feel compelled to share information that was overlooked.

I also want to correct some misconceptions that Rauch stated about the Beaufort History Museum, which is located on the second floor of the Arsenal.

First, the Beaufort History Museum does not belong to the chamber of commerce as implied in the article, but instead is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with an all-volunteer board of directors and volunteer docent staff. The chamber does co-market with the museum as it does with other nonprofit organizations.

The Beaufort History Museum is not funded by the city of Beaufort or the chamber of commerce, and instead relies on memberships, donations and admission fees to cover its operational expenses, including the rent it pays the chamber to occupy the space in the Arsenal.

Second, the museum opened a long-term exhibit on Reconstruction in Beaufort in June this year, which has received outstanding reviews by both visitors and historians. The exhibit, “Reconstruction Beaufort-Islands of Hope in a Sea of Distress,” was funded by modest accommodations tax grants from both the city of Beaufort and Beaufort County, with much of the exhibit’s development work being done by the museum’s volunteer board members.

The exhibit details how the Reconstruction Period in Beaufort was much more positive than in the rest of the South, and includes a good deal of information about Robert Smalls and his contributions to Beaufort and the United States of America, as a hero of the Civil War and afterward as a member of both the South Carolina legislature and the U.S. Congress.

Visit the www.beauforthistorymuseum.com.

Carol Lauvray, president
Beaufort History Museum
Board of Directors

Bridge racial divide over dinner table

The beauty of America is that we are a melting pot. People come from all over the world seeking the opportunities and freedoms that we, as Americans, take for granted.

Of course, there are times where we fall short of living up to the principles and ideals that led to the founding of our country, but it is in those times that we must be strong and stand together.

After all, if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand (Mark 3:25).

If we go any other place in the world, we are not seen as black, or white or Asian, we are seen as the nationality listed on our passport: United States of America. We must promote that idea at home; the idea that although we look different, we are all Americans entitled to the same freedoms as the rest of our countrymen.

A couple of months ago, my friend from Oklahoma, Sen. James Lankford and I asked the American people to join us and take part in something we call “Solution Sundays.”

Solution Sundays is a request for you to invite a person of a different race into your home to have dinner. If we do not interact with those who are different than us, there is no way to bridge the gap and heal the racial tensions that currently exist in our society.

It is human nature to look for differences and separate ourselves from one another based on those differences. In the long run, breaking bread together is just a simple request. There are still many things that we must take care of to fix the disenchantment that many Americans feel; however, this is not something that our government can fix. There is no legislation that we can pass and no magic wand that I can wave to right all of the racial problems in our country. This must be a conscious effort made by individuals seeking to build a more perfect union.

It is time that we realize we are one country, made up of one people, working to ensure opportunity for all. I truly believe that if you sit down with someone who looks different or has a different background than you and have a meal, you will find more similarities than you ever imagined possible.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC

Send your letters to the editor to theislandnews@gmail.com.