CHARLESTON, S.C.—Civil rights leaders say they oppose Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, a Civil War re-enactor, for president of the College of Charleston.
State and local leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a news conference Monday on the school’s campus. Some people held posters of McConnell dressed in Confederate garb. One of the signs said “No Thanks.”
The Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, a local minister and former national chief operating officer for the NAACP, warned that if the college hires McConnell, college officials will regret it.
Leaders said if McConnell is hired, they will let prospective students and athletes know of his support for flying the Confederate flag on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia.
They also said they will again circulate a 2010 picture of McConnell in Confederate uniform flanked by two Gullah re-enactors who appear to be dressed as slaves.
McConnell, 67, is a graduate of the College of Charleston and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
He told The Post and Courier of Charleston that he is defined by his record, not the civil right group’s rhetoric.
McConnell says during his service in the Senate he worked to increase diversity among the state’s judges, get lottery money for the state’s black colleges and get money to train more black men as teachers for the state’s public schools.
McConnell, who has said he will not seek re-election and instead will seek the College of Charleston presidency, is one of three finalists for the job.
President George Benson announced last year that he will step down from the post and return to the classroom as a professor in the college’s school of business, effective June 30.