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Grappling with the Legacy of 'Pitchfork' Ben Tillman

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Grappling with the Legacy of 'Pitchfork' Ben Tillman

U.S.

Grappling with the Legacy of 'Pitchfork' Ben Tillman

Grappling with the Legacy of 'Pitchfork' Ben Tillman

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"Pitchfork" Ben Tillman was one of South Carolina's most controversial politicians, a Democrat from the post-Reconstruction era who promoted a violent form of white supremacy. So it may surprise no one that a plan to remove a statue honoring Tillman from the Statehouse grounds has ignited a controversy.

South Carolina state Rep.Todd Rutherford has introduced a resolution to remove the statue of Tillman from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, where it has stood for more than 60 years.

"I can tell you that no different than our division over the Confederate flag and moving the flag off the (Capitol) dome, I expect that same division to arise from trying to move the statue off the Statehouse grounds," Rutherford said.

Andrea Seabrook talks with University of South Carolina historian Lacy Ford about the legacy of Tillman, who was the state's governor in the early 1890s and a U.S. senator until his death in 1918.

Tillman "was quite a flamboyant speaker," Ford said, who presented himself as an ally of white farmers.

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