Presumably, South Carolinians are fine with having a Governor who throws around racist imagery as McMaster easily won re-election by nearly twenty points in 2022. Not a great look for any state but given what’s also in office in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, etc, McMaster is hardly worse than any of the rest of them.
“Governor McMaster has been making this joke at GOP conventions for years, and everyday South Carolinians understand that it’s a joke,” McMaster’s communications director, Brandon Charochak said. “If South Carolina Democrat partisans can no longer bear light-hearted jokes made at their expense, then maybe they should focus their energy on winning and not whining.”
Source: Washington Post
At a Republican Party event on Saturday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster harked back to a phrase he’d used before when referring to Democrats.
“I look forward to the day that Democrats are so rare, we have to hunt them with dogs,” McMaster said at a state GOP convention, according to Joseph Bustos, a reporter for the State newspaper who was live-tweeting from the event.
Spoken in front of hundreds of delegates who attended the convention, McMaster’s remark sparked a quick response over the weekend from South Carolina Democratic groups, who asked for an apology and a retraction of the comment. In a statement Sunday, Anderson County Democratic Party Chairman Chris Salley, who is Black, implored the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate if the governor doesn’t apologize for his comment, which Salley described as a “racially-tinged dog whistle” and an “incitement of political violence.”
Apparently, this is understood as a “joke” in South Carolina.
But in a statement Monday, a spokesman for McMaster said the governor had been saying the line at GOP conventions for years, adding that “everyday South Carolinians understand that it’s a joke.”
In 2018, McMaster referred to Democrats as “dogs” before a crowd of 1,250 people at a Faith and Freedom BBQ event hosted by a Republican congressman, the State reported. When McMaster said the comment on Saturday, he was “repeating one of his favorite GOP lines,” Bustos tweeted.
An odd and offensive “joke” to be sure, as Chris Salley noted, given “McMaster’s comment evoked the painful history of racial violence Black people in the United States have faced. Hounds were historically sent after enslaved people who tried to escape, and police dogs were set loose on protesters during the civil rights movement.”