A conference was conducted June 24, on the local government grounds in regards to a racially charged statement made by a business owner and captured on voicemail. Senator Ronnie Sabb, along with the recipient of the voice message, Desialin McFadden and others addressed the incident and the harm it has caused. Though McFadden was deeply hurt by the use of the “N” word, she appealed to the community to pray and come together as a town not separate in color.

Sabb said the word only brings back the horror of the past. “When the word is used, it's simply not a word that falls on deaf ears. It is a word that brings about emotions that needless to say, are more than unpleasant,” he said, adding this is an opportunity to come together to speak with one voice that there is no place for racial bigotry. Sabb said in order to accomplish that he invited the community to meet on June 27, between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. at the Tomlinson building for a peaceful anti-hate rally. “There is an opportunity to say to Mr. Crick, that’s not who we are,” he said. “That might be who you are, that’s not how we speak. That might be how you speak, but the vast majority of the people in our county are not that way.”

The business owner provided the following statement:

“The Kingstree Laundry expresses a heartfelt apology for the inexcusable choice of words used by Clinton, during a voicemail exchange regarding a property he has for sale. This has been a harsh reminder of a painful past that our country and community still have not fully reconciled. Clinton’s words are not representative of our values, and we stand in solidarity with the Black community. While it is no excuse, please know that Clinton is heavily medicated. He retired several years ago due to his battle with multiple-organ, stage 4 cancer, and is currently receiving palliative care. As a small business that has served Williamsburg County for more than 70 years, we stand against racism and with our neighbors and fellow small business owners. Again, we offer our deepest apologies.”

A video of the conference can be viewed at The News’ website at www.kingstreenews.com.