Black History Month – Clementa Pinckney, Pastor and State Senator
By Guest Blogger, Yahtzeebutterfly
Rev. Senator Clementa Pinckney was both a strong, inspirational leader and a caring, compassionate servant to his community. It is my hope that he will be remembered in history books and during future Black History Months and also that his legacy will lead others to follow in his path.
Born July 30, 1973, in Beaufort, SC, Pinckney became a pastor at the age of 18 and a state representative at the age of 23. He was 27 when he became a state senator, a position he held until a white supremacist’s bullet took his life on June 17, 2015.
I watched a video where Rev. Pinckney explained to a group visiting the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston why he chose to be both a pastor and a state legislator:
There are many people who say, “Why would you as a preacher, why would you as a pastor, be involved in public life?” And, I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again. Our calling is not just within the walls of a congregation, but we are part of the life of the community in which the congregation resides.
( I will post that video in the comment section on this page after Xena publishes this post for me.)
State Sen. Marlon Kimpson said that Sen. Pinckney “was the moral conscience of the General Assembly,” and state Sen. Katrina Shealy noted, “His words were always well thought out… he always stopped by to ask how you were doing and shake your hand or pat you on the back. He was a good man.”
Among the bills that Clementa Pinckney authored or co-sponsored both as a state representative and a state senator were:
H 4297 “A bill…to provide that a person’s privilege to vote is automatically reinstated once he is released on parole.”
H 4298 “A bill…to provide that the federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is a required state holiday.”
H 4300 “A bill to amend section 59-40-50, code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to procedures and requirements pertaining to charter schools, so as to provide that in meeting the racial composition requirements, actual enrollment with the required parameters must be achieved and a showing of good faith effort to meet such racial requirements is not sufficient.”
H4301 “A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, relating to the system of free public schools, so as to provide that the General Assembly by law shall provide for the manner in which funding of all public school districts must be equalized.
H 4212 Summary of bill: Children’s Health Care Act, Medical, Minors, Insurance, Hospitals, Kidcare, Healthy Kids Corporation:
S 1248 “Clean Elections Act”
In a posted YouTube video titled SC Clean Elections, Sen. Pinckney explains
“So the Clean Elections Bill is a way to really give elections back to the voters. It takes this whole specter of private money, PAC money, lobbyist money out of the equation. It allows for candidates to concentrate their races on the voters and not concentrate on “How can I please those who fund my campaign.”
S 0401 “A joint resolution…to authorize a procedure by which a candidate for elective office may finance his campaign with public funds as the General Assembly may determine.”
S 1504 A bill…to reapportion the specific election districts from which members of the Jasper County Board of Education shall be elected…
S 0884 “A bill to amend the code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 23-31-30. so as to provide that a firearms dealer shall conduct various background checks, evaluations, and interviews to determine if a person is mentally fit prior to selling or otherwise transferring an assault rifle to the person.”
For any of you who might have missed Clementa Pinkney’s state senate speech in response to the released video of the killing of Walter Scott, here it is:
South Carolina and our country lost a great, caring leader on June 17, 2015. In the words of Rev. Norvel Goff (on CBS This Morning), Clementa Pinckney was “A very energetic, promising, very active pastor and political leader in our state who had a bright future.”
I would like to conclude here with this tribute video to Clementa Pinckney: