Letters to the Editor

Hilton Head must not pave over its unique history

The entrance to the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park.
The entrance to the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park. Staff file

U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn, in his article “We must preserve and protect Gullah/Geechee culture,” states: “But a few years ago developers saw the potential to turn these small pockets of paradise into resort areas and as the roads and bridges came, this unique slice of history and tradition grew smaller and smaller.”

I believe this is especially true on Hilton Head Island, where the expansion of an airport has encroached on the area that encompasses historic Mitchelville, a village where freed slaves owned property, governed themselves, built churches, appointed a mayor and instituted the first system of compulsory education in the South.

The corridor leading to the Mitchelville site has three churches dating from 1862 (First African Baptist Church), 1865 (Queen Chapel AME Church), and 1886 (St. James Baptist Church).

This area is an integral part of the Gullah-Geechee corridor along the East Coast.

In 2004, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Gullah/Geechee culture, coastline, and Sea Islands to its list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites.

Hilton Head is within the 2007 congressionally-designated Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor and part of the National Heritage Areas Act.

The Town of Hilton Head Island should not wait for the county to move but claim ownership of this land, move immediately to designate this area as a historic district and save it from the development that threatens the very existence of the churches and is forcing the landowners in this area to abandon their native land, unique language and priceless traditions.

Dorothy Scanlin

Hilton Head

‘Emergency’ is a bogus wall

On Feb. 15, President Donald Trump declared a “national emergency” to circumvent the U.S. Congress and take money from other previously-approved governmental sources to fund his bogus wall on our border with Mexico.

On that same day, Trump got on Air Force One and flew to his secure bomb-proof bunker, rumored to be under the ninth hole at his Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-A-Lago Club, instead of hunkering down in the Situation Room at the White House to monitor the impending invasion.

But why fly to Florida when the underground bunker at the nearby Greenbrier resort in West Virginia was built years ago for the purpose of protecting the president and key government personnel in just this kind of national emergency? The probable best answer is, the delicious tall chocolate cake prepared at Mar-A-Lago is far superior to the chocolate cake served at either the White House or The Greenbrier.

Henry Druckerman

Bluffton

Impeachment no waste of time

A recent letter maintains that impeaching President Donald Trump would be a waste of time and money. Not so. Not even close.

Trump is attempting to perform an extra-legal, unconstitutional end-around of Congress’ sole power to authorize (or not) funding for Trump’s precious wall on the southern border by declaring a phony national emergency. That unconstitutional end around alone constitutes an egregious abuse of power worthy of Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.

Soon to come is the bill of particulars necessary to impeach Trump, detailing his high crimes and misdemeanors in soon-to-be-detailed special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

What else is needed to remove this man who would be king from office?

Roger Elmore

Beaufort

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