A South Carolina state representative is under fire after he made a controversial Facebook post last week expressing his disapproval of the state’s new hate crime bill.
Rep. Victor Dabney, a 63-year-old Republican lawmaker from Kershaw County, made the comments on social media before the hate crime bill passed on April 7 in the House of Representatives by a vote of 79-29 with bipartisan support.
The bill increases fines and jail time for crimes committed based on a victim’s race, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. For violent crimes including murder, armed robbery, and criminal sexual conduct, it allows penalties of five years and up to $10,000 in fines to be added to a sentence. South Carolina is one of just three states without hate crime penalties.
Dabney said on Facebook before the legislation was passed that he would vote against the bill because he was elected “not to bow down to the ‘left.'” He went on to say that he is told regularly that he and other white people are the reason why “Blacks can’t seem to succeed in society.”
State Rep. John King called Dabney’s comments “deeply offensive to me, my colleagues, and all South Carolinians who believe our elected officials must do better.” King called on Dabney to resign from office.
In a post that since been deleted, Dabney wrote publicly on Facebook, “Our entire way of life has been vilified by the left; it’s our whiteness and our ‘straightness’ that keeps getting in the way.”
Dabney continued, “In our ‘color blind’ society, we are constantly reminded that we are the problem because of our skin color. We are the reason that blacks can’t seem to succeed in our society. We are the reason that black crime rates are ten times that of others. We are the reason that the black family unit has been destroyed and most young black children don’t have a father figure in the home… At least that is what I am told on a regular basis.
“This will never end until we stop giving in,” he added.
Attorney and commentator Bakari Sellers, who formerly served as a representative in South Carolina, screenshotted Dabney’s post before it was deleted and shared it to Twitter.
“This isn’t racially tinged, it’s just racist,” he wrote.
In an interview with The State, Dabney called the allegations of racism “ridiculous.”
In a resolution to censure Dabney, House Democrats alleged he broke a House rule that prohibits personally attacking each other.
His comments “were so egregious as to amount to personal attacks upon members of the House of Representatives,” the resolution said, adding that the conduct was “unbecoming of a member of the House of Representatives” that he has “brought dishonor to himself, the state of South Carolina and to its citizens.”
In response, Dabney told The State, “I’ll stand up and take my beating, and that’ll be the end of it.”