Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy At Clemson -Joseph Lord

Stephen Kantrowitz – University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor & Author of “Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy”

Wednesday night, October 11th, Clemson hosted Professor Stephen Kantrowitz from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Tillman Hall. Quite appropriately, he was giving a lecture on Benjamin Ryan Tillman, the former populist Governor and Senator of South Carolina, titled “Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy”.

The lecture itself was excellent. Kantrowitz outlined the life of Tillman, from his coming of age at the end of the Civil War era to his ascension to power in the late 19th century. In his early life, Tillman was discouraged by his perception of whites losing power in South Carolina as a result of the Constitution of 1865, a Reconstruction era constitution which gave the black majority in the state considerable financial and political power. During the 1870s, Tillman joined a white vigilante group known as the Red Shirts, infamous for the massacres of black Carolinians and the advocacy of violence against political opponents. Uncanny parallels to modern political groups can be found in this particular point. In the 1890s, riding on waves of lower class agrarian discontent, Tillman was able to propel himself to the governorship. Once in the governorship, Tillman’s main goal, by Kantrowitz’ argument, was the propagation and re-expansion of white power. This was certainly the case; Tillman’s use of government authority and power to strengthen his own moral prerogatives certainly was present and appalling.

It was during the Q&A that things got really interesting.

In this July 2015 photo, a statue honoring “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman is seen on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. | AP Photo

A man at one point stood up, said that he had not been at a Clemson lecture for 46 years, and then proceeded to ask, “I want to know, is there a movement on campus to change the name of this building and if not why not?” At that the loudest round of applause yet went up. It should be clarified again that Tillman was indeed a horrible racist. Yet, Tillman Hall was not named for Ben Tillman’s racist legacy; it was named for the man without whom none of us would be receiving our great education here on Fort Hill. By the same token, Byrnes Hall was not named after James F. Byrnes because of his support of “keeping the Negro in the South in check” and his subsequent blocking of anti-lynching legislation. Rather, it is named so because of the perception that Byrnes brought great benefits to South Carolina through FDR’s New Deal programs. Simply put, the truth of this campus is that a great many buildings were named after powerful racist men who certainly used political advantage to disadvantage the black population at some point in their life. However, one sin, even one so egregious as racism, cannot fairly be attributed as being the only aspect of a man’s legacy worth consideration or basis for the intentions of the enshrinement of that legacy. Tillman Hall is named such for Ben R. Tillman’s bringing Clemson University to Fort Hill– nothing else.

Detachment from reality for this Q&A session did not end there. A young woman in the crowd stood up and asked Kantrowitz a question about the comparison of Tillman to “contemporary politics”. Kantrowitz then made ridiculous and clearly pointed statements about comparisons between Tillman and politicians who we can easily assume to mean Donald Trump. It may be worth challenging Professor Kantrowitz to find a single piece of pointedly anti-black legislation to reach the President’s desk. It may also be worth questioning, if Donald Trump truly is comparable to Tillman, why he managed to get a higher proportion of the black vote over Clinton than Romney got over Obama. Clearly this statement was simply lunacy meant to play to the fears and prejudices of the overtly left-leaning audience at the event.


  1. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed. They say this man will rule the world under a one world religion called “spiritualism”.

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace. It will be a false peace for a period of time. You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things. They have their plans set in place. It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we need two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.


  2. I still have my doubts about this movie, but one thing that surprised me is the fact that they managed to make the classic gold suit not look stupid?

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