Possibly The Shame of S.C.: The "Redneck Shop"
David Kennedy, a black civil rights activist had discovered the tenant John Howard has used the building to run a store that sells merchandize that is deemed to promote racial intolerance. The store is called the “Redneck Shop.” The store’s product: anything that is affiliated with the redneck stereotype.
Two examples of merchandize would be KKK robes and t-shirts with various racial slurs.
When Kennedy found out, he had led protests outside the Redneck Shop ever since the opening.
While Kennedy owns the old movie theater that is used to run and operate this shop, he cannot do anything about it at the moment. The Redneck Shop has been in operation ever since 1996. According to the court documents, Kennedy and the Baptist church he is in charge of received the property the following year.
However, the legal documents clearly state that Howard, who runs this shop can operate it until the day he dies. This brings forth the legal dispute between Kennedy and Howard. Under normal circumstances, Kennedy could shut down the store because he and his church own the building. But, the one barrier preventing him to do so is the agreement that is in Howard’s favor.
“Our ownership puts an end to the history as far as violence and hatred, racism being practiced in that place and also in the recruiting of the Klan,” Kennedy explained.
However, Kennedy had said that he cannot even visit the property he owns. But it was not the case when Kennedy came with both a reporter and photographer with The Associated Press.
Reverend Kennedy said that he hoped that this building would be the new location of his church, the “New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church.” Currently, the congregation meets in a trailer.
It was revealed that before the ownership was transferred, Howard had owned the building. Howard explains that his store was constantly attacked and picketed when the Redneck Shop had opened.
“If anything turns people off, they shouldn’t come in here. It’s not a thing in here that’s against the law,” Howard said in his defense. On an interesting note, Howard was once a grand dragon for the Ku Klux Klan.
Currently, this dispute could be headed to court.
For now, the Redneck Shop still stands. Until the dispute is settled, the shop will continue to operate. The shop will continue to be selling all sorts of merchandize associated with the KKK and racism.
Tags: South Carolina , Redneck Shop , Ku Klux Clan , Civil Rights , Kennedy
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