CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A new political advertisement released by a gun-toting, Confederate Flag supporting South Carolina Congressional candidate is sparking outrage.
Many call it insensitive and distasteful, including the pastor of the African American church in Charleston where nine people were killed by a white supremacist notorious for photos of him displaying the Confederate Flag.
In the ad, Sheri Few holds an assault rifle and blasts her opponents for voting to remove the Confederate Flag from South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds in 2015.
South Carolina lawmakers’ decision to remove the Confederate Flag came after the murder of nine African Americans by avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof during a Bible study inside Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June 2015. Roof has since been sentenced to death by a federal judge.
Few, a Republican, is running against S.C. State Rep. Tommy Pope and former state lawmaker Ralph Norman in the upcoming primary election to fill the 5th Congressional District seat vacated by President Donald Trump’s budget chief, Mick Mulvaney.
“Weak politicians are too quick to blame a horrible tragedy on a flag or a gun or even free speech and that’s how bad laws are made,” Few says in the video.
Reverend Eric Manning is the current pastor at Mother Emanuel. He saw Few’s video Thursday morning. He says he watched it twice, once in disbelief and a second time to make sure he heard her message correctly.
“It’s spewing hatred, it’s not standing for what we should be standing for,” Manning said. “I understand politics are politics and I’m by no stretch of the imagination a politician, but I believe things should be off (limits) or out of bounds, they should never be brought up in this type of political landscape.”
Manning praised the lawmakers who supported the Confederate Flag’s removal. He said he doesn’t expect or even want an apology from Few, and adds the video is deeply disrespectful to Mother Emanuel and the Charleston community.
“If the gun laws were strong enough, then the events of June 17 would not have happened and unfortunately someone uses that for political gain, it’s completely insensitive,” Manning said. “I’m not endorsing a candidate but I wanted to directly speak against this ad and humbly request that this ad not be aired any longer.”
A spokesperson with the Few campaign said the ad has been running regularly on cable channels this week and they plan on buying more air time.
“My latest TV ad has made the left totally unhinged,” Few writes in a more recent Facebook post. “Please make them more unhinged by SHARING my ad NOW!”
Shortly before the ad was…