Down one podium, the fantastic five took to South Carolina for yet one more GOP debate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But different from previous debates, remarks on racial equality, unemployment and voting implications for minorities brought “color” to the race, so much so that even challenges on Romney’s Mexican roots were brought up.
Was their acknowledgement simply a good gesture honoring the late Dr. King? Possibly, but the facts and demographics of the state certainly called for an increased sense of acknowledgement for an important voter base. According to the U.S. Census, one third of South Carolina is Black and Hispanic, 27.5% and 5.1% respectively. Also, South Carolina is one of the states showing 10-year triple digit population growth for Hispanics at a rate of 147.9%, versus the national rate of 43%. The non-Hispanic population grew at a rate of 12.1% in the state. However, besides obvious facts and demographics, the state has a long history of civil rights issues that still to this day motivate the NAACP’s annual rally on the Confederate flag still waving outside the Statehouse.
So here are the highlights: