The gala included a 45-minute reenactment of the signing of the Ordinance of Secession, and the original document was on display at the event.
The State reported Monday that Charleston Mayor Joe Riley was heckled before the ball, when he claimed the Civil War started over slavery. "You're a liar," someone shouted at him. The issue of slavery's involvement in the war remains a point of contention among those who celebrate confederate history. Event organizers claimed they were celebrating an "act of political courage," not slavery. Regardless, Randolph said the celebration of secession distorts the historical facts of the period.
"America has no conscience when it comes to those people who spent so many years in servitude and bondage," he told TPM. "The lie has been allowed to be carried on from one generation to the next. The folks who support it are in a state of denial over what their ancestors did. They took a military stand against America, they seceded against America and went to war against America. How much plainer can it get?"
Event organizers did not return TPM's repeated requests for comments. But Randolph told TPM the NAACP will protest any of the other planned secession celebrations, if they deem them to be disrespectful.