Wise words still speak volumes

(File)

The Post and Courier’s award of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on Monday was followed by many calls and emails in congratulation of the recognition of the newspaper’s “Till Death Do Us Part” series on criminal domestic violence. The award also has stirred curiosity about the newspaper’s first Pulitzer award 90 years previously.

That was for an editorial written by editor Robert Lathan about the need for the South to get in step with the rest of the nation. “The Plight of the South” was published by our predecessor newspaper, The News and Courier. It appears on our Commentary page today.

In that editorial, Mr. Lathan, noted that the South was then considered by the rest of the nation as “a negligible force” and cited the need for national leadership and “constructive policies” that would help lead the South out of the wilderness.

While the South thankfully retains a large measure of its regional character, it has clearly emerged from its isolation as a “negligible force.” The Sunbelt boom is evidence that much of the nation has turned to the South as a place to live and work.

But the need for leadership is still evident. In South Carolina, for example, the Legislature has yet to approve a funding solution for the state Department of Transportation, a meaningful legislative ethics bill, or a criminal domestic violence law that would keep guns out of the hand of abusers.

The inertia is almost staggering, in view of the compelling reasons to act on each. It suggests that “we are in a sad fix politically in this part of the country.”

Or so Mr. Lathan might have put it.