South Carolina values: A play in once act


A harried, white-haired male TEACHER stands at the front of the classroom. His students are chatting, checking their phones, preening before handheld mirrors, etc. They are mostly caucasian and, judging from their clothing and accessories, wealthy. The bell to start class rings.

Teacher: Good morning class.

The teacher is roundly ignored, and all activities continue as if he doesn’t exist.

Teacher: I’d like to talk about the special election in South Carolina this week.


Teacher: It’s an interesting case. The newly elected Republican congressman is former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. Mr. Sanford lost his gubernatorial powers in 2009 after he was found in Argentina with a girlfriend when he’d told his wife and staff that he would be hiking the Appalachian trail. It was also discovered that he misused taxpayer funds to take the trip to visit his mistress. And after this particular affair was uncovered, Sanford admitted to being unfaithful previously to his wife, the mother of Sanford’s four sons, on more than just this occasion and with more than just this one mistress. Then, this February, Sanford’s ex-wife filed trespassing charges when she found him breaking into his former home.

He looks around. Seemingly no one is paying attention.

Teacher: It’s often been said by Republicans themselves that  they are the party of “family values.” Yet Republican voters re-elected Louisiana Rep. David Vitter after he was found to be paying for the services of prostitutes. Republicans have repeatedly voted for Sen. John McCain, who cheated on his crippled wife – who had been faithful to him while he was a prisoner of war – to the extent that it so concerned and disgusted President Ronald and Nancy Reagan that the couple refused to continue to socialize with him. Georgia voters elected Newt Gingrich even after he’d filed for divorce while his wife was in the hospital fighting cancer, a divorce which left her and his daughters destitute to the point where they had to rely on their church for assistance. And so on. So can anyone tell me why the voters of South Carolina’s first district, likely people who would consider themselves folks with solid family values, would choose to elect someone who had lied to voters, cheated on his wife repeatedly and misappropriated public funds?

The teacher scans the room. Surprisingly, a hand is up. It is the hand of WALLACE, the lone non-white student in the classroom.

Teacher: Yes?

Wallace: Because South Carolina hates niggaz more than it loves family values. Mark Sanford could have beat his wife, raped his neighbor, killed his preacher, sold crack to Catholic school children, converted to Islam and wore a Georgia Bulldogs sweatshirt for his entire campaign, but in the end, what mattered to South Carolina most was that they elect a good, white male Republican who would go to Washington D.C. and make sure the nigga in charge didn’t get too big a head and think he could just boss around good, white, Southern Christian folks.

Teacher: Anyone else have anything to add?

Another hand raises.

Teacher: Yes?

Student: Is this going to be on the test?


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