COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, currently serving his third term, is being criticized for something he posted on Facebook Thursday night.
Now, some state Democrats, including the state party chair, are calling for Loftis to resign.
In a public post on his Facebook page, Treasurer Loftis, a Republican, said, "I was born a free man and I am reclaiming my freedom.”
It continued, "I'm tired of being a second-class citizen to anyone screaming mindless chants that happen to align with the Leftists running our bureaucracies or our tax dollar supported universities that are turning our kids into Marxist revolutionaries."
Here is the full post, which is no longer available:
The post also said he was tired of looters, curfews, lockdowns, and weaponized pandemics.
“I am a free man and I won’t kneel before any man save my God,” the post finished.
In recent days, protesters have routinely met in front of the State House to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while he was in police custody.
The state is also dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
On Twitter Thursday night, the South Carolina Democratic Party called the post hateful and hurtful.
Treasurer Loftis looks over the state's $50 billion in public funding and was re-elected in 2018. He was first elected to the office in 2010.
Democratic Party Chair Trav Robertson said Loftis should resign or be voted out of office in an interview with WLTX on Friday.
“It's just sad, I mean here we are in the midst of all that's going on whether it's a pandemic, whether it is people and the lives that are being lost, and instead of using this moment to be a leader, instead of using this moment to unite the people of this state. He decides he's going to double down and even present the tone-deaf racial rhetoric, it's just absolutely astonishing,” Robertson said.
The SCDP’s Twitter account continued re-Tweeting and sharing criticism of Loftis throughout Thursday evening.
“We have over 1 million non-white registered voters in this state, 30 to 31 percent of the electorate in this state is non-white. And unlike Henry McMaster who stood up and said listen, there can be peaceful protests, that is part of your right as an American citizen-- that is before we learned about the other negative private conversations. This guy has chosen an anti-American, anti-Christian, and an anti-person of color stance. And I think it's time the people of this state take some action,” Robertson continued.
In a statement, sent to WLTX Friday afternoon, Treasurer Loftis' office defended his post:
“At a time when people are asking for their voices to be heard, the Treasurer exercised his First Amendment right to express his opinion on the serious issues before our country.
He shared his desire to protect freedom, his concerns about the deteriorating economy and his traditional Christian values. His post was well received until a Democratic activist tweeted to a national audience which proceeded to flood his page with profane and insulting comments. Their actions were meant to halt a civil conversation but instead diminished the concerns of all citizens searching for meaningful participation in American life. Free speech is the cornerstone of our country and without it we are all less free.
To be clear, his primary concern is the economy, as America’s prosperity is a result of her people being able to work. The continued deterioration of the US economy will affect poor and working-class people the most, so allowing people to return to work as quickly as possible is vitally important.”
The South Carolina GOP also said the Treasurer is free to use his First Amendment right on Facebook.
“I’d like someone to tell me what they disagree with in his post. Are they in support of wasteful spending? Looting? Marxist theories? From where I’m standing, those are all bad things. He’s a man who takes his freedom seriously, like all Americans do. And in that freedom, he has the First Amendment right to say and post what he wants on his personal Facebook. The so-called outrage around the post is coming from the radical left, most of whom aren’t even in South Carolina, and they’re resulting to vulgar, profane insults because they can’t defend their radical ideas based on policy.”
The statement is attributed to Chairman Drew McKissick.
Governor Henry McMaster’s office has not responded to WLTX’s request for comment about the post.