[image-1]The good folks who call Harleston Village and South of Broad home are pissed off. Their fists are clenched. Their jaws are tight. And their brows are furrowed. Right now, they are full of a fearsome fury fueled by self-righteous indigination and out-of-control NIMBYism. And some of them are calling for a revolt.
So what pray tell is the cause of all of this silly revolution businesses? Could it be that South of Broaders are upset that a white cop has killed yet another unarmed black man? Sadly, no. Then, could it be that Harleston Villagers are upset because the entire national media horde have taken up all the reservations at downtown’s hottest dining spots? Once again, no.
Instead, it would seem that these folks are royally peeved because the Beach Company bowed to their wishes and nixed a plan to turn the Sgt. Jasper property into a mixed-use project with over 400 apartments and, gasp, a grocery store, and then replaced it with a proposal to build a 20-story high-rise. If there was ever an instance in which an urban developer had given the middle finger to a group of not-in-my-backyardigans, this was it.
While you may have chuckled at the turn of events — a move that should not have come as a shock to anyone who has been following the Sgt. Jasper controversy — I ask you to reconsider the plight of those who call Harleston Village and South of Broad home. After all, aren’t they people too? Aren’t they deserving of our compassion? Prick them and do they not bleed — albeit in the deepest darkest blue? Yes and yes and, disgustingly, yes.
All of which is why their plight is our plight, their pain is our pain. If the Beach Company can erect a 20-story high-rise on property zoned for 20-story high-rises, then who knows what they may do next? Turn an abandoned mill in Park Circle into a mixed-use property, a move that will bring several hundred more people to the quaint North Charleston neighborhood? I don’t know about you, but the thought that all of my favorite Park Circle haunts will now be haunted by — oh no — strangers makes my red blood boil.
So, I’ve decided to start a new group that will stand for the rights of those who now oppose the Beach Company’s Sgt. Jasper plans. It’s called #SouthofBroadLivesMatter, and it will be made up of Charlestonians of all kinds, even those poor wretched souls like myself who call North Chuck home. Hell, we might even invite Hanahanians. (Goose Creekers can stay the fuck back, though. If we let them in, then there’s no telling who we’d have to let in next. Ladsonians? Moncks Cornerers? Those despicable sods known as Summer-villains?)
Of course, all of us here at #SouthofBroadLivesMatter know that we are fighting an uphill battle. After all, few care what happens to South of Broaders other than South of Broaders. But I assure you that we will get everyone on the side of our cause. Oh yes we will. And to do that, we’ll start with a few public demonstrations that are sure to win the support of everyone in the Lowcountry, even those insufferable fools who believe that Mt. Pleasant is a quaint seaside shrimping village.
To start things off, we’ll close off the Ravenel Bridge. Now, we won’t resort to the same silly tactics that were proposed by last week’s protesters, a cabal of cowards who moved their protest to the Crosstown after their plans had been found out, and by found out, I mean, sent to the City Paper, The Post and Courier, and ABC News 4. Instead, we’ll do something that will not endanger lives. We’ll hack one lone website, the very oracle by which Mt. Pleasant commuters govern their lives: isthecooperriverbridgeclosed.com. While the site normally answers that question with a simple “No,” we’ll change it to “YES!!!!” — complete with multiple exclamation points. After that, word will quickly get out that the bridge is, in fact, closed, and then #SouthofBroadLivesMatter will take credit.
While this act of civil disobedience is normally enough to attract the attention of the masses, this issue is of such dire importance that we will not be able to stop there for fear that our message isn’t being heard by everyone in the Lowcountry, if not the nation and the world. And so we’ll have to employ other tactics, some of which border on the criminal.
The next step: We’ll march from Colonial Lake to the Market, brandishing signs that read, “No Trespassing,” “Private Drive,” and “For Sale.” Then, as we enter the Market, we’ll begin to chant “This is what aristocracy looks like” and give heartfelt testimonials about the painful time we first drew money from our trust funds. And if need be, we’ll tell every single tourist in sight that, one, this isn’t where slaves were sold, two, Rhett Butler’s house was demolished to make way for an ATM, and, three, Rainbow Row has been sold to a private equity firm in New York City which painted the entire strip beige. I can hear the cries of Ed and Edna Fannypack from Findlay, Ohio right now. It is a pain that I hope you never experience.
In the event that all this doesn’t get our message across, then the entire #SouthofBroadLivesMatter crew will follow the cast of Southern Charm wherever they go and heckle them whenever the cameras begin to roll. T-Rav will be prepared for such — after all, that appears to be the devil’s bargain he made when he decided to run against Lindsey Graham — but we doubt that the rest of the cast will be able to deal with the non-stop jeers. In fact, if we play our cards right, Whitney Sudler-Smith may return to his stabbin’ cabin never to be seen again, or least until that fateful day when his manifesto arrives at the front door of the City Paper, where it will be handed over to an intern to stain with coffee, sweat, and tears. So think of the interns, please. They are only trying to learn a few skills that will help them land a job in the newspaper business.
So, ladies and gentlemen of Harleston Village and South of Broad, know this: I feel your pain. I will do all that I can to ensure that you are treated with the same respect as the rest of us. I will not rest until everyone in Charleston remembers that everyone is equal, but some of us are more equal than others.