Abbeville

If it takes them placing me in handcuffs, that’s what will happen. We’ve seen women take the front seat of buses and (stand) up for civil rights. These rights are for everybody. I’m an elected official, and people should not deter voters or impede voters.

What do you think is the context of this quote?

A scenario involving discrimination based on race, correct?

Nice try.

Actually, the quote is from the newspaper here in Greenwood, S.C., and is part of a story about a local school board member losing his seat as a trustee. Rosa Parks, famous for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955, and Lindler both gave up seats of some kind or another. Parks is the woman to whom Lindler is referring.

You must be thinking,

“Lindler must have lost his seat by virtue of something racist.”

Again, nice try. Still wrong.

Lindler is white. He owns multiple homes. Those who know the situation (pretty much every resident of Abbeville County, S.C., the location of Lindler’s seat in question) understand the cause of whatever board-based turmoil he’s endured is the following:

  • Lindler lives in Calhoun Falls, S.C.
  • The school in Calhoun Falls used to be part of Abbeville County School District, but the board voted to shut it down a few years back to save money.
  • Rather than ship their children to another Abbeville County school 20, 40 or 60 minutes away, parents, alumni and anyone else who wanted to, really, bought the building that housed to former ACSD school and turned it into Calhoun Falls Charter School.
  • People in Calhoun Falls don’t like people in the town of Abbeville. People in Abbeville think people in Calhoun Falls have sexually transmitted diseases. Hence, the constant squabbles at school board meetings.
  • Lindler – being the staunch Calhoun Falls patriot and husband of a Calhoun Falls Charter School teacher he is – represents his hometown with an abundance of aromatic pride (yes – one can actually smell Lindler’s Calhoun Falls pride if he or she tries hard enough) at ACSD board meetings, constantly voting against actions that would clearly help the school district as a means to say to the superintendent, “Ha ha – you shut our beloved school down; now I’m going to do everything in my power to make yours suck.”
  • Lindler’s a big pain in the neck to the Abbeville County Board of Trustees. Even I have to take a nap after hearing him speak.

I’ve devoted far more space to that than I would have prefered. But what’s done is done – no sense in deleting such a dramatic saga. At least it’s entertaining in a “National Enquirer” sort of way.

Wait. On second thought, this is not entertaining at all.

I could see if Lindler were black and said this after a band of Ku Klux Klan renegades burst into a school board meeting, grabbed his limbs and physically carried him out of the building. I could see if Lindler were black and a band of KKK renegades intimidated residents to the point they were too afraid to vote for him. In fact, I could understand any scenario whatsoever in which it’d be wonderfully acceptable and appropriate for Lindler to evoke the legacy of Rosa Parks and other heroes of the American civil rights movement – if Lindler were black and actions against him happened because he was black.

But Lindler is a white man in power.

The cause and nature of his “struggle” are about as unrelated to what inspired Parks’ action and the rest of the American civil rights movement as can be. While school board members play a vital role in the education of America’s children, their seats are NOTHING compared to the seat Parks refused to give up.

People died in the battle for rights you've never had to live without, Tracy. What were you thinking?

Forget whether or not the board truly did remove Lindler from the board. Forget whether or not the board has the legal right to do so. Forget, just for a minute, this constant squabble between Abbeville and Calhoun Falls.

What all voters of Abbeville County need to remember is they have a member of a board that plays a key role in their children’s futures who clearly does not give a hoot about the American civil rights movement. The majority of residents in their county are black, like it or not – and Lindler apparently sees nothing wrong with comparing a childish spat to a movement that furthered the advancement of black people.

To do so …

  • is disrespectful
  • is embarrassing
  • is ignorant  
  • is WRONG

IT WILL BE INTERESTING to see how residents of Abbeville County respond to the Lindler situation compared to another hot topic. On Friday, Abbeville County sheriff Charles Goodwin admitted publicly to being the person seen on a 2001 video tape “engaging in sexual relations” with a woman believed to be a deputy. The incident – which everyone in Abbeville County has seen, by the sounds of it – took place at the sheriff’s office or the jail or in an evidence room

(I can’t recall what the original story said).

Goodwin, who is black, has been the sheriff in Abbeville County for roughly 1,576 years. He is married, has children, has grandchildren and is an active member of his church. Still, as they have for plenty of others, the animalistic tendencies possessed by every human took over while he was at the office.

There can be no greater shame in this situation than that which is derived from facing one’s family with a disclosure similar to Goodwin’s. In addition to this, it’s reasonable to assume Goodwin will also lose his job, as it’s likely the county has a rule against employees “engaging in sexual relations” on its grounds and the taxpayers’ dime.

My employer fires workers for far less.

What I want to know, though, is how residents take the news. Will they call for Goodwin’s head? He’s obviously been effective – the man’s been re-elected time and time again. While it’s nice to have a sheriff to whom children can look up, that’s not a job requirement. No one’s asking him to be a marriage counselor.

THIS MATTER, except for the fact he was basically paid by residents to fool around, is between Goodwin, his family and possibly (but most likely not) the woman with whom he did this. It’s not the public’s business any more than anyone else’s marriage problems.

Disclaimer for women who may be interested in me: I am not justifying Goodwin’s actions or condoning them whatsoever.

Here’s my point:

  • Lindler should be removed, by virtue of a vote by the entire county (not just Lindler’s district, since his beliefs affect every resident’s child), from the Abbeville County Board of Trustees.
  • Goodwin should be removed from the office of the sheriff by county council. Regardless of intent, he stole from the taxpayers. It’s on tape.
  • Abbeville County residents shouldbe offended by Lindler’s beliefs. They represent an irreversible ugliness with no place in our society that likely influences the majority of decisions Lindler makes.
  • Abbeville County residents should not judge Goodwin. Sadly, infidelity and divorces are more common in the Bible Belt than any other part of the country. The brunt of Goodwin’s punishment should come from his family (and God, if you believe such a thing), while none should come from his peers.

Don’t let me down, Abbeville.

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6 Responses to Abbeville

  1. Paula says:

    Though well written I totally disagree with you assessment… I don’t think you know what he was thinking, how he feels and any person regardless of race, etc has the right to quote anyone they wish…. have you personally talked with the man to know his beliefs??? And what difference does it make if he is or is not black?? Many people are oppressed in one way or another and you don’t have to be black to have that happen to you… Secondly, as for the sheriff; damn right I can judge what I feel to not only be immoral, but an act that embarrassed and humiliated his family, took place during the time he was one duty in a gov’t building (possibly with another public servant on duty) – if the morality wasn’t bad enough it’s tax dollars paying for his time to have inappropriate relations – so yep.. I can judge that….

  2. Myrna Ledbetter says:

    I just got to say that I don’t normally read blogs but a friend of mine put this on my page on facebook and I think it’s really hitting the nail on the head what you wrote. I’m not sure why Paula seems to disagree but I have lived in the Abbeville County my entire life) and I for one am sick of how much stuff is swept under the rug and people act like it ain’t happening. If you ask me Goodwin should have been let go when he and his family nearly let all them horses and mules starve to death out on Secession. Of course that ain’t got nothing to do with this but I have 6 of my own horses and I can’t imagine anyone standing in the way of a sick animal getting rescued, and him and his family were connected to that because of the land and there was just no excuse how it was handled, law enforcement not allowing animal rescue services to come in and help! People in Abbeville act like they are afraid to elect another sheriff and it don’t make any sense. What he did in office with that deputy woman was just wrong yes but I do agree it ain’t no one but him and his wife’s business on a moral level. He don’t need the public’s forgiveness when him cheating on his wife ain’t wronging ‘the public’ it’s only wrong to her and not really our business at all. What makes it wrong on the other level is that he did it when and where he did it. If everyone that screwed around got cast out of thier job for it, our unemployment rate would skyrocket, and personally I don’t care who he sleeps with, but I do care that I heard it was in the evidence room and during workign hours and that does make me mad. I remember them officers getting fired for all that at the jail and I know one of them’s family and how hard it was on them and shameful too, and this is not different to me at all and if they were reprimanded when there was no proof and they have proof of this then he needs to be reprimanded as they were. And how can he lead our law enforcement and make good choices if he can’t even control his own sexual urges on the job? And as for Lindler, I can not imagine anyone being that insensitive to try and compare themselves to someone like Rosa Parks. I mean it’s just ridiculous, but the whole idea of the charter school in Calhoun falls is ridiculous anyway. Like they got something special over there that they needed to preserve. If they had any sense they’d have just let Abbeville County bus them kids to school at the Abbeville schools and then there wouldn’t be no issues at school board meetings. Then Lindler could have sat on that bus and refused to give up his seat and really been like Rosa Parks who he seems to admire so much and I think it’s also funny he didn’t say her name, I wonder does he even know it as he just says ‘women’. I say this is not only well written but right on target and I’m gonna follow this blog from now on. If you are not from Abbeville as I am I bet you have spent time here as you seem to know full well how things work around this town. I hope you’ll write a follow up blog as to how these events unfold. You can hardly depend on the paper to report it accurately, I swear they had the same exact part of an article just put right into a different article like a day later like they just didn’t have any new information about it at all. Good job!

  3. Lorrie says:

    OK, here’s how I feel. I dont really care that Goodwin was having sex. People have sex. Part of life. People cheat on their spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, same sex partner, whatever. So that doesnt bother me. What bothers me is that this was in evidence for what, ten damn years and people kept it hushed up. Although, its Abbeville, doesnt really shock me.
    I personally think that everyone that had paid taxes on the date he was screwing the deputy should get a refund for the portion that went into what the Sheriff’s Office for that day. But thats just me. Will it affect the reelection? Depends on whether you are truly a Bible thumping resident and how hard you believe in “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.” Do I think its time for him to step down? Most definitely now.
    Lindler is a absolute joke and really a waste of your writing talents.
    As far as Abbeville and Calhoun Falls squabbling? Been happening for years. They think we suck, we think they suck. Aint nothing wrong with a good old squabble now and then with a neighborhing town when it comes time for Football games, but for Lindler to compare himself to Rosa? Yeah, gives me good reason to continue to believe that Calhoun Falls does suck.

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