NYT Features Restaurant Run by Racist in Feature About Columbia, SC “Bar Crawl”

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Here. While it is nice to see Columbia get positive media attention, out of all the fine eating establishments here, this decision is flabbergasting. Below is the excerpt endorsing “Maurice’s Piggy Park:”

Maurice’s Piggy Park is a chain of BBQ restaurants started by Maurice Bessinger. We went to the original at 1600 Charleston Highway. This place is not for the faint of heart (whether you suffer from liberalism or cholesterol). Just inside the entrance is a table with copies of about 15 different books: pro-South screeds, Mr. Bessinger’s autobiography, the Atkins Diet! Confederate flags also abound. But the food is amazing. The Little Pig platter should probably be called a Medium Pig: it has a half-pound of BBQ pork, cole slaw, a handful of hush puppies and Carolina Hash over rice, all served on a plastic picnic plate. It’s made my Last Meal list.

Here are some notable (not to mention repulsive) facts about Maurice Bessinger:

… Drive along Charleston Highway in West Columbia and it’s hard to miss the original Piggie Park restaurant, the headquarters of Maurice’s Gourmet Barbeque, which opened for business in 1953. True to Maurice Bessinger’s rebel ways, visitors to his Web site are greeted with a waving Confederate flag and the sounds of “Dixie,” an instrumental version of the marching song of Confederate troops during the Civil War. Critics view the anthem of the Old South as an expression of fondness for the days of slavery.

The Biblical View of Slavery?:

At Maurice Bessinger’s original Piggie Park barbecue restaurant in West Columbia, South Carolina, he sells a tract called “The Biblical View of Slavery,” which suggests Africans brought by force to the United States liked slavery.

An excerpt reads: “Many of those African slaves blessed the Lord for allowing them to be enslaved and sent to America. Because what they had over here was far better than what they had over there.”

Bessinger has run out of that particular tract right now, but when he gets more, he says he’ll put them on display again.

Outside, along with an enormous sign proclaiming Maurice’s has the “world best barbeque,” there’s a big Confederate flag, biblical quotes and a sign proclaiming Buchanan for President.

Go inside and you’ll find conservative political and religious tracts, including one claiming blacks were blessed to have been brought to America in slavery.

Many South Carolinians shun Piggy Park. Decent New Yorkers should, too.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to NYT Features Restaurant Run by Racist in Feature About Columbia, SC “Bar Crawl”

  1. clueless says:

    As a recent transplant from the North myself, I’m astounded that anybody could walk in there and still want to eat after seeing just the Confederate flag, let alone all the Bessinger publicity. The implication that only liberals are (or should be) outraged or sickened by slavery, war, and treason is a little disturbing.

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