But they still have a lot of students who stay in the Greenville area and stay in South Carolina and they are politically active.” The ranks of Republicans who have visited the campus over the years reads like a Who’s Who of American politics: Reagan, Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan, Bob Dole, Alan Keyes, John Connolly, Phil Graham and Ron Paul, to name a few.
The school has awarded honorary degrees to another list of famous political figures, including Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Olin Johnston, Bob Inglis, Lindsey Graham, John D. But it was Bush’s visit 15 years ago that triggered a wave of political attacks against the school over its policies banning interracial dating and its branding of Catholicism as a “satanic counterfeit.” Egged on by Democrats, lawmakers in Congress that year introduced resolutions condemning the school’s policies, and Arizona Sen.
“There was a certain amount of backlash” to Bush’s visit, Beasley said, “but it backfired against those who tried to make that an issue. Tim Scott, the state’s first African-American, contacted him about hosting a town hall with Carson.
“I think that is one of the great reasons you end up going to a campus where you don’t agree with all of their positions,” he said. “His statement was to show the improving race relationships in the state of South Carolina,” Pettit said.
“It’s the United States of America, and it’s a democratic republic.
We have responsibilities in what we should do as citizens. I just think it’s an important thing for us to do, to have influence, and the influence that’s been given to us.
Discrimination and segregation on the basis of race is racism.
The candidates have come to BJU this year unsolicited, Pettit said.Among those who have met with Pettit have been Marco Rubio, Cruz, Rick Perry (who has since left the race) and Mike Huckabee. Scott Walker, who also left the race, telephoned him as a candidate.