VIC COLUMN: We’re Not Really Sure Why ...

We are not really, entirely sure why, but there is indisputable photo evidence that a train-load of tanks rolled through Clinton last Wednesday.

We figure they are on their way to the United States war against Syria.

They almost were not seen, since they were all camo tanks. They rolled on flat-bed train cars. I know who took the picture and posted it on Facebook, but I’m not sure I should say, just in case this is a Homeland Security matter.

It seems odd, however, that just when President Trump is sabre-rattling against Syria and Russia, and Mark Z is testifying before Congress, tanks are rolling through Clinton - the convergence of military and social media in our small, quiet town.

Thank Goodness, that will not happen May 19. That’s the day our railroad-bordering streets will be filled with visitors to Rhythm on the Rails. Enough camo tanks were delivered (we’re presuming to the Port of Charleston) on April 11, so there’s no need for another shipment May 19. Of course, just as a train goes east, the return train goes west, so what’s coming “back through” Clinton? We’re not entirely sure.

We are also not really sure why - Oprah doesn’t answer to us, after all - Laurens County was mentioned twice on 60 Minutes.

The former Chicago news-lady turned media mega-star did a story on the new lynching museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Out of 805 counties in the United States where at least one person was lynched, Laurens County, South Carolina, was the only one with two lynchings mentioned during the 14-minute segment.

Maybe, it’s because we used to have The Redneck Shoppe, and Ms. Winfrey knows that. Maybe, it’s because a once-powerful white supremacist group had its world headquarters here. Maybe, it’s because the movie that Rev. David Kennedy and actor Forrest Whitaker had a hand in making was based here - the film was screened at Sundance. That’s likely a place Oprah Winfrey would travel to.

Anyway, we don’t really know. 60 Minutes didn’t send us any press releases - although it did issue an explanation of why producers chose to show grisly, old, black-and-white photos of people getting lynched.

And The Army surely didn’t send us a press release advising in advance that we would have a bunch of tanks rolling through our city - on a late afternoon spring day.

It’s looked like something out of an old-style Soviet May Day Parade.

I guess you can just sum it up this way:

-- Clinton is the railroad capital of the world so, of course, there would be tanks on trains going through here. 

-- Laurens County is the lynching capital of the world (which, of course, it wasn’t) so, of course, we would deserve some extra special treatment - and worldwide television exposure - on 60 Minutes.

Truth is - since these decisions are made in Washington, DC, and New York City - we really don’t know.


(Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. He did not see the tanks rolling through Clinton but he saw the FB photo. He did not watch 60 Minutes but he read the lynching museum segment text on-line. Contact him at 833-1900 or



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