CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The National Action Network held a press conference Monday afternoon concerning an incident at the Charleston Rifle Club in which the club voted not to admit its first black member.
Rev. Nelson Rivers III said he wants all local governments to denounce the club and believes he can get the club to admit African-Americans through a legislative process.
“It is outrageous that in 2018, almost 2019, that we still have discrimination and racism hiding under the guise of private club business so we ask that this end and end now,” Rivers said.
In a recent interview with CNN, Dr. Brown said when he first was recommended to be a member of the Rifle Club no one voiced opposition, but then he didn't get voted in.
Brown told the network no one offered an explanation.
“When I looked down the applicants I tried to see what it was that was different between them and me. Everyone was from all walks of life. Some were veterans, some of them were Navy physicians just like I was, but I didn’t get in so one only has to come to one conclusion," Brown said.
Rivers says the National Action Network also has come to one conclusion, that Brown was denied membership because of his race.
“It really does raise a real question of integrity. How can we claim to be the Holy City, a city too busy to hate, a city of love and let this happen behind us," Rivers said.
Brown told CNN he believes the Rifle Club members who voted to deny his membership do not represent the entire membership.
“In my particular case I think it was a few people who are holding the club hostage," Brown told the network.
Rivers said the National Action Network may try to go through the legislative route, instead of suing to try to force the club to change it's membership policies.
We reached out to the club for a comment via email but have not heard back.