KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCSC) - At first the voicemail left on Des McFadden’s phone on Monday sounded like a standard business message but then the man on the phone never hangs up.
He is heard speaking to someone else, describing McFadden by using the “N” word.
The caller was Clinton Crick, a retired businessman in Kingstree. The voicemail is a little more than 20 seconds long. Crick uses the racial slur twice.
“I had to listen to it again to be sure I heard what I thought I did,” McFadden said. “From there the emotions went from sad to hurt to depressed. I cried. It was hurtful. It was painful to listen to it.”
The NAACP, State Senator Ronnie Sabb and other leaders came out Wednesday to support McFadden and address the power of words.
McFadden says of all the things you could call a person the “N” word is among the worst.
“It makes you feel less than worthless,” McFadden said. “It’s not a positive word period. It’s not a word that anybody should be called.”
McFadden wants the community to stop doing business with the dry-cleaning service Crick owns in Kingstree. Employees at the Kingstree Laundry and Rental say Crick owns the business in name only, his son runs the company.
The business put out this statement:
“Kingstree Laundry expresses a heartfelt apology for the inexcusable choice of words by Clinton, during a voicemail exchange regarding a property he has for sale. This has been a harsh reminder of a painful past that our country and community still have not fully reconciled. Clinton’s words are not representative of our values, and we stand in solidarity with the Black community. While it is no excuse, please know that Clinton is heavily medicated. He retired several years ago due to his battle with multiple-organ, stage 4 cancer, and is currently receiving palliative care. As a small business that has served Williamsburg County for more than 70 years, we stand against racism and with our neighbors and fellow small business owners. Again, we offer our deepest apologies.”
Incidents like these only strength McFadden’s resolve to success as an esthetician.
“It just makes us more motivated,” McFadden said. “Makes us want to strive more to get where I need to be. It just empowers me more.”
A rally and march has been organized in response to the voicemail. It is scheduled for Saturday at 10 am at the Tomlinson building.