June 11th, 2010
01:17 PM ET
5 years ago

S.C. Democrats acting like 'Uncle Tom,' black lawmaker says

Democratic South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford on Thursday said that white state party leaders are running the party ‘like a plantation.’
Democratic South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford on Thursday said that white state party leaders are running the party ‘like a plantation.’

(CNN) - The combustible issue of race was at play once again in South Carolina Thursday as an unsuccessful African-American gubernatorial candidate griped that Democratic leaders in the state are running the party "like a plantation at the expense of black candidates."

In a letter [pdf] to members of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and obtained by CNN, state Sen. Robert Ford complained about fellow black legislators who lined up behind the Democratic frontrunner and eventual nominee, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who is white.

Though he said he has "love and respect" for Sheheen, Ford said he is "going to be bitter for a long time" about the outcome of the governor's race and went on to blast younger black legislators who "could care less about civil rights."

The always outspoken Ford, who made raising tax revenue from video poker a central plank of his campaign, raised little money and was never given a serious shot at winning the nomination by political handicappers.

Sheehen won the gubernatorial nomination outright Tuesday over Ford and the second place finisher, state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex.

Ford griped that it was an "outright disgrace" and "a slap in the face to African-Americans in this state" that other black leaders did not support him "for the sake of the party."

He said white party elders like state Sen. John Land, former party chairman Dick Harpootlian and former Gov. Jim Hodges are running the party "like a plantation."

"Uncle Tom was alive and well before, during and after the Negro and African-American struggle in this country and obviously he is still alive today," Ford wrote.

Sheehen, who will face the winner of the Republican runoff race between Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett, had no comment on Ford's missive.


Filed under: 2010 • South Carolina
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Uncle Tom's, Governor getting lost for week hiking for his mate in Argentina, Governor's replacement sleeping with her blogger, Dem. candidate allegedly finds a spare 10K to run for office while unemployed (cough ) yeah right....what's next South Carolina?

    June 11, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    My God , don't even get me started!!!

    It's not just the {D} running the Party like a plantation. The entire state of South Kakalakee should be nicknamed either 'TARA" or "GONE WITH THE WIND".

    Been there. Will NOT make THAT trip again.

    June 11, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Pat F

    More slobbering liberal press coverage – this guy says racist stuff that would make a skin head blush, and he's just characterized as "outspoken".

    June 11, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Democrats like to put on a show that they are for African Americans, but they really are the biggest racists. They are worse than Republicans.

    June 11, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. JB

    And his comments aren't racist?

    And the racial divide widens.

    I thought Obama was supposed to make things better.

    Heck, I would be happy if Obama made ANYTHING better.

    June 11, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Obama the liar

    just no stopping that race card trick.

    June 11, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. normajean

    .I think Sen. Ford is way out of line. He complains because his fellow legislators are voting for a white candidate. Isn't this the way we unite for the good of the country. We now have a black president, who is a fine man quite probably elected by a majority of white voters.

    June 11, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. thor

    Democrats have used blacks for years and have taken them for granted.It's starting to show.

    June 11, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. gt

    and i thought the republicans had problems in south carolina,,,,yikes !

    June 11, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. SocialismBad

    state Sen. Robert Ford complained about fellow black legislators who lined up behind the Democratic frontrunner and eventual nominee, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who is white.
    ------------------------------

    YEAH!! Don't the black people know you're supposed to just line up blindly behind the black candidates and completely ignore the white candidates or you're an uncle Tom!

    Geez... Sounds more than a bit like anti-white racism to me. I guess this clown doesn't believe in MLK exhortation to be judged by the content of your character and not the color of your skin?

    Typical though. If it's Friday it must be yet another racist DemocRAT screaming racism about something.

    June 11, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. A.B.

    Well, given the social and political climate down in S.C., it's no suprise that a black man could not win the governorship. Mr. Ford is right about S.C. politics being run like a plantation and blacks politicos are acting like uncle toms!! S.C. has never been a progressive place and will not likely be progressive for some time. This state of affairs is evident with the refusal of S.C. leadership to remove the confederate flag–a symbol of racial hatred and oppression of African Americans.

    June 11, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Steve

    Stop crying.

    June 11, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. PalmReader

    Kudo's to South Carolina politicans for being the most wacky individuals in the Union!

    June 11, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Black, white purple or green, you lost, go home and write a book like Palin about how bad you were treated and pander for sympathy money like Palin.

    June 11, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. mike

    I think Mr. Ford should read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" sometime. He might find out that Uncle Tom was a black slave living in slave quarters.

    June 11, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Lib Hunter

    Democrats are in actuality the true racists in society. They divide the country based on race and than create policies that give handouts to minorities in exchange for votes. This creates a psyche in minorities that they need to vote democrat. However, at the end of the day these policies actually hinder motivation of minorities to get out of their situation. It's much easier to just sit back, collect government checks and complain that life is unfair because of your race rather than work extremely hard and be disciplined while making smart life decisions in order to move up in the world. Its a shame that more minorities don't or just refuse to see this. I guess when outlets like CNN, NY TIMES, MSNBC, WAPO etc... continues to push the notion that minorites have it so bad in this country its hard for certain groups to overcome this propaganda. Shame

    June 11, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. JES

    How come everytime a black person doesn't when something it's a race issue.

    Give me a break and try and get into the 21s century.

    June 11, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Southern

    So, in essence, he is complaining that black legislators didn't vote for him because, by gum, HE'S black and they should support him over "a white guy".

    He complains (in his letter) that black candidates should be treated "differently" by the Black Caucus than white candidates. Isn't that the very definition of Racism and Favoritism?

    So then he goes on to say that because the Black Caucus supported a WHITE candidate, that they're all "Uncle Toms". Nevermind that they supported the frontrunner (according to the article), and that (Ford) "didn't stand a chance", by gum they SHOULD have supported HIM because HE is the black candidate!

    Reverse racism at its finest, IMO.

    *Sigh*. I'm so sick of it all.

    June 11, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    What do you expect? It's South Carolina. Where blacks are a permanent underclass.

    June 11, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Troubled Independent

    Aren't we supposed to vote for the most qualified. Stop using the race card - typical democrat!

    June 11, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. andy

    What a loser. Play the race when things don't go your way. SC gets what they asked for with this racist.

    June 11, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Willy Brown

    As usual the black democrats play the race card. It’s the victim play for the upcoming November elections

    June 11, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. rachel

    Always with the race card, a shame when ever you don't tow the line with all the liberals it always goes to the uncle tom. As an african american I get offended when other african americans think just cause I am black I am supposed to think the same way as them. If we want white people to stop trying to lump us together and think that we all think alike and act alike we better start letting ourseleves hold different opions without throwing the words uncle tom and sell out around.

    June 11, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Patrick Henry Paine

    Very interesting, grasshopper! If a WHITE politician had made such remarks, every brown-noser from Jesse Jerkson to Al not-so-Sharpton would be thru the roof, playing the race card. However, since it is a BLACK politician making these racial slurs and insults, it is apparently perfectly alright, since we all know that BLACKS are relieved from having to live by the same rules on racist insults that everybody else must abide by. What a lily-livered sick group of sycophants our media pundits have become!

    June 11, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |