NAACP leader compares Tim Scott to 'dummy' for tea party 'ventriloquist'
January 21st, 2014
03:37 PM ET
8 months ago

NAACP leader compares Tim Scott to 'dummy' for tea party 'ventriloquist'

(CNN) – Sen. Tim Scott declined Tuesday to "reflect seriously" on comments made by a civil rights activist who accused Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, of being a puppet for the tea party.

"Instead, I will honor the memory of Dr. King by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man," Scott said in a statement. "And Rev. (William) Barber will remind me and others of what not to do."

Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, made the initial comments in a speech at a church in the senator's home state of South Carolina.

"A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy," Barber said Sunday night, according to The State.

Barber said "the extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) finds a black guy to be senator and claims he's the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the tea party."

Barber's remarks came as he was offering criticism of African-Americans who he said aren't following in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., including black youths who kill each other and those "who wear their pants down to their knees," according to The State.

Barber is a vocal political and civil rights activist who helped lead the "Moral Monday" demonstrations outside of state capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina last year. In an opinion piece for CNN.com, he detailed the movement's resistance against what they saw as an aggressive conservative agenda pushed by the GOP-dominated legislature.

Scott, responding through the statement, said he has never met Barber.

"To reflect seriously on the comments a person, a pastor that is filled with baseless and meaningless rhetoric would be to do a disservice to the very people who have sacrificed so much and paved a way," Scott said.

It's not the first time Scott, the second black Republican to serve in the Senate after Reconstruction, has run into tension with civil rights activists.

His office said in August that organizers of the 50th anniversary March on Washington event did not invite the senator–one of only nine African Americans ever to hold office in the upper chamber–to speak at the ceremony.

Scott, who was a U.S. congressman at the time, was appointed to his Senate seat by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley in December 2012 after then-Sen. Jim DeMint announced he was retiring. Scott is running to keep the seat in a special election this November.


Filed under: NAACP • Tim Scott
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Not helpful. Attach the substance (or lack thereof) of the policy positions and stay focused.

    January 21, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Not helpful. Attack the substance (or lack thereof) of the policy positions and stay focused.

    January 21, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    As unhelpful as Barber's comments are, does this "news" really deserve first posting over McDonnell and his wife being indicted on federal corruption charges?

    January 21, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Sniffit
    As unhelpful as Barber's comments are, does this "news" really deserve first posting over McDonnell and his wife being indicted on federal corruption charges?
    --------------------------------------
    CNN will post this story but won't post the story of Florida republican Joshua Black's comments yesterday directed towards the President.

    January 21, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    That's ok, I agree!!!! The teaparty conservative morons like Labrador Cruz Rubio lee and king from Iowa will be kicked to the curb in their next election due to their total incompetents and obstruction of everything that is good for the American people such as the healthcare law and their anti abortion agenda of the minority deciding what's best for the majority even though they lost the last two national elections. Just turn out to vote in 2014 and send these stupid fools back to the stone age where they came from. Maybe these GOP conservative morons should consider moving to SOMIALIA where they share the same values or lack of any!!!!!!

    January 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. smith

    @Sniffit- What`s the matter? Those bigoted comments from Barber sting a bit?

    January 21, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    The truth hurts. Add Herman 999 Cain to the list, Allen West and Joshua Black.

    January 21, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. JJ236

    Libs are the most tolerant and forgiving people.........not.

    January 21, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Rett

    Seems like Scott has left the plantation.....

    January 21, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. ada ada

    "the extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) finds a black guy to be senator and claims he's the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the tea party."

    does this Idiot Barber know tea party has pple of Color and that oen who appointed Scott is a Woman of Color Nikki Haley (of Indian origin)...

    Barber is an ignorant Fool...

    January 21, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. joeintucker

    ahhh, po' whittle dems, big bad Sen, just won't stay on the plantation....

    January 21, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Pete

    It's about time Duke University rescinded this buffoon's Master of Divinity degree. What an embarrassment!

    January 21, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Hector Slagg

    Good Lord,
    A black person advances in Society and a brother slams him? It is a fact that some blacks don't want to let go of Slavery, Bigotry, Segregation, Racisim, etc. When they do that all the crutches and excuses are gone.

    January 21, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Jme

    Too bad 99% of blacks have not learned to think for themselves. They are led around and told what to think by the same old hate groups that keep them ignorant and down. Too bad.

    January 21, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Loathstheright

    Teaparty, the worst thing to happen to America since Bush/Cheney (War Criminals)

    January 21, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. humtake

    I don't recall MLK saying "I have a dream that one day a person will be judged off of who they are and not the color of their skin...except for those who wear their pants to their knees."

    Yes, I paraphrased but you get the point.

    January 21, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Joe Seattle

    So when did the NAACP's mission become socialism instead of equalitariasm?

    Oh wait, I almost forgot. The NAACP was founded as a socialist/comunist organization intended to use racial strife to push its true agenda (look it up). So I guess Tim Scott's race isn't really an issue, except that the NAACP is essentially stating that any black person who's not a socialist must be stupid. When you think about it, that's pretty racist for an organization that calls itself the "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People".

    January 21, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. BlackManInDC

    Cause he's black... You know, no nig left behind!

    January 21, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. DC Johnny

    Typical trash that we have come to expect from the violent and divisive radical left, using rhetoric that would be vehemently described as racist if it came from the right, or from a white person for that matter.

    No substance. No logic. Just trash.

    January 21, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. iceload

    Not sure which one is playing to the crowd.

    January 21, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. ja

    he is another clarence thomas, as thurgood marshall stated a snake is a snake, as for the tea party that is code for racist intolerance aka ( modern day kkk), suddenly all this polictical awareness in America upon Obama's election, horseradish,

    January 21, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Loe

    Another mindless frothing liberal self destructs

    January 21, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Bert Bacharach

    There is no one as intolerant as a liberal, especially when a member of one of their "victim" classes strays from the Democrat party plantation. Just look at how your average liberal refers to Sarah Palin. How about Clarence Thomas? Herman Cain?

    January 21, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. scapegoat345

    It is too bad a black person in this country is not allowed by his own race to think on his own. If he doesn't spew the "poor black me" rhetoric his "people" can't accept it. No wonder they can't get equality. That would mean they would have to go to school and work like the rest of us instead of gang banging.

    January 21, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. dicklovely

    waiting for your fourth comment. i'm sure it will enlighten us all. or maybe on the 5th. db.

    January 21, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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