NAACP leader compares Tim Scott to 'dummy' for tea party 'ventriloquist'
January 21st, 2014
03:37 PM ET
6 years 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. Mark

    I guess Oreos are popular in the Carolinas!

    January 21, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Ryan in Texas

    So all blacks have to think alike – and live like dependents?
    It's already crazy that they vote 98% for a single party. All other groups are divided in this country.
    Considering the results of that group think – need I bring up crime or family failure statistics? – I would vote for the exact opposite of what they would vote for.
    The most failed group wants the rest of the country to be run by their representatives?

    January 21, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. The law

    Typical, black(of course) NAACP dem-rat. Can't stand a good black person doing the right thing. Go brother ..Who is the fool, fool(NAACP)..

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

    The left in this country just won't quit. I wish that they could see how bigoted, intolerant and prejudiced they sound. And Obama wonders why his approval numbers are in the tank.

    January 21, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. sly

    Most folks don't understand that many plantation owners took excellant care of their slave property. Heck, if the black fella is hungry, or beaten too much, he can't work as hard to make his TeaBillie owner rich.

    Lay off the only black Confederate – he is simply repaying his slave daddies for taking good care of his family.

    January 21, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. GetaClue

    Policy positions don't matter, unless you think its OK to call anyone a dummy for the ventriloquists of (insert politcal affiliation here).

    The point of the story is that a leader in the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was attacking a fellow African-American. Hypocracy on display. They really should rename themselves NAALCP (National Association for the Advancement of Liberal Colored People).

    January 21, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Conrad Shull

    It's surprising (well, not to me) how many on the Left have grotesque black hearts. It is typical for Conservatives to characterize Liberals as stupid, naive or foolish, while Liberals simply characterize Conservatives as evil. The one characterization is an attack on thinking processes, the other on innate morality. Perhaps the best judge of political character is how someone judges others.

    January 21, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. smith

    People like Tim Scott and Nikki Haley just prove that the radical left are nothing but bigoted liars.

    January 21, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. imsnooping

    I guess qualifying as black these days is less about one's skin color than subscribing to the right sets of views.

    I don't understand why this sort of thing isn't seen as incredibly insulting by most black people. You either think a certain way....or else you are a race traitor.

    Good for Sen. Scott for not getting down in the mud with this creep.

    January 21, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Steve

    This news goes not surprise me. The Liberals and the NAACP are both intolerant groups that constantly call the GOP and the Tea Party racists and haters. They simply need to look at themselves in the mirror if the want good examples of both.

    January 21, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. just asking

    Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP
    --

    but i bet he doesn't for one second think he is a dummy for the democrat party... too funny. the naacp just can't stand or more accurately understand there is life beyond the democrat plantation he is bound to. the chains may not be visible but make no mistake about it, they are there. i think he is more envious of tim scott.

    January 21, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Laverne

    What is true is if he were not pleasing the tea party, he would not be in the US Senate at least not from SC. I hope he finds his own voice because right now he is more concerned about not offending the tea party.

    January 21, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Mark

    Oh please, a ventriloquist's dummy has greater intelligence than the Oreo Scott! Dunk him in some milk and try to make him white – but he be black and always will be. Too bad Scott wasn't kidnapped and enslaved for 12 years! That would be a benefit to this country.

    January 21, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. BigRay

    Nothing is more racist then telling someone that because of the color of their skin they have to think or vote a certain way. Doesn't stop Democrats from saying it! Heaven forbid someone of any race be a free thinker ... that doesn't make for a very subservient populace now does it?

    January 21, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. nate

    sounds like he is mad that Scott jumped off the dem plantation

    January 21, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. ray

    he is a dummy and DUMB ONE TOO.

    January 21, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Demigod Vadik, CA

    NCAAP calls it like they see it...

    January 21, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. mario

    I don't like what this guy stands for, but i'm happy that he is different and not the stereotype. I commend this man for being an individual!

    January 21, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Itsabouttime

    Kudos to the Reverend. Hit his comment on the dot. Senator Scott, a Tea Party puppet? Who would have known?

    January 21, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. M. Sears

    For Sen. Scott, don't get too worked up about anything the good Rev. Barber says. In North Carolina he has shown himself time after time to be a fool and a buffoon in the pattern of another good Reverend, Al Sharpton. He obviously has too much time on his hands.

    January 21, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. God

    smith
    People like Tim Scott and Nikki Haley just prove that the radical left are nothing but bigoted liars.

    ------------------------------------

    How do you figure that? Both are repubs one is radical right. Anyone who sides with the tea party is a dummy. The TP is owned by the Koch brothers. They find dumb people to yell freedom while being able to acquire more money to buy elections. Ted cruz shutting down congress was a fund raiser for the Koch brothers. He said go here to help stop obamacare and it went straight to the koch brothers they knew obamacare was never going to be repealed.

    January 21, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Ryan in Texas
    So all blacks have to think alike – and live like dependents?
    It's already crazy that they vote 98% for a single party. All other groups are divided in this country.
    Considering the results of that group think – need I bring up crime or family failure statistics? – I would vote for the exact opposite of what they would vote for.
    The most failed group wants the rest of the country to be run by their representatives?"

    Let me help you here, Ryan: You should've stopped at "So all blacks have to think alike(?)" and you would've had a fair point that didn't need further explanation and certainly wouldn't have painted you as a racist....but you GOPers/Teatrolls just don't know when to stop, do you?

    January 21, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. radar8

    Ryan in Texas
    So all blacks have to think alike – and live like dependents?

    Sounds to me like you and the KKK think alike. Why do you and the KKK always vote republican?

    January 21, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "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."

    Of course not...they'll wait until WND and Limbaugh have ranted about it as Obama sending the SS and FBI after innocent opposition candidates, and THEN CNN will chime in with some false equivalency narrative.

    January 21, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. radar8

    The Tea Party is nothing more than a wing of the KKK. They are all white. They rail against Blacks (see lyin' Ryan in Texas) and they act like they are the only REAL Americans. They're truly pathetic.

    January 21, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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