African-American senator not invited to speak at civil rights anniversary
August 28th, 2013
07:30 PM ET
9 years ago

African-American senator not invited to speak at civil rights anniversary

Washington (CNN) - Organizers of Wednesday's 50th anniversary March on Washington did not invite the nation's only African-American senator to speak at the civil rights commemoration, his office said, a sign of the complicated politics of racial equality.

Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina was appointed to the position in January, is currently the only black senator and is one of only eight African-Americans to ever serve in the U.S. Senate.

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"Senator Scott was not invited to speak at the event," his press secretary, Greg Blair, told CNN in a statement about the 50th anniversary gathering in Washington. Blair would not say if Scott would have accepted an invitation to speak, nor if he was disappointed at the lack of an invite.

"Today's anniversary should simply serve as an opportunity to reflect upon how their actions moved our country forward in a remarkable way," Blair demurred.

March organizers responded that they invited every member of Congress to attend the event, but anniversary spokesman Sarah Coppersmith told CNN she did not know whether Scott was invited to give remarks.

President Barack Obama was the prime speaker at the Lincoln Memorial event Wednesday, heading up a list that skewed Democratic, including Reps. Donna Edwards, D-Maryland, and Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, former Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and the leaders of two major unions.

Some others at the podium, including Oprah Winfrey and actor Jamie Foxx, came from outside of politics.

But out of three dozen speakers, none was a Republican.

Coppersmith insisted that event planners invited several GOP leaders to speak, but none could attend. That list included former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.

"This event had a bipartisan outreach," Coppersmith said. "We all really wanted this to be a bipartisan event. It was not meant to be a political event at all. It was about Dr. King."

Scott did not attend the Washington commemoration, but did write about the anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech in an op-ed published Wednesday South Carolina's The State newspaper.

"I am living my mother's American Dream," the senator wrote.

"That dream was strengthened by the efforts of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis and the countless other civil rights leaders who gave so much to build a better future," he wrote. "The leaders of the civil rights movement taught us the value of belief, discipline and hard work and that, when put together, those traits can change the world."

Filed under: Martin Luther King • Tim Scott
soundoff (67 Responses)

    No Uncle Toms allowed.

    August 29, 2013 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  2. SpencerRifle

    He's not the right kind of black man for the DNC, I guess.

    August 29, 2013 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  3. WeAreAlmostCyprus

    Today, we judge ALL Americans by the quality of their character, but of they happen to be black, they scream racism. Maybe it's time for them to look in the mirror, and get over their "blackness." We have.

    August 29, 2013 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Why would this Uncle Tom be invited to a civil rights event while the bigot GOP is trying to disenfranchise black voters all over the country, the GOP is a laughing stock when it comes to race,only white old fools need to apply,the aca has saved these fools over 6.3 billion in prescription cost sence it was passed.

    August 29, 2013 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  5. joe

    Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina
    Key word "republican". Even if you are black and one of only 8 in the entire Congress–they snub you at an MLK event if you are republican.

    Goes to show how seriously the take their politics.

    August 29, 2013 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  6. Jerry

    This was all by wannabe king Obama's people. Did anyone expect this situation to be any different. With Mr. Obama hypocrisy knows no bounds. Now to deflect on other issues and keep his moronic "redline" comments in the forefront, HE is planning to attack Syria. An attack that most of the Américan populace outright rejects. HE is so gonghoe? on proving HIS idiotic mettle, HE is not even willing to wait for the REAL results as to who REALLY used the nerve gas.

    But, when has Obama paid any attention to the wishes of the Américan citizens?! Other than at election time, that is.

    Stay tuned...

    August 29, 2013 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  7. Triple A

    It is not racism. It is just Liberals being Liberal, making whatever excuse they need to to make it ok with them.

    August 29, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  8. K.D. Aston

    This "Judas goat," needs to stay with the racist republicans who appointed him.

    August 29, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  9. andrew

    Interesting..No repugnants invited attended..and non invitees complain...proves the point that hate crosses all political lines and that repugnants keep the fires burning...

    August 29, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  10. Time to take out the Democrat trash.

    Typical Liberal politics, invite only the ones that agree with their point of views. Time to throw the Democrat Trash to the curb.

    August 29, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  11. JoePub

    Figures. The predictable left resorts to calling black Republican's uncle Toms. Do they even realize how offensive and racist they sound by doing this?

    August 29, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  12. Nick

    Let's be honest: they provided no proof he was invited, and Obama would have been publicly humiliated had Scott spoken and not toed the Democratic-racial party line. They can shout "bi-partisan" all they want but that doesn't make it true.

    August 29, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  13. Nelson

    I see several posters utilizing the slang term "Uncle Tom." I do not think that shows any kind of enlightenment. If a person chooses to think differently, or holds ideals that are associated racially with Caucasians, he is not African American? To those thinking that way, the fundamentals of free thought which are a basis for this country are lost on you.

    August 29, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  14. J

    Why would a republican, African-American or not, be invited to speak at such an event. The republicans are ACTIVELY trying to suppress the African-American vote, the hate the African-American president, many if not most republicans are racists, etc. etc. etc. all while Uncle Scott sits by and acts like none of this is going on.

    He had NO business there!

    August 29, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  15. RD

    He wasn't invited because they fear him – that's what narcissists do. Not sure how selecting the party of his choice makes him a "Uncle Tom" or a "Judas." Just shows he is not swayed by the current Kool-Aid.

    August 29, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  16. Sickofthehype

    WOW. Libs are certainly venomous. I am a Republican but not a racist. I believe that we need to judge a person by their character. The character of the liberals on this post sucks.

    August 29, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  17. Steve - Texas

    Uncle Toms hinder racial progress not enhance.

    August 29, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
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