Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, January 4, 2012
Apparently Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) didn’t even have to be a member of the upper chamber for a day before the NAACP came out swinging against him!
In an interview with CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux on Wednesday, NAACP President Ben Jealous blasted the Senate’s lone African-American member for supposedly “not believing in civil rights” and defending the Senator’s ‘F’ rating with the organization.
“We have Republicans who believe in civil rights — unfortunately he [Scott] is not one of them,” Jealous told Malveaux. “And unfortunately his party, as you know, has really gone after so-called RINOs as they call them, these Republicans who believe in civil rights, again and again.”
Jealous also seemed more than thrilled that Scott, a Republican, is the only African-American currently sitting in the chamber. ”When I look at Sen. Scott, I’m very glad that going into the 150th celebration, if you will, of the Emancipation Proclamation we can now say that we have one black Senator. Given that we’re 12 percent or so of the population we should probably have at least ten,” Jealous continued.
Last night Scott joined Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren to refute Jealous’ accusations, calling them, in a word, “ridiculous.”
“Well, I think that some folks want to find a way to make race more of a part of the conversation going forward and I think that it’s time for us to continue to move forward as a nation. If you really think about where we are, we have the most diverse freshman class in the Senate, perhaps in its history. America has made amazing steps forward and we will continue to make steps forward as we focus on those issues that bring us together,” said Scott.
Scott classily relegates it to a cheap fundraising ploy by Jealous. ”[The accusations are] baseless, but at the end of the day if you find a way to fundraise off this election process for some folks maybe that’s not a good thing for them, but not a good thing for the country.”
Fortunately Scott had enough other wonderful memories from Thursday to counterbalance Jealous’ ‘ridiculous’ comment. Scott beamed as he told Van Susteren that his high school, a minority-majority school in Charleston that he plans to speak at later this month, streamed his swearing-in ceremony live for the students to watch.
Scott’s biography has been well-detailed over the past month as he emerged as the successor to Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who resigned Tuesday to lead the Heritage Foundation. Scott was raised by a single mother in poverty and almost dropped out of high school before a local Chick-fil-A owner mentored him and put him back on the right track. Scott was sworn-in to the Senate Thursday in front of his mother and his brother, an officer in the United States Army.