January 24, 2014

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, RACISM WOULD GET SO BAD THAT EVEN THE NAACP WOULD BE SMEARING BLACK POLITICIANS. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! James Taranto: The Smearing of Tim Scott: A racial slur from an NAACP leader.

But Barber drew national attention for his comments about South Carolina’s junior senator, Tim Scott, who is Congress’s lone black Republican and one of only two black senators. Elected to the House in 2010, Scott was tapped by Gov. Nikki Haley to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned at the start of last year to become president of the Heritage Foundation. As a conservative politician in a conservative state, Scott is expected to prevail easily in this November’s special election to serve out the two years that will remain in the term.

The NAACP is a liberal group, so you wouldn’t expect its leaders to see eye to eye on politics with Tim Scott. But the manner in which Barber expressed his disagreement was remarkably disagreeable. “A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Barber said. “The extreme right wing down here 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.”

Scott is in fact the South’s first black senator since Reconstruction, but of course what’s invidious here is Barber’s characterization of Scott as a ventriloquist’s “dummy.” And the Washington Times notes that the NAACP stood behind Barber’s comment, saying in a statement: “Dr. King emphasized love and justice rather than extremism. Unless we stand for justice we cannot claim allegiance to or pay homage to Dr. King. In a state such as South Carolina, politicians, whether they be black or white, should not be echoing the position of the far right.”

Fox News reports that Scott, in an appearance on “The Kelly File,” described Barber’s attack as an example of “philosophical bigotry”–a rather gentle characterization of what inescapably is also a racial stereotype.

Really enjoying the hopey, changey, post-racial Obama presidency.