Opinion: Columnists

Plenty of racism aimed at Tim Scott

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Politics,Opinion,Congress,Gregory Kane,Columnists,Tim Scott,Race and Diversity

As I figured, the appointment of Rep. Tim Scott to fill departing South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's seat has caused some liberals to become a tad unhinged.

Enter Adolph L. Reed Jr., a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania. And the editors of the op-ed page at the New York Times, which ran a Reed piece about Scott that was about as close to an ad hominem attack as they come.

To Reed's credit, he didn't resort to the typical language liberals have come to love -- Uncle Tom, sellout, Sambo, handkerchief head -- when describing black conservatives and Republicans (Scott is both). But he did call Scott a "cynical token."

In Reedworld -- and the world of liberals, black and white -- all black Republicans these days are "tokens." And I'm not misquoting the man.

"... (M)odern black Republicans have been more tokens than signs of progress," Reed wrote.

I'm assuming Reed meant black Republicans that have been either elected or appointed to public office. That's where he made his first mistake.

Does Reed seriously believe that rank-and-file black Republicans, those that joined the party because they find it more to their liking than the Democratic Party, are tokens too? Did Reed even talk to any rank-and-file black Republicans before writing his piece?

I suspect not, because I have a hunch that Reed doesn't even know any black Republicans. He hasn't a clue about why some blacks would want to join a "racist" party.

Reed didn't come out and call the Republican Party racist, but he sure as heck strongly hinted at it, with this sentence:

"I suspect that appointments like Mr. Scott's are directed less at blacks -- whom they know they aren't going to win in any significant numbers -- than at whites who are inclined to vote Republican but don't want to have to think of themselves, or be thought of by others, as racist."

And I suspect that Reed is totally unaware that Republicans -- white, black, Asian, Latino -- don't think of themselves as any more racist than Democrats think of themselves as racist.

Here's Reed's real problem with Scott's appointment: It has nothing to do with "cynical tokenism." It has more to do with the fact that such appointments show Democrats to be the lying liars they are when they claim the Republican Party is racist.

"All four black Republicans who have served in the House since the Reagan era -- Gary A. Franks in Connecticut, J.C. Watts Jr. in Oklahoma, Allen B. West in Florida and Mr. Scott -- were elected from majority-white districts," Reed wrote, completely unaware of the foot he was about to shove in his mouth or that he was about to tear to shreds his own claim about Republican "racism."

Just who are the real racists here, Mr. Reed? White Republican voters who don't hesitate to vote for a black candidate? Those white Republicans Reed was so quick to dismiss as racist clearly looked at the qualifications of a Gary Franks, a J.C. Watts, an Allen West and a Tim Scott and voted accordingly.

Black Democrats, on the other hand, rarely elect nonblacks to the House of Representatives from predominantly black districts. And white Democratic voters, as National Journal's Josh Kraushaar observed after the 2010 election, had proven less likely than white Republican voters to nominate and elect blacks and Hispanics in majority-white districts and states.

Here's Reed's second problem with Scott: The new senator from South Carolina doesn't think like Reed does.

"(H)is politics," Reed wrote of Scott, "are utterly at odds with the preferences of most black Americans. Mr. Scott has been staunchly anti-tax, anti-union and anti-abortion."

Only in Reedworld is support for abortion a "black thang." Only in Reedworld are all blacks supposed to think alike.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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Gregory Kane

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