Slate writer sticks up for Tim Scott

William Saletan, over on Slate, defends Tim Scott from the scurrilous things that the head of the NC NAACP said about him in Columbia recently:

Let’s set aside, for the moment, the policy disputes between Democrats and the Tea Party. You may think, as I do, that most of the Tea Party is wrongheaded, and that much of it is unhinged. But that’s not the point here. The point is that William Barber has never met Tim Scott. And none of Barber’s reported comments address Scott’s legislation or his career.Tim Scott

To put it in terms any NAACP leader should understand, Barber has prejudged Scott. He has prejudged him as a puppet based on the senator’s color and his party. This prejudgment fits a long tradition of epithets: Uncle Tomhouse negrooreo. The fact that these epithets tend to be used more by black people than by white people doesn’t change what they add up to: a racial stereotype.

We can argue all day about the Tea Party, Republican policies, and what Martin Luther King would have stood for today. To me, the core of his message was the right to be treated as an individual. His dream was, in his words, a nation in which his children would be judged not “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Tim Scott has that right, too…

Saletan is completely right.

But even if he weren’t, I’d sit up and take notice, because of the relative novelty of reading such an opinion on Slate. It would mean even more if he were a typical Slate writer, rather than sort of being their house iconoclast (he calls himself a “liberal Republican”). Because any reasonable person — left, right or (best of all!) UnParty — should be fair-minded enough to stick up for Scott’s right to be considered as an individual.

14 thoughts on “Slate writer sticks up for Tim Scott

  1. barry

    well, at least he was willing to do so.

    and those comments were made in Columbia, SC a few weeks back.

    I wonder if we will hear the SC NAACP say denounce those comments from the NC NAACP leader? (Don’t hold your breath)

    I wonder what Tameika Isaac Devine had to say about those comments since she was there. OOPPS – we know what she had to say. “When you take everyday subjects and give them the biblical and historical context he did, it energizes you to do and say what must be done.”

    Well Ms. Devine – he certainly put a great spin job on it anyway.

    Steve Hamm didn’t have a problem with it apparently ““I admire his presentation in both the content and how he presented the message……..”

    Nice. He admired his presentation. Wow.

  2. David Carlton

    What’s a “typical Slate writer”? And, even more to the point, how can anyone be a “house iconoclast” at Slate? Slate is basically known for its obsessive contrarianism, after all; breaking icons is the Slate style. Wouldn’t it then be the case that the “house iconoclast” would be the guy who stands up for the icons?

  3. Juan Caruso

    The reason for the president of the N.C. NAACP’s character assassination of US Sen. Tim Scott was purely political, Brad, intended to provoke black voter turnout not only for Sen Scott’s opponent (a more qualified out-of-stater than Alvin Greene) , but as in the Alvin Greene ballot to assure that party lever is pulled for Gov. Haley’s opponent.

    The manuevering is deceitful, but not unexpected from the Democratich apparatchiks who attempted to adulterously assassinate Haley’s character, and claim ignorance about Greene.

    What other schemes might the Fowler-Harpootlian machine have in store for SC? More incendiary and
    irrational than the NAACP leaders bad-mouthing of Sen Scott is the indescision of Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen involving a pointless retrial (evidence from over 70 years ago has been lost, but heresay abounds). Dare the judge decide (either way) in the weeks justbe fdore the November 2014 elections?

    I checked with my niece in Las vegas — no one is giving odds. This would make a great office pool almost anywhere except in SC. (illicit). My money is on a final decison by Judge Mullen/Toal in late October.

    But scheming lawyers like Carol Fowler and dick Harpootlian won’t stop at judicial connivance either.
    What other ‘scandal’ will they manufacture?

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Yeah, he dumps a bunch of posts on Friday and whines when we don’t hop to it and then radio silence….

    1. Bryan Caskey

      He’s fine. He’s in Hilton Head, at some kind of conference. You can see it from his Twitter feed. Obviously, no time for blog content.

      We should stage a coup while he’s gone.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Yeah, I wish I could integrate the blog and the Twitter feed more seamlessly. Because when I’m not here, I’m there.

            I initially typed “seemlessly.” Which, when you think about it, would be a pretty cool word….

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