Charleston SC Rep. Tim Scott Becomes First Black Senator
Rep. Tim Scott
Sentinel Wire Services
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley named Charleston Rep. Tim Scott to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who announced this month that he is retiring in January to head the Heritage Foundation, a think tank.
Scott, a Republican first elected to Congress in 2010, was the front-runner for the post, though the GOP governor reportedly also considered appointing herself or Jenny Sanford, the state’s former first lady.
“Scott will serve until a special election is held in 2014 for the final two years of DeMint’s term,” according to the State newspaper. “He is expected to run in that election. Haley said last week she planned to appoint a successor she believed could retain the seat.”
Scott will become the Senate’s lone Black member and the first Black senator from the South since Reconstruction.
The GOP will no doubt enjoy having a high-profile Black politician to assist in minority outreach. But it’s also worth noting that Scott is a favorite of the tea party activists whom Democrats and liberals have tried to dismiss as bigots.
Two years ago, the NAACP passed a resolution condemning “racist elements and activities” in the tea party. The civil rights group also issued a report that accused the movement of giving a “platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots.”
The popularity of other Black tea party heroes like Herman Cain and Florida Congressman Allen West should have been enough to put this nonsense to rest. But now that this supposedly “racist” grass-roots movement is partly responsible for the Senate’s only Black member come January, be assured that the media will set about refuting these baseless accusations.