Tags: blacks | conservatism | tim scott | liberals

Tim Scott: Liberals Fear Young Blacks Will Embrace Conservatism

Image: Tim Scott: Liberals Fear Young Blacks Will Embrace Conservatism

By Greg Richter   |   Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 08:39 PM

Sen. Tim Scott has been subjected to criticism ever since he was first elected to county council 18 years ago.

As a black Republican, he says he didn’t fit the expectations of many black leaders. Appearing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," Scott says the criticism hasn't changed now that he is a U.S. senator from South Carolina, but he thinks the reason might have changed.

There is a natural tension, Scott told Van Susteren, between being a Republican and a member of the black community.

"But what I've found is if you don't pay attention to that natural tension that you defuse it very quickly just by being yourself," he said.

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Black college students often ask him why he's a Republican, Scott said, so he explains how the free enterprise system provides the best opportunities for them to succeed and reach their highest potential.

They become interested in the dialogue, Scott said. "And that's what I think is perhaps frightening to the left."

The Rev. William Barber II, President of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, recently said the tea party is seeking out minorities to use as mouthpieces. He even called Scott a "ventriloquist dummy" for the tea party.

Scott disagreed with that characterization, saying it suggests there is monolithic thinking in the African-American community or communities steeped in poverty.

Often, minorities looking to expand their own opportunities or start businesses are told, "Don't be different. Don't think for yourself," Scott said. If they do, he added, they face criticism from leaders of their own communities.

Today, he said, it is his challenging of such thinking that has his adversaries on the left the most worried.

"Maybe that's what they're concerned about," he said, "not the melanin in my skin."

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