A black conservative activist says he was neither shocked nor surprised that the only black member of the U.S. Senate â€“ who happens to be conservative and Republican â€“ wasnâ€™t invited to speak at the recent 50thÂ anniversary celebration of the March on Washington.
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the Washington Mall 50 years ago, he probably had someone like South Carolina Senator Tim Scott in mind. Scott, currently the only black member of the United States Senate, would seem to be a natural fit as a symbol of how far blacks have come in half a century. But the Republican lawmaker, who was first elected to Congress on the strength of the tea party movement, wasnâ€™t invited to speak at the observance.
Kevin Martin is a spokesman for the black conservative organization Project 21 (The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives). He believes those hosting the event didn’t want to give any exposure to Scott, who is running for the seat again next year.
“This basically was a left-wing pep rally,â€ he says of the observance on the National Mall. â€œIt was basically designed for the mid-term elections in 2014.
â€œYou have some of the most villainous leftists out there â€“ and they are in fear,â€ Martin continues. â€œAnd basically that has to do with the U.S. Senate. They know once they lose that, that President Obama really is a lame-duck after that.”
The Project 21 spokesman says one could also not help but notice that the only sitting black U.S. Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas, was not at the event as well.
“It basically goes to show that the new form of racism is not skin color, not gender, not even sexual orientation,â€ he remarks. â€œIt’s basically ideology â€“ and if you do not have a liberal ideology, you’re not invited to events like this.”
Martin points out famed brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson was another accomplished black who didnâ€™t receive an invitation. Carson has been an outspoken critic of President Obamaâ€™s domestic policies, particularly those dealing with healthcare.