EDITORIAL: The real dummies

Envious blacks gag on the success of black conservatives

When Jim DeMint left the U.S. Senate last year to run the Heritage Foundation, Gov. Nikki Haley tapped Rep. Tim Scott to replace him as the senator from South Carolina. It was a brilliant choice, one the state’s voters are likely to endorse in a November special election. All reputable political analysts expect Mr. Scott to maintain his position as the first black senator from the South since Blanche Bruce, a Republican, represented Mississippi in 1881.

Rather than embrace this advancement in racial harmony, the head of the neighboring North Carolina chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People grew vicious. The Rev. William Barber II called Mr. Scott a ventriloquist’s dummy, incapable of thinking or speaking for himself. That’s the sort of invective more commonly found at a Ku Klux Klan rally. Liberals like Mr. Barber show their true colors when they meet a conservative who happens to be black.

The NAACP endorsed the hateful remarks: “In a state such as South Carolina, politicians, whether they be black or white, should not be echoing the position of the far right.” Mr. Scott, displaying class and intelligence, replied in soft and dignified language. “I will honor the memory of Dr. King,” he said, “by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man, and Rev. Barber will remind me and others of what not to do.”

Mr. Scott brought his experience and skill as a small businessman to Washington to bear on the problems that confront the nation. He has the audacity to think that if he has to meet a payroll and balance the books at his insurance company, Congress and the president should do no less. That’s heresy to the professional class whose existence depends on perpetuating a culture of dependence.

Black conservatives are frequent targets of the left’s vituperation, no matter how great their academic and intellectual achievements. Small-minded critics question the intelligence of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas because he chooses not to participate in oral arguments (he thinks it’s a waste of time, and others do, too). Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock likened columnist Thomas Sowell to the “house Negro” character in the movie “Django Unchained.” They regard any black man who doesn’t think as they do a fool.

The real fools are those who would keep black communities hooked on government handouts and benefits. The culture of dependence embraced by foolish liberals such as Mr. Barber has impoverished black teenagers, imprisoning them in a 35.8 percent unemployment rate. To his ilk, Sen. Scott, Justice Thomas and Mr. Sowell are uncomfortable reminders that the road to success begins with self-reliance.

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