The NAACP has defended comments by its North Carolina chapter president that labeled the GOP a ventriloquist and black Republican Sen. Tim Scott its “dummy.”
The Rev. William Barber II made the comments Sunday at Zion Baptist Church in downtown Columbia, S.C., lambasting Mr. Scott during a fiery sermon ahead of Martin Luther King Day.
“Unless we stand for justice, we cannot claim allegiance to Jesus, and we cannot pay homage to Dr. King unless we’re in the fight for treating people right,” he said.
“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” he said about Mr. Scott. “The extreme right wing down here finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the tea party.”
In statement issued to Fox News, the NAACP backed Mr. Barber’s comment.
“Dr. King emphasized love and justice rather than extremism,” the statement read. “Unless we stand for justice we cannot claim allegiance to or pay homage to Dr. King. 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 responded by saying Mr. Barber is a perfect example of how people should not honor King.
“To reflect seriously on the comments a person, a pastor, that is filled with baseless and meaningless rhetoric would be to do a disservice to the very people who have sacrificed so much and paved a way,” he told The Daily Caller.
• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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