An influential leader of the NAACP in North Carolina recently compared Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the lone black Republican in Congress, to a ventriloquist's dummy.
"A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” the Rev. William Barber said about Scott during remarks in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday, according to The State.
Barber added that “the extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) 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.”
Scott was appointed to the Senate by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) in late 2012, following Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) resignation.
Barber is an emerging figure in North Carolina politics. As head of the state's NAACP, he recently joined other black leaders and Democrats in calling for North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to call an earlier special election for former congressman Mel Watt's (D-N.C.) seat.
Barber has been particularly active on issues of voter ID, denouncing conservatives in the North Carolina state legislature for passing new regulations.
Update 2:08 p.m.: Scott's response is below:
"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. Instead, I will honor the memory of Dr. King 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."