African American Republicans catch a lot of flak, but they can also be an illuminating force in the American political system.
Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley, right, will become the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction and the only African American in the Senate from either party.
The reaction they often generate shows that liberals aren't as progressive as they pretend to be. The left will not hesitate to come after anyone who threatens to weaken its hold on black voters.
The reaction also shows that many African American activists aren't completely sincere about wanting the community to achieve political power and break barriers. In the end, the only people they want to see arrive at positions of influence are those beholden to the Democratic Party.
The same is true with Hispanics, where most of the activists on the left are Democrats first and Hispanics second. They tend to put their party before their community, often with disastrous results.
In the African American community, black Republicans are regarded with suspicion. The few African Americans who aren't Democrats are considered unrepresentative and out of step.
In this year's presidential election, President Barack Obama got 93 percent of the African American vote. It's tempting to treat the 6 percent of black voters who supported Mitt Romney as an anomaly.
As evidence, consider the nasty treatment that Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., is receiving after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced recently that she would name him to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint, who is leaving to run the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
The appointment is a big deal. Scott will become the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction and, at present, the only African American in the Senate from either party.
Not bad for someone raised in poverty by a single mother. This is an American success story. It's what progress looks like.
So are those on the left celebrating? Of course not. If Scott were a Democrat, they would be raising champagne glasses. The activists would label his arrival in the Senate a historic event, and the media would run stories about how African Americans in the South are gaining political prominence.
But since Scott is a Republican, the left sees nothing positive in this appointment. In fact, Scott becomes a target - just like Hispanic Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and GOP Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas. The goal will be to discredit Scott as an intellectual lightweight, a religious zealot, a right-wing extremist or all of the above.
The offensive - and that is the right word for it - has already started. In a snarky op-ed in The New York Times, Adolph L. Reed Jr., a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, dismissed Scott as a "token" put up by the Republican Party to camouflage its hostility to African Americans and other minorities.
Source: Sacramento Bee | Ruben Navarrette