Yesterday, I wrote about the sick Uncle Tom line of attack Moral Monday founder/leader/”spiritual advisor”/ NAACP President Rev. William Barber – NC’s version of Al Sharpton – used on Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Scott, as I noted in my write-up, responded with his usual class, noting that Barber’s line of attack on the eve of MLK day would “remind me and others of what not to do.”
Barber, unsurprisingly, has continued to stand behind his reprehensible remarks – as the Charlotte Observer’s political reporter Jim Morrill reported earlier today:
He told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Tuesday that he was the target of “philosophical bigotry.”
“What we’re hearing is baseless rhetoric about the same old things that have not worked so far,” Scott told her. “We’ve had a 50-year war led by the government on poverty, and it hasn’t taken people out… In this country, conservatives, free market capitalism, produces greater success than the government can ever do.”
The North Carolina Republican Party Wednesday released samples of the national reaction in a news release headlined, “America meets Rev. William Barber.”
[...]He defended his comment Tuesday night in Charlotte and in a statement Wednesday.
“We believe leaders should not be echoes of the voice of extremism,” he said before an appearance in Charlotte. “The indignation should not be so much about the language. The indignation should be about the actions.”
In a statement Wednesday, he said, “Unless we stand for justice, we cannot claim allegiance to or pay homage to Dr. King. Democrat or Republican, Tea Party or no Party, we need to talk about what’s right versus what’s wrong. Who is anybody speaking for regardless of party or color if you support extreme policies.…
“This is a critique that must be offered for all people, regardless of skin color.”
Except for the hypocritical Rev. – who obviously does not practice what he preaches – his extremist rhetoric is usually reserved for white Republicans and, of course, black Republicans like Senator Scott who have the audacity to believe they have a right to think for themselves … out of the box.
Interestingly enough, and not widely known outside of North Carolina is the fact that the North Carolina Democratic Party passed a resolution of support for Rev. Barber and the Moral Monday movement he created and (still) leads last June using similar (yet toned down) rhetoric to Barber’s:
Introduced and passed from floor of the 13th Congressional District and subsequently passed by the NCDP State Executive Council on June 2, 2013 in Greensboro
WHEREAS, our great state of North Carolina is being dragged back into the 19th Century by Republican legislators passing regressive legislation signed into law by Republican Governor Pat McCrory.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the the North Carolina Democratic Party supports the Moral Monday effort at the NC General Assembly to show our objection to these regressive actions; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the North Carolina Democratic Party encourages Democrats to go to the NC General Assembly in Raleigh to support Moral Mondays
R. Voller, Chair, NC State Democratic Party
So there you have it, in plain English, the state Democratic Party of North Carolina essentially adopting the language of a typical Rev. Barber rant against the political opposition: “our great state of North Carolina is being dragged back into the 19th Century” – translation: we’re returning to slavery, folks!! (of course they omit the fact that it was under Democrat rule in NC that slavery occurred, but that’s another topic for another day…). Furthermore, the state party actively encouraged via the resolution for their party members to join up and participate in Barber’s inflammatory demagoguery about the Republican-led state legislature.
With all that in mind, and with the national backlash that has resulted from what Rev. Barber said about Sen. Scott, you’d think the state Democrat party would be rushing to distance themselves from him via a statement or something, right? Wrong. There has been nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nada. It’s business as usual for them. And, frankly, why should there be any statement, when you consider the fact that the local media here in North Carolina isn’t pushing the issue with them at all. In fact, WRAL – a major player on the NC news circuit, especially when it comes to state politics – has exactly ZERO articles to date up about Barber’s comments about Scott, by my search criteria. Not exactly a surprise, mind you, but it’s still noteworthy nevertheless.
Now, if you bring this up to a Democrat – or media type – in this state, what you’ll get is, “Rev. Barber has a right to say what he wants and besides, he’s not a Democrat party official anyway.” While both are true, neither rule applies when the shoe is on the other party’s foot, as we saw during the ridiculous Don Yelton voter ID dust-up a few months ago where the national media and local Democrats, thanks to the Daily Show, pinned the wacko racial rantings of an obscure Buncombe County, NC political gadfly who no one there likes on the state GOP, which in turn prompted numerous party officials at the state and local level to denounce. As Asheville radio host Pete Kaliner noted at the time (bolded emphasis added by me):
Yelton was billed as a mouthpiece for the party and someone who knows why Republicans in the General Assembly REALLY passed all the voter law changes. But Yelton was a precinct chairman. For folks who don’t know, these are ridiculously easy posts to attain. You, basically, show up.
Yelton won his chairmanship by a vote of 2-1, thanks to his wife being with him.
Once you get this post, you are part of the county Executive Committee. There are hundreds of members. He is not a GOP “official” in any honest understanding of the term.
But these facts don’t matter.
The liberal Huffington Post called him a spokesman (he’s not). Leftists are urging people to vote him out of office (he doesn’t hold office) and celebrated when he got ‘fired from his job’ (he resigned his volunteer position).
Yelton’s history with the Buncombe GOP (and the Democratic Party before that) is tumultuous. Talking with him yesterday, he obviously thinks he settled some local scores.
Yelton’s history with both parties in this state (at the county level in western NC) go back a ways, and the story is complex, but the underlying point there was that the media went and leftists out of their way to paint him as some widely known and respected state party leader who made racist remarks, when in fact he was only in the “precinct chair” position at a very local level because he and his wife voted him in!
But, as Pete pointed out, who gives a rip about the facts? The state GOP had to rush out a statement of condemnation and demand the resignation of a guy who they had nothing whatsoever to do with, had never endorsed, elevated, etc. In contrast, the NC Democratic Party who last summer made a point to draft and pass a resolution of support and encouragement to Rev. Barber and his Moral Monday movement, don’t feel any pressure to do anything remotely similar with regards to Barber’s slur of Tim Scott – because they know the national media will look away when it comes to their endorsement of them, just like their Moral Monday allies in the local media have done.
Move along here, nothing to see!
BTW, even if they do issue a statement at this point, does that mean the issue is “settled”? It shouldn’t – it didn’t for the state GOP, and it shouldn’t be for the state Democrat party, either.