On the eve of Martin Luther King Day, the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP denounced conservatives and denigrated one of the U.S. Senate’s two black senators.
“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Rev. William Barber II said of South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, according to South Carolina’s The State. “[T]he 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.”
Barber, who has made a name for himself protesting Republican initiatives in North Carolina with his “Moral Monday” rallies, also told the crowd of 300 at Zion Baptist Church in downtown Columbia, South Carolina that voting, health care, the environment and education “are moral issues, faith issues.” Pastors who obsess on prayer, homosexuality and abortion while ignoring social justice issues are “just running their mouths,” he said.
“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, according to The State. “We don’t need to talk about Democrat versus Republican. . . . We need to talk about what’s right versus what’s wrong.”
By contrast Monday, on Martin Luther King Day, Scott issued a statement focused on opportunity and overcoming challenges.
“Dr. King’s optimism, even in the face of incredible challenges, was simply amazing. He continued to believe the American people’s best days were in front of them, an idea which has played a huge part in my own life,” Scott said.