Defending Tim Scott's Blackness

While ESPN pundit Rob Parker settles into his suspension for questioning Robert Griffin III's blackness, Huffington Post contributor Maya Rupert argues against those measuring future South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott's commitment to the black community.

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Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Tim Scott (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Being a Republican doesn't preclude a black person from dedication to the African-American community, but to some, this idea is debatable. The Huffington Post's Maya Rupert writes that after it was announced that Rep. Tim Scott would take over Jim DeMint's term in the Senate, many began to question whether the South Carolina Republican was actually for the people. But Rupert argues that breaking rank with traditional black politics doesn't mean Republicans of color are any less black.

Despite the fact that Scott will become the only sitting black Senator (since we elected the other one president), there has been a significant amount of commentary on whether Scott's conservative views undermine his blackness and render him a "sell out" or an "Oreo." To be clear, these accusations should not be confused with the perfectly legitimate question of whether appointing a black man that most black people disagree with will help the Republican Party shed its racially uninclusive image. Instead, these attacks question Scott's authenticity as a black man.

This isn't new. High profile black Republicans have often been confronted with such attacks. From Condoleezza Rice to Clarence Thomas, black conservatives often find themselves being race-checked for splitting with the majority of the black community on their political leanings. It may be a common narrative, but it's incredibly unfair. Moreover, it's dangerous. And not just for black conservatives, but for the liberals who are typically making the claims as well.

Read Maya Rupert's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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