A lot of Republicans, as well as conservative pundits, talking heads, Tweeters and talk radio types are bemoaning the fact Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) was not invited to speak at today’s 50th Anniversary celebration of the March on Washington.
Quite frankly I am insulted … but not because Scott wasn’t invited to speak but because there are those who think he should have been invited to speak at all.
Why should he be invited to speak and what would make someone think he has the standing to appear alongside an august list of civil rights leaders, artists, entertainers, personalities, thinkers, activists and current/former elected officials who gathered to pay tribute to participants/organizers of the original March on Washington and Dr. King?
So why in the hell should he have been included?
The whole “Tim Scott was not invited” poutrage (yeah I said “poutrage”) was most likely launched once folks noticed that no high profile Republicans participated in the event. While both former Presidents Bush (HW and W) were believed to be unable to travel, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) declined invitations to speak. Once people started calling out the Republican snub the Scott poutrage began in earnest.
This poutrage is patronizing and downright insulting.
Thinking that Scott, an unremarkable Senator who just happens to be Black, would be an acceptable stand in for the Speaker of the House or the House Majority leader is patronizing.
To insist that Scott deserved to share a stage with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the only living speaker from the original March on Washington, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Dr. King’s family and President Barack Obama, just because he is the only African American Senator is insulting.
In the corporate world there are events in which its acceptable to send a director of minority affairs or chief diversity officer and then there are events that demand an organization send its top executives, this was one of those events that demanded the participation of top executives. The Bushes, Boehner and Cantor are top GOP executives in this analogy, while Scott is a mediocre staffer in the diversity office, hell he isn’t even the chief diversity officer, that was Michael Steele but he is no longer with the company.
The absence of invited Republican speakers made this non partisan event, partisan and sent a message that the GOP is ceding the causes of civil rights, diversity and tolerance to the Democrats. Republican leaders dug themselves a hole when they decided to blow off this important and unifying event, they dig themselves a deeper whole by suggesting Scott should have been part of the event.
White southern Democrats Carter and Clinton talked about what Dr. King meant to them and in doing so signaled that his legacy is important to all Americans, it would have been nice to hear some high ranking Republicans do the same. This wasn’t a Black event, it was an American event.
As I do whenever Republicans complain about being viewed as racist and/or indifferent to civil rights, I tell them save their poutrage for their party and its allies who continue to drop the ball when it comes to race.
Yesterday 20 year old Michael Brandon Hill walked into the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, GA with an AK-47 barricaded himself in an office, allegedly exchanged gunfire with police during a standoff and then eventually surrendered without anyone being shot, let alone killed.
Upon reading stories of the tragedy (and just because no one was physically harmed this is still a tragedy, children, faculty and staff were terrorized, anxious parents were traumatized) I learned that school clerk Antoinette Tuff talked Hill into surrendering. Then I remembered how following the tragic gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, the NRA and many gun rights advocates declared that we should arm teachers and staff to protect students.
So I asked myself “what if she had a gun?”
In an interview with Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta Tuff said:
"I just started praying for him. I just started talking to him … and let him know what was going on with me and that it would be OK. And then let him know that he could just give himself up. … I told him to put [the guns] on the table, empty his pockets. He had me actually get on the intercom and tell everybody he was sorry too. But I told them, ‘He was sorry, but do not come out of their rooms.’ … I give it all to God, I’m not the hero. I was terrified."
But what if she had a gun?
ABC-TV’s World News with Diane Sawyer reported:
"The school clerk said she tried to keep the assailant calm by asking him his name but, she said, at first he wouldn’t tell it to her. Then, he began listening to her tell her life story. She said she told him about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years and the ‘roller coaster’ of opening her own business."
Again, I ask BUT WHAT IF SHE HAD A GUN!?!?
"Tuff made the request that she said helped end the standoff. She said she asked the suspect to put his weapons down, empty his pockets and backpack and lay on the floor. ‘I told the police he was giving himself up. I just talked him through it,’ she said."
I can honestly say I don’t know what would have happened if she had a gun, but she didn’t and she is alive, he is alive, the staff/faculty are alive and so are approximately 870 children. I am not confident I could say any of that would be true if she had a gun.
BRUCE LITTLETON (right): First person to request that a woman back that thang up.
Picking up @CARAruns marathon training packet (Taken with Instagram at Sports Authority Elite)
My birthday partner, Isaiah Minh Vo Diephouse, who turns 1 today destroys our ice cream cake. (Taken with instagram)
This year’s marathon training may be dominated by sore knees, so a little ice pack love is necessary (Taken with instagram)
My career has resulted in me working with some interesting folks. Photo by Barry Brecheisen (bbphoto.com) Sept. 7, 2012 (Taken with instagram)