Sen. Scott blasts Rep. Jeffries for 'inflammatory' and 'disgusting' remarks about 'Black conservatives'

April 15, 2023

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) just criticized U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for comments that Jeffries has once made about individuals who are Black and conservative. 

The criticism came in an interview that Scott recently participated in with Fox News.

Background

Jeffries is the current leader of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was recently voted to that position by his fellow Democrats after U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lost the speakership and stepped down from her leadership position.

Scott, on the other hand, is an up-and-coming Republican U.S.  senator. He recently launched a presidential exploratory committee, meaning that he is seriously considering making a bid at the U.S. presidency in 2024.

It should not matter, but, for the purposes of this story, it is necessary to point out that both Jeffries and Scott are Black individuals. Jeffries, however, is a Democrat, while Scott is a Republican.

Jeffries, in fact, is the first Black individual to lead any political party in Congress. And, Scott, is the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate.

What did Jeffries say?

Scott's criticism of Jeffries regards statements that Jeffries made three decades ago when he was a 21-year-old college student.

The statements were recently revealed in a report published by CNN.

Per CNN:

For years, Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has told a similar story: he was off at college and shielded from controversies surrounding his uncle, Black studies professor Leonard Jeffries, who eventually lost his job over incendiary comments about Jewish people. Hakeem Jeffries has said he had only a “vague recollection” of the controversy, saying he couldn’t even recall coverage of it in local press. But a CNN KFile review of material from a 30-year-old college campus incident sharply undermines Jeffries’ claims.

It turns out that Rep. Jeffries defended both his uncle and Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan in an editorial that he wrote at the time. And, in that editorial, Jeffries targeted Black conservatives.

Jeffries, in part, wrote:

Perhaps this is the problem with the Black conservative politician of today. Their political agenda is not designed to contribute to the upliftment of their people. These right-wing opportunists espouse the political ideology of the power structure and, in return, they are elevated to positions historically reserved for whites.

"inflammatory and disgusting"

Scott, being a Black conservative, responded to the CNN report in his Fox interview.

He said:

You listen to those comments that, as inflammatory and disgusting as they really are, you’re talking about African Americans not being able to think for ourselves. When our leaders suggest that we cannot, that’s always heading in the wrong direction.

Scott added, "one of the things that I hope we find along the way is that we’ll quit demonizing people who look like us who disagree with us."


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