Election of black conservatives signals 'awakening'
Posed by Chris Woodward and Russ Jones -
Ron Miller, a conservative author, columnist, veteran and tea party member, says Tim Scott's election to Congress is "an impressive victory."
"I think it's a great testimony to Americans' ability to evaluate people by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin," he suggests.
In winning the election, Scott beat out two white candidates in the Republican primary, including the son of late Senator Strom Thurmond and the son of former South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell.
"You would think that if there was going to be any state where race would be an issue [it] would be South Carolina. But they've demonstrated their ability, not just with Tim Scott's election, but with Nikki Haley's election as the first female and Indian-American governor of that state, that they're perfectly capable of voting based on the issues," the conservative columnist notes.
He decides the endorsements Scott and Haley both received from the tea party should reject claims that the grassroots movement is racist. Miller also predicts more black conservatives will get involved in the political process in the future.
"We had the largest number of black conservatives run for Congress this year than in any other, and we're going to have two black conservatives in Congress for the first time since 1996," Miller points out. "So we have a beachhead -- to use a military term -- and we want to start using that, not only to show everyone that the black community doesn't think or act alike, [but also] to give black conservatives the courage to speak out and let themselves be heard."
He concludes those are logical goals because no community thinks or acts alike.
Making history for the right reason
Tim Scott was not the only black conservative who emerged victorious on Tuesday. Allen West, a retired Army officer and an Iraq War veteran, won his race for the House and will be representing Florida's 22nd District. Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., president of Staying True to America's National Destiny (STAND), points out it is the first time since 1996 that two conservative black Republicans have served in Congress. (Listen to audio report)
"I think that [the elections of] Allen West and Tim Scott are the beginning of an awakening that is already happening all across the country," says Jackson. "But I believe that that awakening is now starting to happen in the black precincts across this country, and I think we're going to see a shift away from the Democrat [sic] Party, which has ill-served the black community for decades now."
While the nation made history two years ago by electing Barack Obama as the first black president, Jackson believes much of that support was misguided.
"I think we were making history for the wrong reasons because we were electing someone [largely] based on emotion, based on wanting to try to move the country forward racially -- as opposed to based on the principles of the man," he observes. "And I think that this year's election is repudiation not of the man, but of his principle and of his policies -- and I think that's a very, very healthy thing."
In addition, Jackson contends the election of Scott and West demonstrates a shift moving away from government dependence. "I think that the black community is just tired of that [message] -- particularly younger black people realize that that's a message that simply does not ring true anymore," he concludes.