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Douglas Andrews / April 26, 2021

Tim Scott Gets Black-Republicanized

The Washington Post’s “fact-check” of the senator was little more than a racist smear.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is a dangerous man. Which is why the Left can’t decide whether to ignore him or smear him.

Scott was raised in poverty by a single mom, went on to graduate from Charleston Southern University, built a successful small business, and eventually won election to the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming the first black politician since Reconstruction to represent a southern state in the U.S. Senate. That’s a pretty impressive life story for a guy whose grandfather dropped out of elementary school to pick cotton on the family farm.

For The Washington Post’s resident “fact-checker,” Glenn Kessler, though, the story is too good to be true. And with Scott having been tabbed by GOP leadership to deliver the Republican Party’s response to President Joe Biden’s first speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, the Post obviously felt Scott could no longer be ignored. Which meant smearing him.

As Kessler writes, “Our research reveals a more complex story than what Scott tells audiences. Scott’s grandfather’s father was also a substantial landowner — and Scott’s grandfather, Artis Ware, worked on that farm. Scott’s family history in South Carolina offers a fascinating window into a little-known aspect of history in the racist South following the Civil War and in the immediate aftermath of slavery — that some enterprising Black families purchased property as a way to avoid sharecropping and achieve a measure of independence from White-dominated society.”

We should note, first, that Kessler’s article is behind the Post’s paywall. That means hardly anyone is going to read it beyond the ominous headline: “Tim Scott often talks about his grandfather and cotton. There’s more to that tale.”

In fact, there isn’t much more to the tale.

As The Federalist’s Jordan Davidson writes, “Using the guise of a ‘fact-check,’ Kessler spent nearly 30 paragraphs analyzing census documents and other records to try to counteract Scott’s claims that his grandfather left elementary school to pick cotton and ‘never learned to read or write.’”

Davidson continues, “While the article sets out to prove Scott wrong, it confirms the narrative that the senator has repeated in his book and from the political podium multiple times. While Scott believed his grandfather, Artis Ware, dropped out of school in third grade, Kessler claimed to have uncovered that Ware may have left school in the fourth grade, a slight inconsistency which even Kessler admitted could occur because the records are old.”

Stop the presses! Senator Scott’s grandfather may have dropped out of school after the fourth grade instead of the third grade!

As Dana Loesch tweeted, “The white leftists trying to nullify Tim Scott’s family’s experience out of anger that they moved up in life and he became Republican are the same ones who defended Elizabeth Warren’s wholly baseless claim of indigenous ancestry.”

Stephen L. Miller put it this way: “Democrats and media can lie about what Jim Crow was for weeks on end and not a word from Glenn or his newspaper. Not one. A black conservative Senator whose grandfather actually lived during Jim Crow comes along … ‘Now wait just a minute.’”

Sean Davis noted that Kessler himself lives in something of a glass house, given that his great-grandfather, Auguste Kessler, practically built Royal Dutch Shell, a company whose World War II-era history is one of sympathy for the devil. “Your ancestors literally fueled the Nazi war machine,” said Davis, “but what you’re really upset about is that Tim Scott’s family were poor sharecroppers? Yikes, dude.”

Mollie Hemingway was a bit more blunt in her analysis: “What in the everliving bleep is wrong with you?”

Perhaps the most damning indictment of Kessler’s “fact-check,” though, comes from Kessler himself. “Scott tells a tidy story packaged for political consumption,” he cynically writes, as if Scott was the first pol to ever do so, “but a close look shows how some of his family’s early and improbable success gets flattened and written out of his biography. Against heavy odds, Scott’s ancestors amassed relatively large areas of farmland, a mark of distinction in the Black community at the time. Scott, moreover, does not mention that his grandfather worked on his father’s farm — a farm that was expanded through land acquisitions even during the Great Depression, when many other Black farmers were forced out of business.”

So there’s really no story here, folks. Just another Leftmedia smear job against a black conservative. Same ol’ same ol’.

As for his upcoming address, Scott is his typical optimistic self. “I’m excited and honored for this opportunity to address the nation,” he said. “We face serious challenges on multiple fronts, but I am as confident as I have ever been in the promise and potential of America. I look forward to having an honest conversation with the American people and sharing Republicans’ optimistic vision for expanding opportunity and empowering working families.”

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