Tim Scott, the only African American currently serving in the US Senate, did not receive an invitation to speak at today’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the historic March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, was appointed to the US Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley when Jim DeMint resigned late last year. He formerly represented the 1st Congressional District in the US House of Representatives.
At the time of his appointment, Politico noted that Scott “worked his way out of poverty to become a successful small-business man, local politician, and eventual congressman.”
A spokesman for Sen. Scott had this to say about the lack of a speaking role in today’s prestigious event at the National Mall: “Senator Scott was not invited to speak at the event. The senator believes today is a day to remember the extraordinary accomplishments and sacrifices of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and an entire generation of black leaders. Today’s anniversary should simply serve as an opportunity to reflect upon how their actions moved our country forward in a remarkable way.”
There has been no reporting so far as to whether Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas received an invitation for a speaking role at today’s civil rights commemoration.
Writing in the South Carolina newspaper The State, Sen. Scott said in part about Dr, King’s legacy culminating in the “I Have a Dream” speech: “When people ask what motivates me or drives me to serve the public good, I have a simple yet complex answer: I am living my mother’s American Dream. That dream was strengthened by the efforts of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis and the countless other civil rights leaders who gave so much to build a better future. And nowhere were those efforts more clear than in the messages that came out of the March on Washington.The leaders of the civil rights movement taught us the value of belief, discipline and hard work and that, when put together, those traits can change the world.”
President George W. Bush did receive an invitation but was unable to attend as result of his recent heart surgery. Event organizers reportedly invited “a long list of Republicans” to the event, according to the Wall Street Journal.