Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), a rising star in the Republican Party as the only black Republican in the Senate, criticized House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for his “inflammatory and disgusting” comments in a college editorial.
“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,” Scott told Fox News Digital. “When our leaders suggest that we cannot, that’s always heading in the wrong direction.”
Scott was referring to what Jeffries wrote in Binghamton University’s newspaper during his time there. The minority leader defended his antisemitic uncle, Leonard Jeffries, a black studies professor who lost his job after making antisemitic remarks, and Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.
However, Jeffries’ editorial went on to criticize the “black conservatives” as a “phenomenon,” referring to them as “token Blacks” and “right-wing opportunists” that have bought into “the idea of the American dream.” He also went on to compare them to “house negroes” during American slavery.
Scott, who launched a White House Exploratory Committee on Wednesday, explained that “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.”
“Voters are making decisions based on their future and too often now, we’re seeing more and more African Americans making the decision to vote as independents or with the Republican Party,” he added. “It scares the dickens out of the left… their polices are so out of line and out of sync with commonsense that they see themselves losing their most important base.”
Jeffries’ spokesperson, Christiana Stephenson, told CNN on Wednesday that “Leader Jeffries has consistently been clear that he does not share the controversial views espoused by his uncle over thirty years ago,” adding that his record in office has been “bringing communities together.”
Responding to Scott’s comments, Stephenson told Fox News, “Leader Hakeem Jeffries will continue to focus on solving problems and building an economy that works for everyday Americans.”
She also took aim at the South Carolina senator by saying: “Apparently, Sen. Tim Scott has nothing better to do than go back in time to debate 21-year-old college student Hakeem Jeffries. And this is someone who wants to be president?”