Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who is running for president, defended Moms for Liberty and condemned the Southern Poverty Law Center for using “race as a weapon” in putting the parental rights group on a map with Ku Klux Klan chapters.
“The provocative history of race in this country should not be weaponized against moms who simply want their kids to be educated and not indoctrinated,” Scott, a black man who grew up in the aftermath of segregation, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Thursday.
The South Carolina Republican condemned the SPLC for “weaponizing their powerful position historically to attack their political enemies.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center last week put Moms for Liberty—a diverse group of parents across the country who oppose COVID-19 mandates, critical race theory, sexually explicit books in school libraries, and transgender ideology in schools—on its “hate map,” listing the group alongside KKK chapters.
The move echoes the SPLC’s strategy of placing mainstream conservative and Christian groups on the map, which I exposed in detail in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Scott defended Moms for Liberty as “moms who want the focus of education to be ABCs and not CRT [critical race theory],” noting that “African American moms, Hispanic mothers, white mothers, Asian mothers—are all a part of Moms for Liberty.”
The SPLC condemned Moms for Liberty as part of an “anti-student inclusion movement that targets any inclusive curriculum that contains discussions of race, discrimination and LGBTQ identities.”
The SPLC did not once mention the Left’s aggressive promotion of sexualized material for children in schools and at other venues. It did not mention the “Drag Queen Story Hour” movement, or the fact that many of the books that parents demand be removed from school libraries include pornographic content.
The SPLC also did not mention how many on the Left champion the idea that children should be able to identify with the gender opposite their biological sex, hide that identity from their parents, and even obtain life-altering drugs without parental consent. It did not mention the distinction between teaching the history of black Americans and critical race theory, which frames America as an institutionally racist country and blacks as inherently oppressed.
Instead, critics say, the SPLC acts as though the parental rights movement emerged in a vacuum, or worse, is motivated by hatred.
“I can’t think of anything more inconsistent with a mission of solving problems around race than using race to create more problems,” Scott told The Daily Signal. “But it is consistent with the current narrative and underbelly of the radical Left.”
The South Carolina Republican noted that the SPLC focuses “on their political opponents, not people who are fomenting racism.”
“It cheapens the entire conversation about progress in America, to use race as a weapon,” Scott added.
When asked about the FBI using the SPLC’s “hate map” to target “radical-traditional Catholics,” the presidential candidate condemned the Biden administration’s use of government agencies to silence political opponents, and presented a brief plan to prevent the federal government from relying on leftist groups such as the SPLC.
“The first thing that we need to do as a country is fire Joe Biden,” Scott began. “Second, under a Scott administration, you want to appoint people that are a) strong in character and integrity and b) do our homework.”
“We have to get away from empowering the bureaucratic state, rather, throughout Washington and throughout the country, to use their power against political opponents,” he added. Such a strategy “lacks integrity, it creates a toxic, corrosive environment, and ultimately it leads to fewer Americans trusting any institutions of power.”
Scott pledged to “only appoint people who want to abide by the Constitution and the laws of our country.”
He contrasted his vision with what he described as Biden’s “theory that grievance and victimhood is the way forward,” arguing instead that “understanding our history is the best way to forge a better future for all of us.”
Scott also responded to an attack on him by former President Barack Obama, who faulted the Republican senator for lacking a plan to “address crippling generational poverty” in the black community.
“Let us not forget we are a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression. Democrats deny our progress to protect their power. The Left wants you to believe faith in America is a fraud and progress in our nation is a myth,” Scott said in a statement Thursday.
“The truth of MY life disproves the lies of the radical Left. We live in a country where little Black and Brown boys and girls can [grow up to] be president of the United States. The truth is, we’ve had one and the good news is—we will have another,” he added.
“In a Scott administration, we would obviously not rely on the SPLC,” Scott pledged in the interview with The Daily Signal. “They are an extension, unfortunately, of the radical Left in modern America.”
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Scott has 3.4% in the GOP primary race for president, trailing former President Donald Trump (52%), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (21.6%), former Vice President Mike Pence (4.9%), and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (3.6%).
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