The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Memo to Rep. Bobby Scott

Rep. Scott,

Over the last months-the last few years, really, but I’ll make this simple-we’ve heard a lot from your colleagues on the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) about what they think about both Republicans and the Tea Party movement. Some examples:

  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) said that Republicans “want to literally drag us back to Jim Crow” back in June,
  • At a CBC job fair in Los Angeles, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said that “the Tea Party can go straight to hell,”
  • And more recently, Rep. Andre Carson said that Republicans and the Tea Party “would love to see [African Americans] as second class citizens” and “hanging on a tree.”

Now, I know that neither the Tea Party movement in Virginia or the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) are going to challenge you on this. Let’s face it: you have levels of support in your district that neither of those groups has ever seen (or will ever see, but that’s a discussion for me to have with them). But as a black voter who counts himself as a Republican and supports most of what the Tea Party does-and as someone who’s lived in your district and still has friends and family there-I think we should know if these thoughts reflect your sentiments as well. I know you have both Republicans and Tea Partiers in your district, and though they’ll never ask publicly, I believe they’d want to know as well.

You’re under no obligation to respond, of course…and I’m not writing this on behalf of the Tea Party here or RPV, or as anyone with a leadership role in either; these are just my thoughts. In fairness to you, even as a detractor of yours, I commend you on not engaging in this type of rhetoric. With that, here’s what I’d like to ask:

  • Do you believe that Republicans and Tea Party members are actively working to return African Americans to a diminished citizenship? If so, what specific policies can you point to that support this allegation?
  • Do you believe that this type of rhetoric serves no purpose in our conversations about what needs to take place to get your district, Virginia, and the nation back on a strong foundation?

You have my word that, if you respond, I will not use your words in any sort of political attack against you. I’m not trying to land any blows against you; if RPV and the Tea Party want to engage in those attacks, they have the means and ability to do so. It’s not for me to set you up for that, and that’s not my intent here. Feel free to respond privately if you’d like; email’s at the bottom, and it will stay between us.

One last thing:

If the answer to that first question is “yes,” we should talk about that. Not an “I’m right; you’re wrong” discussion, but a real acknowledgement of where you feel a problem exists, and what I can do to prevent your perceptions from becoming reality.

Let’s make this the start of a dialogue, not another political cheap shot.


2 Responses

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  1. Memo to Coby Dillard:

    The underlying premise of this is quite something. Since when does Rep. Bobby Scott have to explain what any other public official says or does other than Rep. Bobby Scott? Why in the world would he need to explain the words of 42 other CBC members? Why? Because there’s an African in his ancestry? Because he’s a Democrat and they are too? Because they’re all members of the U.S. House? Surely you understand your request perpetuates the endless games that are Washington politics. Surely the furtherance of those games is a sad waste.

    This phenomenon of public officials having to explain the words of other public officials would appear to be a special treat for black politicians in particular. Consistency regardless of party would be appreciated. Did you ask Rep. Eric Cantor or Randy Forbes to “explain” VA Beach GOP Party Chair David Bartholomew’s racist e-mail of October 2010? Did you ask Cantor to “explain” Rep. Allen West calling Rep. Debbie Waserman-Schultz “vile” and “despicable”? Rep. West cc’d that email to Rep. Cantor. Did you ask Cantor “what he thought” on anything pertaining to the matter. But if you had you should not have. Why should Cantor have to explain West?

    Did Rep. Randy Forbes have to explain the words of former Rep. Virgil Goode? Does Rep. Scott Rigell have to explain Rep. Steve King? Did Gov. Bob McDonnell have to explain Gov. Haley Barbour’s Dec 2010 comments on the South’s Citizens Councils? Why would anyone assume Barbour’s comments reflect what McDonnell thinks? When racist former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke was running for Governor of Louisiana I don’t remember anyone else being asked to “explain?” And of course not: These people are individuals. Why would you assume Rep. Scott agrees with Carson or Waters out of hand such that he has to explain anything? Like I said: This is a special treat for blacks. The notion they all agree with each other and have to indicate otherwise is implicit. You want explanations regarding what Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and Rep. Andre Carson said? Ask those individual people.

    On Aug 17th Tea Party hero Rep. West was on national television implying his colleagues Rep. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee were “overseers” on a “plantation” who were given power by “white liberals,” to “pacify” the black community. He implied Reps. Waters and Lee, along with Rev. Jesse Jackson, have worked to keep African Americans in a substandard economic position. The fact we have members of Congress who apparently believe serving in the institution consists of appearing on TV, writing letters of deep outrage and engaging in he said/she said interplays to the tune of $174,000 a year is depressing. Did anyone connect West’s comments with anyone else? No. (

    This country is in one of the worst economic situations since the 1940s and fighting wars on two fronts. Go look at the faces (( of the victims of the helicopter crash in Afghanistan last month and tell me focus on trivia isn’t shameful. I believe something like that puts some of what goes on in proper perspective and I am certain you do as well.



    September 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm

  2. Problem is, Lauren, I’m not asking for an explanation. He no more has to explain this behavior than you do.

    All I’m interested in is if he agrees…because if he does, then I have something with which to take issue.

    And, let’s be intellectually honest here…even I slammed David-and the GOP-after that incident.

    Coby Dillard

    September 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

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