By JOEL GEHRKE | AUGUST 28, 2013 AT 3:35 PM
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the only black person serving in the United States Senate, wasn’t invited to the event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, though a host of Democratic luminaries spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
“Senator Scott was not invited to speak at the event,” Greg Blair, a spokesman for the South Carolina lawmaker, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “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.”
The event organizers didn’t completely exclude Republicans from the event — former President George W. Bush received an invitation, but he couldn’t attend as he is recovering from surgery — the slate of speakers was filled with names such as former President Clinton, Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., Oprah Winfrey, Jamie Foxx and others.
President Obama was the keynote speaker of the event, of course. In honoring the achievements of King and other civil rights leaders, wouldn’t it have made sense to have the first black president joined by the first black senator from South Carolina, which was a Jim Crow state when the original March on Washington took place?
The Washington Examiner contacted MLK Dream 50 to ask why Scott wasn’t invited, but didn’t hear back in time for publication.