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Politics, Virginia

Virginia Republicans under fire for racist tweet targeting House Speaker Don Scott

Chris Graham

don scott tweet The Republican Party of Virginia is surprisingly backtracking after getting caught making another in a line of racist comments about House of Delegates Speaker Don Scott.

“Today, I learned of a very personal attack on @DonScott757 that does not reflect my values or that of our party. I had neither seen nor approved the tweet – but the buck stops with me. I directed its immediate removal and will be making personnel changes effective today,” RPV chair Rich Anderson tweeted on Thursday.

This was after the party found itself called out far and wide for a now-deleted tweet noting that Scott had “spent 8 years in federal prison for peddling drugs to college kids, and now he’s obsessed with legislation to cut breaks for drug dealers? Anything for your buddies, right?”

Oooh, yeah; that’s ugly.

And racist.

Very racist.

don scott virginia house speaker
House Speaker Don Scott. Photo: Twitter

Scott, who was elected House Speaker after Democrats regained control of the House of Delegates in the November elections, has not shied away from his past; to the contrary, he’s made it a central part of the story as to why he decided to get involved in politics.

Scott pleaded no contest in 1994 after being caught carrying thousands of dollars in drug money for an acquaintance weeks before Scott was set to graduate with a law degree from LSU.

His attorney, he has said, advised him that the plea could help him get a reduced sentence as a first-time offender; instead, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, eventually serving seven.

Scott would go on to earn his law license in 2014, and ran for and won a seat in the House of Delegates in 2019, citing his life experiences as his motivation for wanting to be involved in the public-policy sphere.

His is a story of redemption that, because this is how politics works, has also regularly been used as fodder for below-the-belt shots by the RPV.

“Don Scott spent 7 years in federal prison for ‘willfully, knowingly, and unlawfully’ conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. If Don Scott is the best among Virginia House Dems to lead them, what does that say about the rest of them?” the RPV tweeted back on Oct. 27, ahead of the 2023 elections, you know, trying to scare people on the fence into voting against the party led by the drug-dealing Black man.

Another tweet from the RPV account, dated Nov. 22, so, after the election, had this to say:

@DonScott757 says he wants to address the opioid crisis. But Virginia Democrats killed a bill to impose tougher criminal penalties on fentanyl dealers – not a surprise considering he spent 7 years in prison for dealing drugs. Actions speak louder than words!”

Interesting that it’s just now that we’re seeing Republicans backtracking from the racist dog-whistles.

“I have seen a story of redemption play out in my own family, so this is personal for me and compels me to express my sincere regret and apology. We will battle on the policy front, but in Virginia certain things are off limits,” Anderson wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin also weighed in on the latest ugly tweet on Thursday.

“This comment is unforgivable,” Youngkin tweeted. “Today, I’ve personally expressed to Speaker Scott my deep respect for him and his life journey, this kind of personal attack has no place in Virginia or anywhere.”

Scott’s response, upon learning of the latest attack from the RPV, is priceless. He told a reporter that Republicans act friendly around him, “but don’t have the balls to come to my face and say stuff like that.”

And then, the topper:

“If I am what they say I am, how the hell do they keep losing to me?” Scott said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].