Republican Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) addressed Sunday the liberal backlash surrounding his declaration that America is “not a racist country,” which resulted in Scott being targeted with racist condemnation.
What is the background?
After Scott absolved America of being inherently racist, liberals called Scott “Uncle Tim,” MSNBC host Tiffany Cross suggested that Scott is a slave of the Republican Party and claimed Harriet Tubman would have “left [Scott] behind],” and a Democratic leader in Texas called Scott an “Oreo.”
Democratic leaders — including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) — made the same declaration about America last week, but they were not subjected to the same racist attacks as Scott.
How did Scott respond?
Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Scott denounced the attacks against him — and their posture on this issue more broadly — as “bigotry” and “hypocrisy.”
“Fighting bigotry with bigotry is hypocrisy,” Scott said.
The Republican senator was explaining that Americans should be exploring how to address the “lingering effect” of slavery, Jim Crow, racism, and discrimination, rather than debating whether America is inherently racist.
“Let me say, thank goodness that finally our president, our vice president and one of the leaders in the Democratic caucus in the House, Jim Clyburn, have all come forward and said exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time. America is not a racist country,” Scott said.
“The question is: Is there a lingering effect after a couple of centuries of racism and discrimination in this nation? The answer is absolutely,” he continued.
“The question we should be debating and fighting over is: How do we resolve those issues going forward? One side says, ‘I’m going to take from some to give to others,'” Scott explained. “Our side, what I’ve suggested, is: Let’s expand opportunity and make sure that we are fully equipped for the challenges of the future.”
Tim Scott says “significant numbers” of Republicans willing to support police reform
Earlier in the interview, Scott explained why he is leading the Republican effort on police reform in the Senate.
The South Carolina Republican said he understands being unfairly targeted by police, but also knows the reality of how police officers serve their communities.
“I personally understand the pain of being stopped 18 times driving while black,” Scott said. “I also have seen the beauty of when officers go door-to-door with me on Christmas morning delivering presents to kids in the most underserved communities.”
“So, I think I bring an equilibrium to the conversation. One of the reasons why I’m hopeful is because in a way, this time my friends on the left aren’t looking for the issue. They’re looking for a solution,” he added.