Calling Sen. Scott ’Uncle Tim’ Is Black-on-Black Racism

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Have some respect, black people—if not for Sen. Tim Scott, then for yourselves.

The epithet “Uncle Tom” isn’t a slur white people use against black people. It’s used by black people against other black people. Those who dislike black people must, I’m sure, watch such foolishness with glee.

It turned my stomach to see “Uncle Tim”—a play on Uncle Tom—trend on Twitter in response to the brilliant speech by Scott, R-S.C., last Wednesday night. Scott delivered the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress.

The attacks made me sick, not just because I have faced similar racist attacks myself, but also because this is representative of a rot in the American black experience.

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I don’t deny the possibility of bots, trolls, and fake accounts on Twitter being used to sow division among the American people. However, for “Uncle Tim” to trend on the platform suggests that a lot of black people are lodging a hateful slur against a U.S. senator because he is black and thinks differently than they do.

This is an act of black people sowing division among ourselves.

This is oppression. It’s tyrannical and racist to demand one relinquish his or her intellectual freedom because of the color of his or her skin. Moreover, it’s a horrifying and shameful fact that generations of black children have been indoctrinated to believe intellectual conformity is right and a good thing—so much so that many found it righteous to publicly attack Scott for thinking differently.

To be fair, one might genuinely believe that what Scott spoke about in his speech was against the interest of black Americans and, therefore, deserving of criticism. But it wasn’t and isn’t.

One line, for example, that has some people in a tizzy is Scott’s firm affirmation that “America is not a racist country.” In the old-school sense of the word “racist,” that is obviously true, notwithstanding the best efforts of some companies, governments, and other institutions to implement policies based on race.

Long gone are the days of state-mandated separate and unequal lunch counters, water fountains, and swimming pools. It is an affront to the civil rights pioneers in this country—who faced all manner of atrocities, including death—to compare current racial disparities to the overt and vicious racial discrimination they faced. But that’s what attributing achievement gaps among the races to “systemic racism” or “institutional racism” does.

Instead of portraying America as the racist country of yore as the radical left does, all of us, especially black Americans, should celebrate that it very clearly is not. So, why shouldn’t a U.S. senator do that?

Perhaps the answer lies in another part of Scott’s supposedly traitorous speech. That is, that “people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress at all” on race relations.

However, it’s manifest that relations between the races have improved. As Jason Riley, who is black, writes in The Wall Street Journal, it’s also empirically true. The real question is, how far have we black Americans come in relations with ourselves?

Don’t misunderstand: To say that America isn’t racist or that we’ve made progress in race relations is not the same as saying America has no racists. My fellow black tweeters prove that point.

Let’s not work so hard to tear ourselves and our brothers and sisters down. That does nothing to create any progress toward closing achievement gaps that we all want to see addressed.

It’s important to have an array of ideas on the table to do that—even conservative ideas.

It’s long past time for us to stop saying that a black person who doesn’t support leftist ideas is somehow a “race traitor.” Or, as Joe Biden put it more bluntly in May 2020: “You ain’t black!”

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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  1. In the 1930’s there were philosophies on how a “good German” should act and any German not adhering to them was a target. Any black person calling another black person Uncle Tom (or Tim) is just as bad.

  2. I hope my comments will enlighten those who read them. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but NOT their own facts. We can all agree that progress has been made since the Civil War ended in 1865. But there is still systemic racism embedded into our institutions that need to be addressed.

    Ensuring that all voting rights are protected helps our democracy thrive. Limiting all people’s right to vote hurts our democracy. There is a longtime fear that if people of color are uplifted into our democracy that white people will lose. We must fight hard against those thoughts and not succumb to this longstanding fear.

    We can’t shield this fear using a black face like Senator Tim Scott to sprout LIES. I can’t see how not being allowed to give food and drink to people standing in line to vote uplifts our democracy. This law was just passed in Georgia. It is the latest example of fearmongering among cowardice politicians.

    Are we so afraid of changing demographics that we will destroy our democracy by promoting lies about who won the 2020 Presidential Election? “We had to destroy the village to save it” mentality is sheer insanity.

    1. You obviously watch cnn and didn’t read the Georgia law yourself. Only campaigns can’t hand out food or drink in line. That’s electioneering and is illegal in every state. How is that an oppressive law? Election officials can set up a system for food or drink just not candidates or their employees or volunteers and you can always bring your own water

    2. Elaine, I pray that you can get some enlightenment by reading these conservative articles. When did all this systemic racism theory start? When a black man was elected to the highest position in the free world. And you, along with the rest of the left, expect us to believe that a country full of systemically racist and nazi-like people could possibly elect a black man to the presidency. If the crap that you and the rest of the left spread as YOUR facts are true, how could any person of color achieve anything in life? The fact that Obama, Harris, and Scott are where they are at, is a severe contradiction to YOUR facts.

      This longtime fear you speak of, I was not aware it was there, nor does it exist in the conservative way of thinking. We want everyone to succeed and reach their full potential. That’s what makes for a strong and prosperous Republic. Clearly, this longtime fear must exist on the left.

      Your comments about the new Georgia voting laws show your complete ignorance of the actual law. You’re simply regurgitating fearmongering from cowardice politicians like your precious Joe. Spend some time looking at the FACTS and compare the laws of Georgia against New York or Joe’s home state of Delaware. You will see that Georgia now has some of the most liberal voting laws in the country. What Georgia and many other states have done is to ensure and protect the legitimacy of the vote. So when Joe starts talking about Jim Crow or Jim Eagle, that is a prime example of fearmongering from cowardice politicians.

      You couldn’t have summed up any better what the left has set out to do since Joe set foot in the White House, “We had to destroy the village to save it.” My fear is that this will be Joe’s legacy summed up in a single statement.

      One final thing, this country is not a democracy, it is a Republic. A democracy equates to mob rule. The left does love it’s mobs and wants nothing more than to rule over us.

      1. Kenny, Bravo.. this woman needs to do some research on the act of Slavery and just how white was that man that stopped it and how the liberals were the ones that fought against their freedom. The same liberals that a lot of the black community vote for and stand with BLM and they are no part of a Republic.

        Spain and Portugal as well as England were the real slave traders.

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