Tim Scott implies Kamala Harris's call for hurricane relief 'equity' is racist

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Oct. 3—U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., implied Monday that Vice President Kamala Harris's call for equity in hurricane relief was racist.

Scott, South Carolina's junior senator, addressed the vice president's comments at the beginning of a campaign stop held Monday afternoon at Bisquecuts and Glazy.

On Friday, Harris was asked at the Democratic National Committee Women's Leadership Forum about the country's efforts to respond to natural disasters at home and abroad.

"It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions," she said according to Fox News. "We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity."

Federal Emergency Management Director Deanne Criswell said on Sunday that all who are impacted will be eligible for relief regardless of race.

Scott implied that Harris's call for equity in hurricane relief was racist.

"As a guy who's felt the sting of racism, that's the last thing I ever want to do is to do that to someone else," Scott said. "The thing that we've been working for my entire life is making sure that the playing is as level for everybody as possible. We have come a mighty long way, and thank God we have. We should think of America as the solution, not the problem."

Scott did not provide an example of how he was stung with racism after his speech.

"I have experienced racism but the actual contrast was that while I have experienced racism, the last thing I want to do was to further discrimination," Scott said. "If you don't want to further discrimination, you have to weed out those comments from powerful leaders that somehow suggest that we're going to make up for discrimination by discriminating. It's just inconsistent with reality."

Scott added that he was not discriminating in his efforts to provide relief to people impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Scott, who was scheduled to speak at 2:15 p.m., didn't arrive until after 2:30 p.m.

He said he was late because he was working a drive to provide supplies to people impacted by the landfall of Hurricane Ian on Friday.

"We picked up two truckloads of supplies for those impacted in South Carolina as well as in Florida," Scott said. "I'm so thankful for contentious Americans who want to help other Americans not based on what they look like but based on the fact that they have a need."

Scott said that one of the things that makes Americans exceptional as people is the way that they respond to others that are in need.

He said he saw the vice president's comments over the weekend and that at his supply drive he was not differentiating based on anything except need.

Most of the room applauded his comments.

"We need some common sense in America," Scott said during the applause.

Scott's campaign event drew several elected officials including Congressman Joe Wilson, S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, S.C. Reps. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, Bill Hixon, R-North Augusta, Bart Blackwell, R-Aiken, Melissa Oremus, R-Graniteville, Cal Forrest, R-Monetta, Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker, Edgefield County Councilman Scott Cooper, North Augusta Mayor Briton Williams, New Ellenton Mayor Kimberly Williams and Aiken City Councilman Kay Brohl.

Former Ambassador Henry Cooper, Sixth Congressional District candidate Duke Buckner. Aiken County Council candidate Ron Felder were also in attendance Monday afternoon.

Scott faces Democrat Krystle Matthews in the Nov. 8 general election.