Opinion: How does Sen. Tim Scott think he is going to work on police reform if he and his Republican Party do not believe there is systemic racism in America?
In his response to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said the most outrageous thing a Black man could possibly utter in 2021. He said that America is not a racist country.
This begs the question, exactly how does Tim Scott think he is going to work on police reform if he and his Republican Party do not believe there is systemic racism in America? You already know the answer, fam.
Listening to Scott’s speech, one was reminded that he is speaking not to Black people, but to white Republicans who believe Blue Lives Matter and police should be able to brutalize, even kill Black bodies with impunity, and that his whole purpose as a Black Republican is to serve as a Trojan Horse for the GOP, a Negro Whisperer for white supremacists.
As is typical, the lone Black Republican senator presented his bootstrap narrative about how he made it out of poverty through prayer and “with a string of opportunities that are only possible here in America.”
As a fully-grown Black man living in America, Scott knows he has experienced racism — because he said as much. “Nowhere do we need common ground, more desperately been in our discussions of race. I have experienced the pain of discrimination. I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason, to be followed around the store while I’m shopping,” Scott said.
And yet, Scott declared, “America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different types of discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.” The senator devoted his energy to complaining about progressives and liberals who he said call him Uncle Tom and the n-word, and defending his party’s Jim Crow voter suppression efforts aimed at maintaining white supremacy.
Scott called the Democrats’ sweeping voting rights and election reform legislation a “Washington power grab,” claiming “This is not about civil rights or our racial past, it’s about rigging elections in the future.”
Vice President Kamala Harris said we cannot heal the country if we ignore our realities. “No. I don’t think America is a racist country but we also do have to speak truth about the history of racism in our country and its existence today,” said Harris, adding that white supremacist domestic terrorism is “one of the greatest threats to our national security.”
Black Twitter dragged the junior senator from the Palmetto State, and all of it was justified.
Bree Newsome Bass, the activist who climbed up the flagpole to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, asked the question: “How can calling Tim Scott ‘Uncle Tim’ be racist when he just told everyone this isn’t a racist country?”
Touré tweeted: “Tim Scott said America is not racist. George Floyd, Alexander Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor could not be reached for comment.”
“The concept of an “Uncle Tom” as that term is used in the Black community-is a slave who is given prestige & comfort by the master, using his position to tread on the slaves abused by the master,” tweeted Pam Keith, Esq. “Repackage that concept to modern times & ask if Tim Scott fits the definition.”
Tariq Nasheed tweeted: “A major strategy of racists, is to incentivize one of it’s (sic) Black victims to act as the crash test dummy for white supremacy. When Uncle Tim Scott says America is not a racist country, he is fully aware he is speaking in bad faith. The purpose is to protect white supremacists.”
None of this should come as a surprise. Lest we forget, Tim Scott was a loyal Trump supporter and water carrier for GOP racism. After all, Trump recently gave Scott a “complete and total endorsement” ahead of his 2022 Senate reelection race. Scott, who was honored to receive the endorsement, reacted on Twitter by saying, “Thank you, President Trump!”
Sen. Scott opposed impeaching Trump, supported those horrible Trump Supreme Court nominees, and rubberstamped the Trump tax cuts and the attempts to repeal Obamacare. At last year’s Republican National Convention, Scott did more caping for Trump and his party’s racism. And he was criticized for telling Fox News that “woke supremacy” is just as bad as white supremacy.
Even to the end, Scott spoke proudly of working with his president, saying on the eve of the January 6 insurrection that he was “grateful for all of the work President Trump has done for the people of this country,” and “the lives of the American people have been bettered by what has been accomplished in the Trump Administration.”
All of this brings us to Sen. Scott’s efforts to work with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) on a bipartisan compromise for policing reform. Given that Scott refuses to acknowledge the role of systemic racism in society, he is not a serious player in policing reform. After all, racism has plagued law enforcement since the days of the slave patrols, and true reform is impossible unless we address and eradicate systemic racism. He refuses to acknowledge its existence.
And Republicans certainly are bad-faith actors, given their support for white replacement theory, opposition to civil rights, hatred for Black Lives Matter and their lockstep calls for law and order and heavy-handed policing against Black folks — when they are not trying to kill police officers at Capitol insurrections, that is.
Scott’s prior attempt at reform failed last year when Democrats charged that his plan did not go far enough. He was scheduled to meet with the family of George Floyd on Thursday. Will he tell them America is not a racist country?
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove
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