What You Need To Know:
Last Wednesday night, while giving the Republican response to the Presidential address, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott created a firestorm, describing acts of discrimination against him, but denying that America is a racist country.
The only African American Republican in the U.S. Senate said,
“When America comes together, we’ve made tremendous progress. But powerful forces want to pull us apart. 100 years ago kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic, and if they looked a certain way, they were inferior. Today, kids are being taught that the color of their skin defines them again. And if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor. From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress at all. By doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal.”
“You know this stuff is wrong,” the Senator continued. “Hear me clearly: 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 “calling out” began immediately, with many wondering how a Black man who has been discriminated against as he stated, was able to say America is not a racist country. Everyone read the tweets, Facebook posts and text messages. Many liked the comments.
The next day during an appearance on Good Morning America, Vice President Kamala Harris was asked about the Senator’s statement. “No, I don’t think America is a racist country,” Harris told George Stephanopoulos. “But we also do have to speak truth about the history of racism in our country and its existence today.”
The nation’s first female vice president and woman of color, said that “we want to unify the country, but not without speaking truth and requiring accountability, as appropriate.”
Why We Need to Know:
Many of the people who responded could not disagree more with the Senator or the Vice President. That is everyone’s right. It’s the First Amendment. But calling upon the words of our elders, “we can disagree without being disagreeable.” The name calling and calling a person out of his or her name, may make the “name caller” feel better, but then what? How are we solving the problem?
How do we solve this? In one respect, Senator Scott is right, working together can create a more positive outcome. That’s what Democrats in the House and Senate, California Congresswoman Karen Bass and Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey, and others, are doing. They have been working with Mr. Scott on legislation, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It’s been passed in the House, twice. The biggest hurdle is the Senate. Name calling won’t push that bill through.
Now about what they said: Vice President Harris, Senator Scott, hear the skinfolk, America is a racist country. Facts are facts. Racial disparities are in Black and White. And if the day-to-day demeaning, detaining and restraining of Black people, the physical beatings and murders of Black people are not the work of a racist country, then what is? You say it’s the system but not the country? The system: the legal system, the police state, the educational system, financial systems, are representative of this country. There are racist people carrying out racist actions while on the payrolls of governments and corporations within this country. This is what happens each and every day in the racist U. S. of A.