The only black Republican Senator[Tim Scott] has said more than once that race is no longer a determinant in American life. Senator Scott has railed against people who say America is a racist country. In the GOP response to President Joe Biden’s address to Congress in April of 2021, Scott emphatically stated, “Hear me clearly, America is not a racist country.” Senator Scott’s statement was peculiar because, in response to black writer Michael Harriot’s question on race in America, Scott told him in part, “I just want to find a way to create a better outcome for my nephew and my cousins, who are 3 and 4 years old, don’t have to worry about systemic, systematic or whatever you guys call the crap that you and I have to worry about,” Scott explained. If America being racist does not exist, precisely what is the crap Mr. Scott is protecting his nephew and cousins from?
Scott, who withdrew or suspended his campaign for President, lamented to Fox News host and former congressman Trey Gowdy, “They’re telling me, ‘Not now, Tim,’” he said. “I don’t think they’re saying, Trey, ‘No,’ but I do think they’re saying, ‘Not now.’” Mixed in with the difficulty of a black man winning a Republican primary were the homophobic rumors of Scott’s sexuality. Scott had only spoken of his girlfriend as a “lovely Christian girl,” which finally culminated in the introduction of Mindy Noce, a white interior decorator in Charleston, S.C. It is speculative to say Mr. Scott feared openly exposing a relationship with a white woman in a deep red Southern Republican state, but it is not unreasonable to think it. Fox News contributor and former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. was linked to white women in a racially motivated campaign ad in Tennessee.
The modern Republican party moved from using overt racial epithets into subtle dog whistling with the advent of the “Southern Strategy.” Members of the GOP are eschewing embarrassment over being openly racist, starting with their defacto leader, Donald Trump. Recently, Mr. Trump ran off a litany of predominantly black cities, ostensibly enlisting his goon squads to go into minority voting precincts and watch the voters. “So the most important part of what’s coming up is to guard the vote. And you should go into Detroit, and you should go into Philadelphia, and you should go into some of these places, Atlanta,” Trump said in Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines.
None of the dog whistles or code languages used by racists is new to Americans of color. Remember the Vietnam protest where young white men were practicing “ civil disobedience,” and young black men were riotous thugs? In New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, displaced white people were unfortunate citizens, and blacks and browns were presumably stripped of their citizenship and described as “refugees.” Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of Republican orthodoxy, banned assault rifles—as governor of California because members of the Black Panthers availed themselves of the law and armed themselves. Fox News viewers are fed a steady diet of videos of blacks shoplifting, and like clockwork, Donald Trump called for extrajudicial killings. “We will immediately stop all of the pillaging and theft. Very simply: If you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store,” Trump said. Donald Trump wanted to condemn the exonerated Central Park Five to death, suggested America needed more immigrants from Norway, spoke disparagingly of Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries, called for the banning of Islamic religious freedom in America, and said he could suspend the Constitution—is a viable candidate for President of the United States… but the GOP would have you believe America is not a racist country. Oh, really?
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