Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) seems to prefer that you not refer to him as a “house Negro.” Or as an “Uncle Tom.” Likewise, Scott does not care for the insinuation that his conservative leanings equate to a complete condemnation of his own community. The lone black Republican member of the U.S. Senate conveyed such sentiments while delivering a 30-minute speech in defense of his support of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for U.S. attorney general.
As Scott stood on the Senate floor, he read various forms of criticism that had been leveled at him across social media: “‘You are an Uncle Tom, Scott. You’re for Sessions. How does a black man turn on his own.’” And: “‘Tim Scott ... doesn’t have a shred of honor. He’s a house Negro like the one in Django.’”
Scott went on to add, “I left out all the ones that used the n-word. Just felt like that would not be appropriate.”
Actually, he should have said it because that’s what his party has been calling his people for the last 50 years in one form or another as part of its Southern strategy. As a son of South Carolina, Scott ought to be quite familiar with the ways that many white men like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III have employed such tactics in terms of both policy and rhetoric.
Still, some Republicans and even Democrats found themselves impressed with Scott’s performance; others know better. Is the name-calling helpful? Probably not. Is it wrong to generalize all black Republicans? It’s typically foolish to generalize, no matter the target.
Even so, it is not wrong to ask Scott why he would give a man who has been accused of bigotry for a substantial portion of his life control of the Justice Department.
The most frustrating portion of Scott’s remarks, though, was the following: “I just wish that my friends who call themselves liberals would want tolerance for all Americans, including conservative Americans.”
Sen. Scott, you’ve got to shut your black ass up. This is why black Republicans bewilder me. In theory, one can understand those who align with a political ideology that believes in smaller government and free enterprise on principle. As a contractor, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that every single tax season, I morph into Ted Cruz with melanin and a spine and toy with the notion of abolishing the Internal Revenue Service.
Yet although the Democratic Party has plenty of issues with racism within its own ranks in terms of both policy and not valuing enough the black voters whose support has thwarted its extinction, there are certain levels to which the donkeys would never stoop.
Democrats of today would not nominate a cantaloupe-colored bigoted charlatan with no experience in government as president. Nor would they go along with that same con man’s plans to nominate as attorney general in 2017 a man who was deemed too racist in the 1980s to be a federal judge.
Sure, Democrats can’t, given that their base is far more inclusive, but the GOP doesn’t have to be committed to the preservation of white, heterosexual male power. Republicans want that as their nucleus, and anyone who aligns him- or herself with that is a co-conspirator. Such is his or her right, though it is not an act of principle but of self-interest.
Tim Scott wants to present nobility for the immoral act of lending support to a kakistocracy populated by a bevy of bigots.
To let Scott tell it, though: “He is not a racist. Jeff Sessions has earned my support. And I will hold him accountable if and when we disagree.”
This is the same person who said, “Oh yeah,” he could support Sunkist Stalin when he was still a candidate after Scott’s initial pick, “Little Marco,” dropped out. A black man who, yes, has discussed his own experiences with racism in law enforcement, yet has still defended “law and order” on national television. One who, after characterizing some of Sunkist Stalin’s statements as “disgusting,” “indefensible” and “racially toxic,” not only said that he would vote for him, but after his win, also argued that we should all give him a chance.
Anyone who bends that low to assist anyone that vile will not suddenly rise to speak on what’s right. To wit, days before defending Sessions, he spoke on behalf of Betsy DeVos. No, she cannot single-handedly destroy public education, as he noted in a series of tweets, but she can do plenty of damage all the same. DeVos has aggressively proved herself unqualified for the job, but she gave Scott money in the past. Problem solved.
Sessions will weaponize the Justice Department and make it harder for blacks and Latinos to safely walk the streets without fear of police persecution; he will make it harder for black people to vote; he will bring hell to all immigrants regardless of hue. He will be the menace he was selected to be.
Scott can profess to know Sessions’ heart. He can pretend that whatever meetings he scheduled between Sessions and black church leaders matter all he likes. The reality remains: He sold out his people and, by extension, all marginalized people.
Perhaps Tim Scott doesn’t like the names he’s been called as a result of his choices, but nasty names have nothing on the harsh consequences that await so many of the rest of us. Who cares about his hurt feelings? The rest of us have to worry about real pain now.