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What Tim Scott Could Do
June 1, 2023
Reader note: It was hard to go back into the weekly cycle with this warm weather. I have really enjoyed it and found it difficult to unpack historical and political topics.
A minor restructuring is occurring. I will include dates in the subtitle of my posts now and that will indicate whether it is a journey back in time or a comment on contemporary events.
It’s nice to be able to do both.
Let’s enjoy the warmer months, our gardens, our fishing rods, and our long days. Around the corner is another polarizing election that is once again featuring an ethnic demagogue that attempted to subvert our American democracy.
Charlie Kirk on Tim Scott’s presidential run:
Same Charlie Kirk on May 19 via Media Matters for America:
Earlier today, Tim Scott denigrated other Americans that work within the Biden administration as race baiters who are weaponizing identity.
Unfortunately, Tim Scott is also using race (and his token status) to save face for a Republican party that quietly enabled an ethnic demagogue and openly supports white supremacist groups as well as policies that aim to kill public participation and squeeze public spaces. The effects of these policies are felt by impoverished minority populations through a multiplier effect as the same communities navigate structures that do not reflect their economic, social, or self-actualizing interests.
Tim Scott will tout opportunity zones, Trump’s unemployment claims (while ignoring the president before him), and the could-have-gone-better police reform talks that ended in an executive action by President Biden.
Tim Scott is choosing to not have a nuanced discussion about why the table is set as it is, why he is a token Republican senator in this particular moment in American history, and why he is defaming other people just because they are in a heuristically more welcoming coalition.
I will write more about Tim Scott going forward and how he is indirectly doing everything he claims race baiters within the Democratic party are doing.
But two things can be true.
Tim Scott has a uniquely Black American story and also Tim Scott is willfully overlooking inconvenient parts of American history to make himself out to be a unicorn with the collateral damage being the work and scholarship of many brave intellectuals of color.
Trevor Noah challenges Tim Scott after reading his autobiographical book:
Tim Scott is really engaging in a shameful practice, in my opinion. Which is sad given the potential. He is also the one debilitating his grandfather's legacy (in my opinion) by resurrecting obvious and racist tropes that may help advance him as an individual, but simultaneously keeps alive the stereotypes, and thus the structures, that create barriers to entry for most other Americans who look like Senator Tim Scott.
That is bad.
Maybe just admitting that he is selfish, or blindly ambitious, is a better tactic because it's at least authentic. Before Tim progresses further in this campaign, he should reread recent Black scholars I’m sure he disagrees with, but at least they don’t overlook the present, dark reality for a lot of people who look like Tim and exist in a brutalized racial underclass.
If anything, this review can show the senator why it is so hurtful and demeaning when he chooses strategies that reinforce systems that minstrelize him (and make many other Black Americans feel unheard) instead of sending out the larger positivity Tim claims to want.
However, I do believe he has a slim opportunity to foster a needed conversation, but it will likely be overlooked out of self-indulgence.
Kimberly Atkins Stohr, Maya Wiley, and Sophia Nelson break down Tim Scott’s claim that Critical Race Theory is teaching kids they are oppressors and victims.
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