The specter of race and racism made a few appearances in President Joe Biden’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, particularly when it came to legislation he wants the Senate to pass.
Take the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a police reform bill the Democrats passed in the House but that’s stalled in the Senate after the left side of the aisle refused to hear Republican alternatives.
“My fellow Americans, we have to come together,” Biden said, according to a transcript of his speech from USA Today. “To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system. And to enact police reform in George Floyd’s name that passed the House already.”
Then there was House Resolution 1, the elections bill that federalizes the voting process and, among other things, forbids states from enacting voter ID provisions or restricting ballot harvesting.
The left has attacked opponents of the bill as racists who don’t want minorities to vote — apparently because they believe minorities lack the capability to get photo identification and the GOP is taking advantage of that. (But again, Republicans are supposed to be the racists.)
“More people voted in the last presidential election than ever before in our history – in the middle of one of the worst pandemics ever. That should be celebrated. Instead, it’s being attacked,” Biden said, before saying he wanted H.R. 1 on “my desk right away. The country supports it. Congress should act.”
The country doesn’t want it, but never mind. You get the point: America is racist, which is why we need to accede to the demands of Joe Biden and the Democrats.
In his response to Biden’s speech, GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina — one of three black senators and a man who can, unlike Biden, speak of experiencing racism firsthand — countered by noting that “America is not a racist country” but that much of the intolerance he receives is from the left.
In a speech that brought searing clarity to a number of racial issues, Scott acknowledged that Biden “seems like a good man,” but said the president and other liberals are behind “powerful forces [that] want to pull us apart” along identitarian fault lines.
“I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason. To be followed around a store while I’m shopping,” Scott said. “I remember, every morning, at the kitchen table, my grandfather would open the newspaper, read it, I thought. But later, I realized he had never learned to read it. He just wanted to set the right example.
“I’ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance,” he continued. “I get called ‘Uncle Tom’ and the N-word — by progressives! By liberals!
“Just last week, a national newspaper suggested my family’s poverty was actually privilege because a relative owned land generations before my time.”
Scott was referring to a Washington Post “fact-check.” Without getting lost in the details, chief Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler created a stir after he asserted that while being black in the South under Jim Crow was pretty bad, Scott’s family didn’t have it that bad.
The senator went on to attack woke culture.
“A hundred years ago, kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic — and if they looked a certain way,” he pointed a finger at his own chest, “they were inferior.
“Today, kids again 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,” Scott continued.
“You know this stuff is wrong. Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”
Scott then went on to address H.R. 1 and the opposition to Georgia’s election integrity legislation, a bill that has caused a hue and cry among the professionally offended.
“I’m an African-American who has voted in the South my entire life. I take voting rights personally,” Scott said. “Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”
He noted that “big majorities support voter ID, including African-Americans and Hispanics,” one of the more inconvenient facts for those declaring Georgia’s legislation is racist and that America is clamoring for the problem to be fixed.
“The state of Georgia passed a law that expands early voting, preserves no-excuse mail-in voting, and, despite what the president claimed, did not reduce Election Day hours,” Scott said.
“If you actually read this law, it’s mainstream. It will be easier to vote early in Georgia than in Democrat-run New York. But the left doesn’t want you to know that. They want people to virtue-signal by yelling about a law they haven’t even read.”
Scott also noted President Biden “absurdly claims that this is worse than Jim Crow.” Such claims, Scott said, are being used to push support for H.R. 1, which Scott called “a Washington power-grab.”
“This misplaced outrage is supposed to justify the Democrats’ sweeping bill that would take over elections for all 50 states, that would send public funds to political campaigns you disagree with, and make the bipartisan Federal Elections Commission partisan,” Scott said.
This all led to a wider point from Scott: “Race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants. It’s far too important.”
And, as if liberals were in a demented rush to prove to Scott and the world that, yes, they viewed race as a loaded political weapon and they were willing to subject him to racist obloquy for being a black Republican, here’s what trended on Twitter shortly after his response:
Twitter is still out here going out of its way to make racist attacks against GOP Sen. Tim Scott go viral. Apparently they want him to suffer for the crime of upstaging Biden via a highly effective speech. Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/zwXYyowdIX
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) April 29, 2021
Would love to understand why @Twitter will ban all kinds of offensive language aimed in one direction but when it’s aimed in the other, such as at a Republican like @TimScottSC, it’s trending pic.twitter.com/BF4Omf9k3m
— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) April 29, 2021
Former MSNBC host Toure Neblett and outspoken Black Lives Matter activist Bree Newsome were just two from the left who participated in mocking Scott with the implicit racial slur.
Tim Scott gets called Uncle Tom by progressives. But he’s an Uncle Tim.
— Young Daddy (@Toure) April 29, 2021
How can calling Tim Scott “Uncle Tim” be racist when he just told everyone this isn’t a racist country? 🙂🇺🇸
— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES (@BreeNewsome) April 29, 2021
“Uncle Tim.” That’s what you get when you say our country isn’t inherently racist, although plenty of so-called progressives are. But they’re the ones who want to heal the nation’s racial wounds.
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