As NewsBusters has documented multiple times this year, South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott has been the target of racist attacks from the cast of ABC’s The View because of his positive and optimistic take on race relations in America. Well, on Monday’s edition of the show, he appeared as a guest and confronted them on their racist attacks and defended the tremendous progress America has made.
In a fundraising e-mail, before his appearance, Scott called out The View directly. “After co-host Whoopi Goldberg said I have ‘Clarence Thomas syndrome’ as a Black Republican AND after co-host Joy Behar said I’m a Republican because I ‘don’t get’ the idea of racism, I’m sure it’s going to be exciting television!” he told supporters.
Of course, staunchly racist co-host Sunny Hostin was the one to broach the subject of race with the Senator. And he immediately explained that their comments against him were why he was on the show. “One of the reasons I'm on this show is because of the comments made frankly on this show that the only way for a young African American kid to be successful in this country is to be the exception and not the rule,” he told them off.
Scott described Hostin’s and The View’s message on race and opportunity in America as a “dangerous offensive disgusting message to send to our young people today” because it falsely suggested, “that the only way to succeed is by being the exception.” And much to Hostin’s chagrin, he noted some of the progress African Americans have made since 1975 (click “expand”):
SCOTT: So, the fact of the matter is we've had an African American president, African American vice president, we've had two African Americans to be secretaries of the state. In my home city, the police chief is an African American who's now running for mayor. The head of the highway patrol for South Carolina is an African American.
HOSTIN: Still exceptions.
SCOTT: In 1975, there was about 15 percent unemployment in the African American community for the first time in the country it's under 5 percent.
Further examining the progress America has made on race relations, he recounted how his grandfather would need to “step off [the sidewalk] and not make eye contact” when a white person approached him. And these days “just change the stations, and see how much progress has been made in this country. ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, CNN, Fox News, all have African American and Hispanic hosts. So, what I'm suggesting is that the yesterday's exception is today's rule,” he proclaimed.
After a commercial break, moderator Whoopi Goldberg falsely suggested that Republicans were attempting to drag race relations in America backward (click “expand”):
GOLDBERG: And I wonder why these conversations don't seem to be held with Republicans. All of the exceptional stuff you're talking about. And one of the reasons we continue to have new exceptionalism is because every time folks make 40 steps forward they get dragged 40 steps back.
So, how do we as a nation -- because as a nation we seemingly get on the right track, and then we go backwards.
GOLDBERG: So, how can you get your party to stop trying to stop the progression that people are making? Because that's what I complained about when I spoke about – I want you to come out and say, “Listen, the Republicans have these issues.”
Scott pushed back by accurately noting that racism was “an issue of the heart. It's not Republicans or Democrats.” “I think humans have these issues,” he said; Goldberg agreed on that point.
“Frankly, both sides of the aisle can do a better job on the issue of race. And frankly, my side of the aisle I think is doing a fabulous job of making progress,” he defended the GOP. He would go on to note that while he was the only black Republican in the Senate, the Democrats only had two in New Jersey’s Cory Booker and Georgia’s Raphael Warnock.
Faux conservative co-host Ana Navarro chided him on the “statistical realities” of African Americans only making up “three percent of the U.S. Senate” when they’re 13 percent of the population.
But Scott brought the receipts. He pointed out the fact that in less than ten years, “we've had about half of all the African Americans who’ve ever served … which means that this nation is making measurable progress in real-time.”
“And if we focus on that, and continue to make progress, we will fulfill the notion that this is a nation that this is a nation that can become more perfect. And what I'm concerned about –” he attempted to say before chronically-aggrieved Hostin interrupted with: “Not without fixing the structures and the systemic racism that is embedded in this country!”
To read the transcript, click here.