Kamala Harris: Tim Scott's right, America isn't a racist country

If you didn’t know who Kamala Harris was before watching this clip, you’d recognize instantly while watching that she’s an elected official. Probably an important one, representing a broad enough constituency that she needs to worry about the opinions of centrist swing voters.

That’s the only reason she’d break from progressive orthodoxy so dramatically by vouching for America’s good faith, particularly after the left spent last evening losing its collective mind after Tim Scott declared during his Biden rebuttal that America isn’t a racist country. Harris can display strangely poor retail instincts at times for such a successful politician, but she at least has the good sense to know that a future party nominee like her will only make trouble for herself in a national election by running around insisting that the country she wants to lead is racist.

“VP SAYS AMERICA IS RACIST” isn’t a great headline. She managed to sidestep it here with a more nuanced answer: We’re not a racist country but we’re a country where racism remains a problem.

At Fox, David Rutz wonders how the many commentators who piled on Scott last night will reconcile themselves today to what Harris said. Van Jones claimed that Scott lost “tens of millions” of black voters by insisting that America isn’t racist. Has Harris now lost them too?

If the answer is “no, because Harris admits that racism still exists,” well, Scott does too. He had his latest personal experience with it just hours ago, in fact:

A racist slur against Sen. Tim Scott was trending on Twitter late Wednesday and early Thursday after he gave the Republican response to President Biden’s address to Congress.

From about 11 p.m. through at least 12:45 a.m., one of the trending topics on the social media behemoth was “Uncle Tim.”

Mr. Scott even said in his speech that “I get called Uncle Tom and the N-word by progressives … I know firsthand, our healing [from racism] is not finished.”

Maybe America is a racist country after all.

Twitter has since removed the hashtag after complaints from righties. Scott told Fox News this morning that the “Uncle Tim” slur was “upsetting” and “disappointing,” adding “It is stunning in 2021 that those who speak about ending discrimination want to end it by more discrimination.” It’s a testament to how knee-jerk the practice is among his critics that they’d take to calling him “Uncle Tim” on Twitter after he explicitly mentioned being called an Uncle Tom as an example of racism in his speech. Normally when your opponent accuses you of bad behavior, basic self-awareness prevents you from trying to dunk on him by immediately displaying that very behavior.

It takes a strong sense of impunity to resort to that. The people who slurred him aren’t unaware of what they’re doing, they just recognize that they’ll pay no penalty from their own side for doing it.

Speaking of which, here’s Sunny Hostin of “The View” disappointed in Scott because he supposedly allowed himself to be “used” by the GOP to deliver last night’s message on racism. Scott’s been in Congress for a decade and in the Senate for eight years. He was never tapped to deliver an SOTU rebuttal during the Obama era even though, by Hostin’s logic, it would have made sense to have a black Republican respond to the first black president. Maybe Scott got the call yesterday because (a) he’s a figure of some prominence within the party and a possible 2024 contender and (b) he wrote the GOP’s police reform bill, a policy matter that’s suddenly of the moment in Congress again. In fact, Scott is meeting with George Floyd’s family today to discuss his ideas with them. To accuse him of letting himself be “used” in that context is as insulting as the “Uncle Tim” jab. It’s the same attack, just using more polite language.