South Carolina’s GOP Sen. Tim Scott fired back at a political blogger who noted that Scott was given a front row position at President Donald Trump‘s tax plan celebration. Despite Scott’s denial, evidence suggests that there’s indeed some Black tokenism in his relationship with the GOP. Perhaps he can’t see it.
“What a shocker, there’s ONE black person there and sure enough they have him standing right next to the mic like a manipulated prop,” Andy Ostroy tweeted, before deleting the post and replacing it with an apology.
Here’s how Scott responded to being called a token:
Scott was the lone Black face in the photo-op of Trump and Republican leaders celebrating passage of the sweeping tax overhaul. Other Black lawmakers and White Democrats blasted the bill for catering to corporations instead of the middle-class, while dismantling the cornerstone of Obamacare. The Republicans chose not to fund much-needed programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), to pass the $1.5 trillion tax plan.
1. Granted meetings with Trump on race
The White House has given Scott access to the president for publicized private meetings to discuss African American outrage on Trump’s racist incidents like Charlottesville. Whatever Scott said at the meeting was probably a softer blow than Trump would have received from other Black lawmakers.
2. National Anthem—not this racial issue
Scott has taken the cue from the White House not to press Trump on the national anthem issue, which has bolstered the president’s standing with the GOP base. The senator believes that all Americans should stand and respect the flag but recognizes that there’s a reason for the NFL protest. Yet he doesn’t want to bother Trump on this racial issue.
When the GOP needs a Black lawmaker to criticize Obamacare, they know who to call. Scott sang from the Republican song book when he wrote that the Affordable Care Act is failing and his party has the solution. They don’t.
4. Congressional Black Caucus
Few congressional caucuses are as opposed to Trump’s agenda as the CBC. Scott has distanced himself from the group of Black Democrats who advocate for policies to help the Black community. A few other Black Republicans have caucused with the CBC, including Florida’s former Rep. Allen West, who was a Tea Party faithful.
5. Before He Came To Washington
The senator was a committed conservative from the beginning of his political career. He won an at-large seat on the Charleston City Council, helping Republicans dismiss charges from local civil rights leaders who argued that an African American could not win a citywide contest.