S.C. Sen. Tim Scott did his best to try to pretend that the protections in the Voting Rights Act that were just gutted by the Supreme Court are no longer needed in the South. And what was his evidence? Hey, the state elected a black man to the United States Senate and an Indian American woman as Governor, so yay! All of their problems with racism there have been solved.
I guess it's what we should expect from someone who has been willing to disenfranchise eligible voters in his state with his support of voter ID laws in South Carolina. His cohort Gov. Nikki Haley apparently believes the same thing. She said as much when she was defending flying the Confederate flag over the Statehouse grounds and told reporters that “not a single CEO” had complained about it.
I hate to break it to Scott, but electing him and Nikki Haley does not mean we've solved our racism problem any more than the election of the first black President that Scott loves to criticize at every opportunity and as he did here: Tim Scott: "Neutral" progress on race relations under Obama:
Republican Tim Scott, the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that more could have been done to improve race relations during President Obama's time in office.
"We have probably had a neutral position on progressing from a racial perspective in America over the last few years. We have not made as much progress as we would like to have seen," Scott said. "If you look at, specifically, the challenges made by black America, the last six years have been challenging. Unemployment rate is near 12 percent overall. The poverty rate is near 28 percent. I will tell you that the last six years have not been good for most folks, middle America and down."
Scott spoke to "Face the Nation" after visiting Selma, Alabama, over the weekend for the 50th anniversary of the march that would come to be known as "Bloody Sunday."
He said he believes that education is the key to a better life in America.
"My opportunity agenda focuses on the foundation of the American Dream and it starts with education. You can have a fantastic life here in America, in the South, and in the North and the West and the East if you focus your attention on outcomes driven by education," he said.
I've seen him talking about his "opportunity agenda" on a number of occasions this year, one of which was a forum on education and school "choice" held last month. It's just another push for privatization, gutting public education and more charter schools. Scott went onto try to explain why he doesn't support restoring the Voting Rights Act, and I don't believe for one minute that Republicans ever have any intention of "fixing" what the Supreme Court did.
Scott also weighed in on the Voting Rights Act, which was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013 when the justices ruled that the formula for determining which states must seek approval to change their voting laws was outdated.
He agreed with the court that it's time to update the formula.
"I will tell you that every single American should demand making sure that every other American has the right to vote. I think we're all on the same page on that. The question is, how do we get there? To specifically punish six Southern states for atrocities that happened forty or fifty years ago without updating that formula seems discriminatory in and of itself," Scott said. "What I would support is take a second view at the Voting Rights Act. And see how we can apply it universally to all Americans, every place, and let's judge people and states based on their performance today and not forty or fifty years ago."
He pointed to his own statewide election in South Carolina, as well as that of Gov. Nikki Haley, an Indian American woman.
"There's no doubt about the fact that there has been amazing progress throughout the South and we should make sure that the formulas that are used do not punish the history of the state but should represent the current state of affairs," Scott said.