Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., delivered a powerful and memorable rebuttable to President Joe Biden’s address this week.
Sen. Scott tackled the politically-charged issue of race head on and said what most of us on the right have argued and some on the left believe—”America is not a racist nation.”
That’s exactly what the peddlers of anti-racism do not want America to hear.
These faux champions of equality used their digital pulpits to deride Sen. Scott for opposing their fatalistic views and divisive rhetoric, and for exposing their purely pecuniary motives.
Beyond his views on race, Sen. Scott’s personal story and how it informs his approach to public policy sets a model for what citizens should expect from their leaders: common sense and common ground.
He’s effective and that’s why some on the left are out to discredit him.
Sen. Scott began by sharing his personal story, and it’s a compelling one.
His parents divorced. He was raised by a single mother. He grew up in poverty. As he said, “I was disillusioned and angry, and I nearly failed out of school.”
A “praying momma,” his grandfather, and a mentor who operated a Chick-Fil-A saved him from the destructive path on which so many black men end up.
He also credited “a string of opportunities that are only possible here in America.”
The left would have young minority kids believe that America’s racism places the American Dream out of their reach.
Sen. Scott challenged that notion saying, “the beauty of the American Dream is that families get to define it for themselves.”
They are able to do so when we expand opportunities and allow each individual to decide for himself or herself what kind of life and future he or she wants to carve out.
Sen. Scott acknowledged that racism does exist and he’s experienced it himself: being pulled over for no reason and being followed while shopping.
Those are scenarios most black men and many black women can likely identify with.
No one is pollyannaish. Racist and discriminatory occurrences against minorities happen.
The subjugation of slavery, the brutality of night riders, and the sub-human treatment of segregation are over, but some people still hold views that blacks are intellectually incapable, prone to crime, or dangerous.
Interestingly, some of the people who hold these views come from the left end of the philosophical spectrum.
As Scott said, I get called “Uncle Tom” and the “N-word”—by ‘progressives’!”
He is not the only black leader to acknowledge this.
Malcolm X once said: “The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked or deceived by the white liberal, then Negros would get together and solve our own problems.”
Personal responsibility, self-reliance, and an appreciation for individualism are key missing factors in today’s social justice movement. There, as Malcom X added, “The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us.”
Malcolm X could not have been more prescient.
Instead of promoting community-based solutions that empower black men and women, investing in building up black communities, and addressing the root causes of violence in some neighborhoods, the left wants us to look to government for more funding.
In his speech this week, President Biden ticked-off the wishlist items in his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan that were all about massive spending on an expanded definition of infrastructure.
Biden aims to fix the problems of American families by writing big checks for policies that the left has blessed as what is the best for us.
Temporary aid is not a replacement for permanent empowerment.
Education and professional development makes young people employable.
Life skills teach them the habits to succeed and how to build healthy families.
For example, Sen. Scott mentioned that his grandfather could not read but held a newspaper each morning.
Some things are taught, not bought.
However, kids in many households grow up never having positive habits and skills modeled by the adults in their lives.
Community solutions abound to address these deficiencies.
Minorities are resilient, creative, and resourceful.
Organizations and business enterprises like Homeboy Industries are teaching former inmates trades and skills and placing them in steady employment.
Community groups like Black Guns Matter are on the ground in the inner cities teaching conflict resolution and responsible gun ownership.
Networks of community and faith-based organizations like the Woodson Center are tackling homelessness, joblessness, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and deteriorating neighborhoods by addressing underlying issues such as family dissolution, poor education, abuse, and trauma.
While black leaders, pundits, and social media warriors were making the derogatory “Uncle Tim” memes go viral on social media, others were actually doing something to help poor communities and struggling people.
We need more leaders to rise up like Tim Scott who believe in redemption over cancellation, bottom-up over top-down, and opportunity over oppression.
Americans of all colors and classes do not fall into the extreme on any issue.
They want common sense policies on areas of common ground.
If Scott is successful in negotiating a bipartisan police reform bill, he may open the lane for other bipartisan efforts on contentious issues.
That is what effective governing should look like and the kind of leadership that we need right now, more than ever.