Pardon Me, Do You have a BLACK Senator?
Is Tim Scott right? Are liberals the real racists in America? To the uninitiated, the Tim Scott that I refer to is Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Recently, Senator Scott appeared with former President Donald Trump after Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire Primary. At least two other aspirants to the running mate role on the presumptive GOP ticket were also present, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Marjorie Taylor-Greene.
To say that the three Republican MAGA-Scouts were demonstrating obsequiousness would probably go unchallenged, even by the scouts. (Yes, I could have called them all lawmakers, but Ramaswamy isn’t one. I could have called them all gents, but MTG isn’t one, and I could have called them all caucasian…but Tim Scott isn’t one.) And there’s the rub. Does it matter that Tim Scott is not white, while serving in a party, and hoping to serve a candidate for the Presidency, who is openly a white supremacist?
These definitions and categories can be tricky and confusing. Ramaswamy is a Republican, and he isn’t white, but he is a caucasian. Do any of those things matter? Being white seems to matter in the GOP. Being not white seems to matter for different reasons. Those reasons typically are things like, gaining admission to this country, and how long you can stay, under what circumstances, etc. It matters in the GOP that a wall constructed on the Southern border, because that is from whence the brown people come. They don’t say it exactly like that, but not saying it is a distinction without a difference. As yet, no one has suggested putting a fence on the Northern border. Is that racist?
Liberals and conservatives both seek a better society. I think that would go unchallenged. However, what they seek, and how they would attain it seems to each to be at the cost of the other. Liberals prefer broad fairness and access as fundamental to the freedom that they think necessary for a free society. Conversely, conservatives prefer individual liberty as fundamental to the society that they seek, and they will establish their own level of access and/or fairness. Who’s right here? What came first, the chicken, or the egg/coop/collective?
I watched Senator Scott stand behind Donald Trump, and then walk up and declare his “love” for Trump, in jest, sure. Characterize it however you think necessary. One thing it certainly was was obsequiousness. Is that racist of me? I saw some headlines later of the event, and the right of center outlets, like Fox News, are calling the descriptions of the event “attacks” and “racist.” I thought, maybe, someone had referred to Scott as an ‘Uncle Tom’, or maybe a ‘house nigger’. I have seen those bandied about in previous cycles. So, I looked. All I did find, and all Hannity showed on his program were Al Sharpton saying that it was “humiliating”, and Susan Glasser asking what Scott was afraid of. She asked, “is he afraid that Donald Trump would punch him ni the nose…”. Was that racist? I’m trying, but I don’t see it. Senator Scott eventually said that it is about any Black person presuming to “get out of line”, and “think for himself…”. He called this “intimidation”, and attached a racist motivation for doing so.
I’m open to a good argument, but frankly, I don’t see one here. I have thought for myself my entire life. My parents told me that it was my right, and I trust them on that. They told me how they voted, but they never told me how to vote. I vote like they would, but that is coincidental, and not a result of instruction or indoctrination. I would not vote for the modern GOP for more reason than I could stand to list here. I will say, however, that a white supremacist, Christo-fascist regime is not in my interest as a Black man, nor is it in the interest of freedom broadly, in America or the world. I feel quite comfortable and confident of that view. That said, I know people who vote Republican see the world, their vote, and their citizenship differently from me. Personal power is an individual thing to them, and authoritarianism suits them. I get it. Somehow they see carving out their own safety and well-being in a society headed by a deeply flawed man who has already stated that he would be “a dictator”. (Forgive me if I ignore the “one day” caveat. That’s an absurdity).
Tim Scott may believe Trump when he says such things. He may also not believe him, but assume that because of his association with Trump, and his willingness to be obsequious, that his prospects are better than mine. Is he right to say that liberals like me are the real racists? I can’t see it. I’ll say this though, I will stand with anyone who will stand with me, and cooperate on a free and fair society. I think it is humiliating how Senator Scott will prostrate himself to a man such as Donald Trump, whose numerous ethical failings defy enumeration. I would find it equally humiliating if Scott had done so with Idi Amin, or Papa Doc Duvalier. But, as these sticky confusing categories go, I get the sense that Papa Doc and Idi Amin would have the good taste to not be white supremacists. Why can’t Tim Scott? Is that racist?