Tim Scott Tells Black Church Members That America Needs To Stop Focusing On Race
Scott told Black congregation members in Chicago that America needs to relax on race discussions as the leading Black GOP candidate.
Tim Scott, the only Black Republican Senator and presidential candidate, recently made a speech that prompted some to give him the side eye.
During an unscheduled visit to a Black church on Chicago’s South Side in October 2023, Scott told the crowd that he wants America to focus less on race relations, ABC News reports. The speech was to clear up some comments made during the second Republican debate in September after Scott suggested that former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” federal welfare program was more difficult for Black Americans than slavery.
“There is a radical movement on the far left, and the more progress that America makes on race, the more some leaders want to deny it,” Scott told members of New Beginnings Church.
“Our country has made, however, tremendous strides since then on the issue of race — but lawlessness and fatherlessness and joblessness have gotten worse in the last 60 years and not better.”
Speaking for over an hour, Scott called out Chicago’s Democratic leadership, many of whom are Black, and said he feels they are failing the Black community. Scott said liberals don’t offer solutions, only division.
“They want us to sit down, shut up, and don’t forget to vote as long as we’re voting blue,” the presidential hopeful said. “Instead of solutions, we are offered distractions and division.”
His comments didn’t go over too well with participating audience members. “I’ve seen both in the debate and also in statements you’ve made where you indicated that you don’t feel that there’s systematic racism,” attorney Rodrick Wimberly told Scott afterward.
“There is statistical data to show, or suggest at the very least, that there is some issue where it’s systemic.” Wimberly and his wife, Evelyn, had come to hear the South Carolina senator speak “out of respect” and were open to giving Scott their vote until they heard Scott’s response: “I’m saying that there is racism, but it’s not the system.”
And this is where experts feel Scott is disconnecting in his campaign. Nadia Brown, a political scientist and professor at Georgetown University, opined that the senator’s race messaging wasn’t geared toward Black people and he is campaigning as a non-white candidate agreeing with GOP issues, the outlet reports.
“What Tim Scott and those of his ilk are doing, they’re trying to play on these emotional push pins that most African Americans don’t see. It’s not landing for them,” Brown said.
“I think that is a call out to other conservatives, particularly white conservatives, who want to say ‘I have a Black senator’ or ‘I feel comfortable voting for a Black candidate.'”
Ahead of the third Republican debate, scheduled for Nov. 8 in Miami, Scott isn’t looking too great in the polls: He is on the edge of elimination, according to New York magazine.
In a memo from Politico, campaign manager Jennifer DeCasper provided a strategy on what the debates will look like. “Haley and DeSantis will engage in a ‘slugfest’ Wednesday,” she wrote. “Scott, meanwhile, will sell himself as a conservative who can actually win.”