The Senate’s only black Republican member blasted “liberal Democrats” on Tuesday for sending what he described as racially-tinged messages over his police reform legislation.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, in an interview with Fox News, said that his office has received “more than a dozen” racially offensive messages since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tasked him with developing new police reform legislation following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
The junior senator from his state said he played some of the messages for GOP colleagues during a closed-door lunch last week.
“We had dozens — more than a dozen of them,” he told host Martha MacCallum.
“I only played two of them, which were the most racially offensive comments from liberals in this country. They called to say that I was in their crosshairs.
“It was so profanity-laced, you can’t play five seconds of those videos on your show because there are that many f-bombs, the n-word — by liberal Democrats — causing a stir in my office, threatening my life. It is the most audacious, repugnant behavior I’ve seen in a very long time,” Scott added.
In addition, Scott responded to comments to MacCallum from House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), that the senator’s frustration with the chamber’s Democrats over their refusal to even debate Scott’s legislation last week “ought to be with Mitch McConnell.” Clyburn noted further that McConnell should have allowed Scott to work with two other black members of the Senate, Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on bipartisan legislation.
“I had multiple conversations with Democrats, including those two [Booker and Harris], about what they saw that needed to be changed in the bill,” Scott said. “Now, I offered them … 20 amendments to do the changing. They still walked away from the opportunity.”
He added: “I would certainly add to my legislation [a ban on] carotid [chokeholds] … But if that is our disagreement, that’s solved in 30 seconds.”
Last week, Scott, in a floor speech, blasted Democrats for snubbing his bill after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others in her party claimed the legislation was vital.
“Today we lost — I lost — a vote on a piece of legislation that would have led to systemic change in the relationship between the communities of color and the law enforcement community. … This legislation spoke to the important issues that have brought us here today. We wouldn’t be here if it were not, as Senator Perdue alluded to, for the death of yet another African American man, George Floyd,” he said.
“His murder is why the country has given us the opportunity to lead, to lead. And my friends on the other side just said no. Not no to the legislation. They just said no.”
The Democrats’ refusal to even debate Scott’s bill means that police reform legislation is very likely dead — for this year, anyway — Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen wrote last week, adding that Pelosi refused to allow minority Republicans the opportunity to offer amendments to the Democrat reform bill in the House.
In his interview with MacCallum, Scott also referenced a viral video in which a white Black Lives Matter protester is screaming at a group of police officers. One of the white officers told the protester not to talk to him about the issue of racial injustice because his wife is black, prompting her to demand photographic proof.
“The uneducated are showing up in droves and unfortunately, they’re getting microphones because they have been empowered not by the historical perspective, not — as Congressman Clyburn said — an assessment and an evaluation based on historical understanding. That’s out the window,” Scott said.
“It’s chaos and chaos leads to anarchy. And that’s dangerous, very dangerous for this nation,” the South Carolina Republican continued. “And we need to force the conversation in the public forum so that adults can have conversations where we agree to disagree without being disagreeable. It can happen. It hasn’t happened in too long.”
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