Last week, South Carolina’s African American GOP Senator Tim Scott delivered a powerful speech about racial profiling by law enforcement, including in the Capitol itself.
He said that, even after he became the first black GOP Senator since Reconstruction, the harassment continued. He was stopped by police for the offense of “driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or something else just as trivial.” He was even ordered to display his ID to a Capitol security guard, though he was clearly wearing his gold Senate pin in his lapel.
Scott spoke powerfully of the racial divide that seperates Americans:”There is absolutely nothing more frustrating, more damaging to your soul than when you know you’re following the rules and being treated like you are not.”
There are apparently a lot of damaged souls in the U.S. today, and Senator Scott bravely challenged his party’s orthodoxy that racial profiling not only does not exist, but if it did, it would be a good and just policy. Last month the GOP’s all-but-nominated Nominee for President said:
“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” You look at Israel and you look at others, they do it and they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads. Other countries do it, and it’s not the worst thing to do.”
In fairness, Donald Trump was talking about using profiling on Muslims, which is not racial but religious, since Muslims come in all sorts of human colors. But his campaign rhetoric has been loaded with racial and religious divisiveness, especially in his attacks on “political correctness,” by which he apparently means the use of nonoffensive language towards others. That offends Mr. Trump.
Trump’s racial dog whistling is pretty effective, since he crushed all his GOP rivals on his mission to occupy the White House. The New York Times quoted a Trump supporter as saying:“He says what everyone thinks. He says what we’re all thinking. He’s bringing people together. We say, ‘Hey, that’s right; we can say this.’”
He is bringing people together, no doubt. They are just together on opposite sides of protest marches, shouting obscene things to one another.
Senator Tim Scott has told the truth about race, racial profiling and its effect on the souls of Black folks. The GOP should listen, but I’m betting they won’t.