Senator Tim Scott, who delivered the Republican response to President Biden’s speech in Congress, said on Sunday that “America is not a racist country” and that both sides of the aisle are negotiating police reform at the federal level on Capitol Hill, the goal “It is not for Republicans or Democrats to win, but to make communities feel safer and our officers feel respected.”
Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, also claimed during an appearance on CBS “Face the Nation” on Sunday that “fighting bigotry with bigotry is hypocrisy,” as Biden called Congress last week to pass a law on police reform within a year. anniversary of George Floyd’s death, May 25. Scott has come under attack from the left over his rebuttal to the address.
“I personally understand the pain of being pulled over 18 times while driving while Black,” Scott said, saying he brought “balance” to the conversation. “I have also seen the beauty of when agents go door to door with me on Christmas morning to deliver gifts to children in the most underserved communities.
“America is not a racist country,” he asserted, saying that Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and one of the House Democratic caucus leaders, Rep. Jim Clyburn, of South Carolina, also agreed.
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“The question is, ‘Is there a lingering effect after a few centuries of racism and discrimination in this country?’ The answer is absolutely, ”continued the senator. “The question we should debate and fight for is how to solve these problems in the future? One side says I will take some to give to others. Fighting bigotry with bigotry is hypocrisy.”
Scott, who first put forward proposals on police reform last summer, said he was more optimistic that changes could come this time around because now he thinks the left is not looking. a problem, but rather a solution.
“If we remember, the goal is not for Republicans or Democrats to win, but for communities to feel safer and our officers to feel respected,” Scott told host John Dickerson. “If we can achieve these two major goals, the rest will be history.”
He pointed out what the two bills have in common about data collection and said Democrats and Republicans have come together through negotiations and conversations about no-coup mandates and chokes. Scott said another issue under discussion is Section 1033, which concerns obtaining government equipment from the military for local police.
The Republican said he also had Democratic backing on the issue of qualified immunity after proposing that civil suits could prosecute police departments, instead of individual officers.
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“But the real question is, how do we change the culture of the police? I think we are doing this by making the employer accountable for the actions of the employee. We are doing this with the doctors. We are doing this with the lawyers. our industries, “Scott said.” And if we do that in the area of law enforcement, the employer will change the culture. So instead of changing or not changing an officer, all officers get together. will transform because departments shoulder more of this burden.
“When I spoke with family members on Thursday, they were very receptive to this proposal because what they are looking for is something that shows progress,” Scott added, referring to his closed-door meeting. on Capitol Hill with civil rights attorney Ben Crump. and Bakari Sellers and family members of blacks killed by police in a few high-profile cases.
These parents included: Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd; Alissa Finley, sister of Botham Jean; Tiffany Crutcher, sister of Terence Crutcher; and Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother.
Scott said the conviction of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in the murder and manslaughter of Floyd, as well as the conviction of former North Charleston cop Michael Slager in the shooting death of Walter Scott in 2015 during a traffic stop, are promising for change.
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The senator said Republicans also led the fight for the highest level of funding for historically black colleges to level the playing field in education, in health care by tackling sickle cell disease. and to create areas of opportunity to bring resources to poor communities.
“We will see what we have seen, which is that the unemployment rate hits an all-time low for African Americans, Hispanics, the lowest 70 for women,” he said. -he declares. “These things really matter.”
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