In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with The Daily Wire, Sen. Tim Scott, (R-S.C.), discussed the recent racially charged mass shooting in Buffalo, the Supreme Court’s pending decision on abortion, the ongoing protests at the homes of justices, and what it means to be a black conservative. Below is the first of three articles on the interview.
WASHINGTON — In the wake of the racially motivated mass shooting that left 10 dead and three wounded in Buffalo, one of the most powerful black lawmakers in the country is urging Americans to blame the shooter and not their political opponents.
Sen. Tim Scott, (R-S.C.), said there is precedent for coming together and healing after such a tragedy, and pointed to how his own state pulled together following a 2015 mass shooting, also by a white supremacist. In that attack, a white man shot and killed nine black members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
“A racist walked into a church and killed my friend, the pastor of the church … and eight other African-Americans simply because they were black,” Scott said. “He sat through a Bible study for 90 minutes, pulled out a weapon and executed those nine lives.”
“And so for me, I don’t think about it from a political perspective first or second, think about it from just a human perspective of the loss of my friends,” he added.
Following the attack in Buffalo, many on the Left have sought to blame Republicans and Fox News star Tucker Carlson, even though there is no evidence the shooter was a fan of either. The Daily Wire will not name either mass shooter as part of a policy to deprive such killers of the notoriety they often crave.
Scott said the blame lies with the individual, and the responsibility for healing with all of us.
“Blaming the other side, looking for someone to be the fall person — it should be below leaders in America,” Scott said.
The solution the Biden Administration should be seeking is “unifying our country, not polarizing our country,” Scott said.
“Not looking for someone to blame on the right, not pretending that all the solutions are on the Left, but realizing that the American heart needs to be healed,” he explained, adding that Biden “should lead us towards that healing, that reconciliation, not look for someone on my side of the aisle to blame.”
“That’s just bad leadership,” he said. “And it didn’t happen in South Carolina. When that shooting happened in South Carolina, we rallied around the families. We didn’t point towards folks to blame. We rallied. We knew who to blame. It was the shooter in the church who murdered those lives.”
Scott emphasized the forgiveness that the families showed to the killer, even amid their pain.
“African Americans and white folks, 20,000, showed up at the largest bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, to say, in the place where the Civil War started, ‘We stand together,'” he said. “And because of of the scene that happened a couple of days before that, in a courtroom, when nine family representatives all walked into the courtroom, looked into a video camera, into the eyes of the killer and said, ‘We forgive you.’ That’s the kind of powerful, positive leadership we need in this country that heals this nation, that restores hope in this nation.”
Scott rejects claims the United States is inherently racist, as many commentators have suggested in the aftermath of the Buffalo massacre. He drew on his response to President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress, in which the South Carolina senator declared, “Hear me clearly. America is not a racist country.”
“We are absolutely, positively, unequivocally better together,” Scott told The Daily Wire. “Are there threads of racism in too many in the fabric of this nation? Absolutely. We should cut every piece, every thread, every thread out of the fabric of America. We should be unequivocal on our approach to that.”
Most Americans love their country and respect one another, Scott said.
“The vast majority of Americans want the same thing,” he explained. “They want to raise their families, love their kids, their wives, their spouses. They want to be able to go to the ballgame and not hear gunfire. They want to be able to go to the movie and enjoy the end of the story. They want to go to dinner with the one that they love.”
Scott continued: “The good news is, all across this amazing and remarkable country, the story of redemption continues to be lived out. We see today you can live in any neighborhood you want to live in as long as you can afford to buy the house.”
The senator said that he has seen a great transformation of people in the United States throughout his lifetime, pointing to his senatorial race against Paul Thurmond, son of the late segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond.
“In South Carolina with a district that was 80% white, I won 68/32,” he said. “It reflects the evolution of the Southern heart. It says more about them than it did me. They wanted someone that matched the content of their character, not the color of their skin.”
“And the good news is [former opponent] Paul Thurmond is a fantastic guy,” he added. “Still a friend of mine. If we just remember how much we have in common, if we just remember who we are and why we aspire to be the world leader on topics of fairness and equality. We’ll be okay.”
Addressing how the Biden administration has handled racial issues so far, Scott pointed to Biden’s policies and the results of those policies.
“I would say if you’re looking at inflation, if you’re looking at crime rates, the Biden administration is failing the very people [of whom Biden] said ‘You can’t be black if you don’t vote for me,'” Scott said. “That’s awful.”
The senator asked that Americans imagine the struggle of “the average single mom living paycheck to paycheck when her gas price in South Carolina goes from a $1.99 in December 2020 to $4 a gallon right now.”
“A 100% increase in the cost of gas means a reduction in her choice of food, in clothing for her kids,” he said.
“Let’s think about the violent crimes,” Scott said. “Too often, these absolutely atrocious situations are occurring in big blue cities where they’re all controlled by Democrats. Violent crime rates in those cities have skyrocketed to the point where 2019 homicides increased by 44%, and African-Americans and Hispanics represent 85% of that additional increase.”
The good news, according to Scott, is that there are Republicans who have “taken a strong, powerful stand on behalf of people working paycheck to paycheck.”
“What did we do when we had the opportunity?” he asked, referring to Republican wins during former President Donald Trump’s administration. “Well, we actually lowered the taxes of a single mother by 70%, federal taxes. We brought $4,000, on average, back to how every dual parent household.”
“We also saw the lowest poverty rate in the history of the country in 2019, in part because of the passage of opportunity zones, that brought $29 billion into the poorest, typically majority minority communities,” he continued. “We saw unemployment rates go, for African-Americans, the lowest record ever recorded. Same is true for Hispanics. Same is true for Asians, and a 70-year low for women. So if you are looking for the right solution, look, right. If you’re looking for the wrong solution. You can look left.”