Politics Leftists silent as Biden, Harris agree with Sen. Tim Scott that America is not a racist country
Kamala Harris cements her place in Biden's inner circle during a consequential week
Vice President Kamala Harris was huddled with other White House officials in President Joe Biden's private dining room last week when the room let out a "collective exhale." A Minnesota jury had found Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. © Evan Vucci/AP Vice President Kamala Harris speaks Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the White House in Washington, after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Democrats and liberal activists were furious this week after Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina asserted “America is not a racist country.”
Curiously, many of the same people who raged against Scott for this had no similar reaction when President Joe Biden said exactly the same thing in an interview that aired Friday. “I don't think America is racist,” said Biden. They also had nothing to say after Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday, “I don’t think America is a racist country.”
Wow, guess they must have used up all their energy dumping on the black senator from South Carolina, right?
Biden to propose $1.8 trillion 'families plan' with paid leave, child care, universal pre-K, free community college
The plan is the second piece of Biden's 'Build Back Better' economic agenda following the release of a $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan.Biden is set to formally introduce his American Families Plan at his first address before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night. It's the second piece of his "Build Back Better" economic agenda following the release of a $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan released earlier this month.
On Wednesday, following Biden’s address to Congress, Scott delivered a rebuttal in which he argued America is a fundamentally good country, and that the “anti-racism” fad threatens to do more harm than good.
“[P]owerful forces want to pull us apart," said the senator. "A hundred years ago, kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic. And if they looked a certain way, they were inferior. Today, kids again are being taught that the color of their skin defines them, and if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor. From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress at all, by doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal.”
How Joe Biden's speech to Congress differs from past presidential addresses
Things will look a lot different during the annual presidential address, from COVID-19 guidelines to history being made behind the podium.The address, which technically is not called the State of the Union, will be the first time a U.S. president speaks to both houses of Congress since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as former President Donald Trump delivered his last State of the Union on Feb. 4, 2020.
“You know this stuff is wrong,” Scott continued. “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different types of discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.”
His remarks immediately set off liberal activists and commentators.
“I could have sworn I heard Senator Tim Scott, the sole Black Republican in the Senate, claim tonight, ‘America is not a racist nation,’” said former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. “That’s absurd.”
For reference, Democrats have exactly two black senators. They had only one until recently. Is it because they are racists?
“Not sure how this man lives with himself,” said Democratic activist Amy Siskind.
The View co-host Sunny Hostin,, said, “I was disappointed that he said ‘America is not a racist country’ without also talking about the systemic racism that is plaguing this country.” (He did actually talk about that, by the way.)
Opinion: What grade did Biden get on his speech to Congress
CNN Opinion asks contributors to grade President Joe Biden's first speech before a joint session of Congress. © Pool/Getty Images North America/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. On the eve of his 100th day in office, Biden spoke about his plan to revive America's economy and health as it continues to recover from a devastating pandemic.
“Tim Scott complained about being called an Uncle Tom and then 60 seconds later said America is not a racist country,” said former MSNBC co-host Toure Neblett.
The funniest thing about this episode is that both Biden and Harris agree with Scott, not with the racialists.
"I don't think America is racist,” the president said in an NBC News interview that aired Friday, “but I think the overhang from all of the Jim Crow and before that, slavery, have had a cost and we have to deal with it.”
Earlier, on Thursday, Harris said, “No, I don’t think America is a racist country. But we also do have to speak truth about the history of racism in our country, and it’s existence today.”
These statements are perfectly in line with what Scott said, including all the parts where the senator stated that racism is a serious problem, that it has been a persistent theme in America's story, and that even he has been a victim of it. Scott spoke pointedly about being followed around while he was shopping.
The similarities between his rebuttal and subsequent remarks made by the president and vice president have not been lost on the senator, either.
Why President Joe Biden's speech to Congress was unlike any other in modern history
A joint sessions speech, known for its glad-handing cadence, was bound to be subdued with only 200 folks permitted at an event that can hold 1,500.President Joe Biden's address to a joint session of Congress was unlike any in modern history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With no more than 200 folks permitted for an event that can hold up to 1,500, an event known for its glad-handing cadence and rousing moments was destined to be subdued.
"I meant what I said on Wednesday night, and I’m glad Joe Biden and Kamala Harris agreed with me: America is not a racist country," Scott said Friday.
Indeed, like the South Carolina senator, Biden and Harris even couch their beliefs about America with careful caveats. However, unlike Scott, Biden and Harris's comments haven't sparked a deluge of outrage from professionally aggrieved leftists.
Reich has said nothing in response. The same goes for Siskind, Hostin, Neblett, and many others unmentioned here.
I guess it’s only bad when a Republican says it!
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Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on May 2, 2021 .
On this "Face the Nation" broadcast, White House Chief of Staff and Senator Tim Scott sat down with John DickersonClick here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation.