By Ethan Nikfar
Every year, the president of the United States stands before Congress in monarchical fashion to address what the king-like figure is doing to help solve our problems. Along with it, the opposition party has a designated person with the worst job in Congress: giving a response to that speech. The out-of-power party’s rebuttal to the president is invariably seen as meager and useless in comparison to the main address.
But last week, Tim Scott, the Republican Senator from South Carolina, became the sole exception to that rule.
Scott gave a terrific response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech – a speech that highlighted the president’s goal of fundamentally realigning the relationship between the government and the people. Biden made constitutionally illiterate claims such as, “It’s time we remembered that we the people are the government,” whereas Scott acknowledged limits on the government’s power and expressed optimism for the country’s future that stemmed from outside Washington’s schemes.
But after the address was over, Scott became subject to the extreme vitriol of the left. Why? Because in his speech, Scott, a black man, had the temerity to say, “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”
With that, the left exploded with outrage. The senator was endlessly attacked and had racial slurs hurled his way. “Uncle Tim” began trending on Twitter and remained on the platform for the entire day. Leftists immediately demanded that Scott accept his lesser, victimhood status and bow down to his mobbish saviors.
The left’s disgraceful reaction was particularly bizarre considering that Vice President Kamala Harris agreed with Scott’s statement about race in America, yet she received little to no blowback for her observation.
Throughout the next few days, Democrats across the country attempted to portray their disgust that Scott, a black man, was chosen to lead the response. For example, The View’s co-host, Sunny Hostin, claimed, “He was chosen because he is the only black Republican Senator. He is that person.”
In reality, Scott was not chosen by Republicans solely based on the color of his skin. Instead, he actually has political views and life experiences that make him uniquely qualified to give that specific speech, and to best address the disingenuous claims Biden was making about race in America.
Scott has faced racism in his everyday life – lending him credibility to speak on the matter of race in America. He also co-wrote the police reform bill last summer that Democrats filibustered before even allowing it to be debated on the floor. In a bit of an unsurprising twist, Democrats used the same filibuster they now decry as a “Jim Crow relic” to stymie a black Senator’s proposal.
Regardless, it is significantly less divisive and wrong for Tim Scott to be chosen to lead the State of the Union response than it is to select a Vice President purely based on her gender and skin color. If you are wondering who may have done such a thing, look no further than our current president, who openly admitted to vetting vice presidential candidates based on their gender and skin color. But when Joe Biden did precisely that, we heard only praise from the left.
That really suggests one thing – parrot the woke left’s viewpoints, and you can say what you want about race and emphasize its importance (or lack thereof) without pushback. Suggest, however, that the left may be wrong, and you suddenly turn into an evil ignoramus who is withdrawn from the reality of race in this country. Such is the pamphlet to our current political discourse.
This insane treatment has not been limited to just Tim Scott. Nikki Haley, the former UN Ambassador and Governor of South Carolina, has had similar slurs directed her way due to her Punjabi heritage.
To the Democratic Party, there is only one way of life for anyone non-white: to be Democrats. Anyone accused of breaking that orthodoxy is subjected to cruel, vile harassment.
The irony is that even though Democrats howled to the moon that the Trump-led GOP was the party of white nationalism, the GOP made significant inroads with minority voters in 2020.
Aside from that, Senator Scott deserves better; he is a decent man in indecent times. But to Democrats, his character and the merit of his ideas are of zero importance. The only things that matter are the words “black” and “Republican.”
Progressives who think they get to decide who qualifies as black have not only cost us an honest conversation about race, but they have also revealed themselves to be a party of race-obsessed partisans unwilling to tolerate opposing ideas.
Mr. Nikfar is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and a columnist for The Hesperian.