Scott creates MLK Day videos, hopes to rebut Biden speech
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The U.S. Senate’s only Black Republican is putting forth what he characterizes as a positive response to partisan rhetoric on race that he’s best-positioned to rebut.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said he hopes a video series on issues he sees as pertinent to the Black community will help refocus a fraught national conversation on race.
Scott timed the release in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
He said he feels that race struggles are only exacerbated by President Joe Biden’s recent voting rights speech, which Scott calls “misleading.”
In a video posted to his Senate webpage, Scott said he was “infuriated” by Biden’s speech last Tuesday in which the president likened the lack of action on voting rights as a return to the Jim Crow era.
“For the President to bring up that dark, evil time in our nation’s history and to compare that to the Georgia law, Jim Crow 2.0, as he refers to it, is ludicrous. It’s insulting,” Scott said.
But the senator said Biden then went “even lower,” comparing people who disagree with him “to the likes of Bull Connor, Jefferson Davis, or George Wallace.”
“He didn’t just refer to Republicans as racist, and traders, he even included members of his own party who disagree with that,” Scott said. “I can’t think of a better example of failed leadership than the speech I heard on Tuesday.”
Scott said Biden wants the American people to believe what he says more than what they see.
“We are not where we want to be but thank God Almighty, we are not where we used to be,” Scott said.
In speech, Biden called Georgia law ‘Jim Crow 2.0′
In Tuesday’s speech at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Biden called on Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, which he said would prevent voter suppression.
Biden claimed that during last year alone, 19 states enacted 34 laws “attacking voting rights.”
“There were nearly 400 additional bills Republican members of state legislatures tried to pass,” Biden said. “And now, Republican legislators in several states have already announced plans to escalate the onslaught this year. Their endgame? To turn the will of the voters into a mere suggestion — something states can respect or ignore. Jim Crow 2.0 is about two insidious things: voter suppression and election subversion. It’s no longer about who gets to vote; it’s about making it harder to vote. It’s about who gets to count the vote and whether your vote counts at all.”
READ MORE: Full text of Biden’s speech on voting rights
Biden said on Monday Americans must commit to the unfinished work of King, delivering jobs and justice and protecting what he calls “the sacred right to vote, a right from which all other rights flow.” Biden’s remarks Monday were among many by politicians acknowledging unmet needs for racial equality on Martin Luther King Day.
King’s eldest son criticized Biden and Congress for failing to overcome Republican moves to make voting harder in 19 states.
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