Senator Tim Scott, who delivered the Republican response to President Biden’s speech to Congress, said Sunday that “America is not a racist country,” and since both sides are negotiating federal-level police reform on Capitol Hill, the goal is “is not Republicans or Democrats to win, but for communities to feel more secure and our officers to feel respected. ”
Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, also claimed that CBS ‘”Face the Nation” appeared on Sunday that “fighting bigotry with opulence is hypocrisy” when Biden last week called on Congress to pass a police reform bill before one year Anniversary of George Floyd̵
“I personally understand the pain of being stopped 18 times while driving while black,” Scott said, arguing that he brings a “balance” to the conversation. “I have also seen the beauty of officers going door to door with me on Christmas morning and delivering gifts to children in the most disadvantaged communities.”
“America is not a racist country,” he confirmed, arguing that Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and one of the leaders of the House Democrat Caucus, rep. Jim Clyburn, from 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 nation?’ The answer is absolute, “the senator continued. “The question we should discuss and fight over is how do we solve these problems going forward? One side says I will take from some to give to others. Fighting opulence with opulence is hypocrisy.”
Scott, who first put forward proposals for police reform last summer, said he is more hopeful that changes can be made this time around, because now he believes the left is not looking for a problem, rather than a solution.
“If we remember, the goal is not for Republicans or Democrats to win, but for communities to feel more secure and our officers to feel respected,” Scott host John Dickerson said. “If we can achieve these two main 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 closer through negotiations and talks on no banking options and chokeholds. Scott said another topic under discussion is section 1033, which deals with getting government equipment from the military to local police.
The Republican said he also has democratic support for the issue of qualified immunity after proposing that civil lawsuits can sue police departments instead of individual officers.
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“But the real question is, how do we change the police in the police? I think we do it by making the employer responsible for the actions of the employee. We do it with doctors. We do it with lawyers. We do it in all our industries at all. , ”Said Scott.“ And if we do that in law enforcement, the employer will change the culture. So unlike having an officer who changes or does not change, we all get officers to transform because the departments take on more of that burden. “
“When I spoke to family members on Thursday, they were very receptive to that 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 lawyers Ben Crump and Bakari Sellers and family members of black people killed by police in a few high-profile cases.
These relatives included: Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd; Alissa Finley, sister of Botham Jean; Tiffany Crutcher, sister of Terence Crutcher; and Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner.
Scott said the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder and murder of Floyd as well as the conviction of former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager in the 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott during a traffic stop show promise of change.
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The senator said Republicans have also led the fight to secure the highest level of funding for historically black colleges to create a level playing field in education, in health care by addressing sickle cell anemia and in opportunity zones to bring resources into poor communities.
“We will see what we have seen, which is unemployment hitting the lowest time for African Americans, Hispanics, 70 years low for women,” he said. “These things actually mean something.”