The GOP made historic gains Tuesday night with the addition of two black Republicans. Mia Love of Utah became the first black female to ever be elected to Congress, while Tim Scott became the first black senator elected in South Carolina. Scott was appointed by Republican Governor Nikki Haley to fill Jim DeMint’s seat after his resignation. Scott won 61% of the votes in the general election versus Democrat Joyce Dickerson’s 37%, (she also is African-American.) Senator-elect Scott, 49, will be up for re-election for a full-term in 2016.
Tim Scott visited with Fox & Friends to talk about his victory in South Carolina. He was asked to comment on race relations in the Southern states:
But I think what we have seen in the South over the last 50 years is perhaps the most progress made on race anywhere in the country has been made in Southern states where voters now vote for people that think like them, have the same values as they do no matter what they look like. This is really good news for all of us who are born and bred in the South.
A Fox News poll of 3,804 respondents were asked their opinions about race relations in the United States over the last few years. 38% thought race relations have gotten worse, 20% said they have gotten better, and 40% believed things were about the same. Senator-elect Scott said that he believes that race relations have gotten a bit worse over the past few years, with much of the problems from “our own peers.” He cited his own example of his high school years:
I heard so often, ‘You’re not just black enough.’ I’m not even sure what that was supposed to mean, but simply said, too many kids are today are facing a choice of dumbing down in order to fit in. I would say to them, ‘Don’t fit in.’
Scott said that Democrats often use the subjects of race and poverty for political reasons rather than to improve the “human condition”:
Too often we see our friends on the left using this issue of race as a ‘calling card’ not for the human condition but for political gain. This is a major problem in our country and it is creating a rift in our nation that is unnecessary when so many people in so many places are doing the right thing. We should celebrate the progress we have made.
Scott was enthusiastic about Mia Love’s victory as well as challenger Will Hurd defeating incumbent Democrat Representative Pete Gallego in Texas’ 23rd District. Scott also mentioned Boyd Rutherford’s victory as Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor, with running mate Larry Hogan winning the governor’s race.
There shouldn’t be a single, stereo-typical definition of what it means to be ‘black enough.’ We should all be looking first and foremost, how much of an American are you.
(h/t: Fox News)
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.