Senator Tim Scott appeared on talk show "The View" to combat comments made by the show's hosts just two weeks prior that he didn't quite grasp what it's like to be black in the United States, despite being a black man himself. Scott also called remarks that his life was an "exception" for black people, not a rule, "dangerous" and "disgusting."
Host Joy Behar recently claimed that Scott and other black Republicans didn't acknowledge systemic racism to the degree that she believes they should and implied that "pulling yourself by your bootstraps" was an unrealistic viewpoint.
"He's one of these guys, who, you know, he's like [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas, black Republican, believes in pulling yourself by your bootstraps rather than, to me, understanding the systemic racism that African-Americans face in this country, and other minorities," Behar said.
Scott recently announced that he was running for president, and appeared on "The View" on June 5, 2023, to combat the narrative the hosts were schilling about him. However, Behar did not appear on the episode for his rebuttal — instead, co-host Sunny Hostin had the most contentious exchange with the South Carolina politician.
"You have indicated that you don't believe in systemic racism," Hostin asked. "What is your definition of systemic racism?"
"One of the reasons I'm on the show is because of the comments that were made frankly on this show that the only way for a young African-American kid to be successful in this country is to be the exception and not the rule," Scott began. "That is a dangerous, offensive, disgusting message to send to our young people today, that the only way to succeed is by being the exception."
"I will tell you that if my life is the exception, I can't imagine —" Scott continued before Hostin interrupted, saying "It is."
"But it's not actually," Scott declared. "It's been 114 years," the host added.
"The fact of the matter is we've had an African-American president, African-American vice president, we've had two African-American secretaries of the State, in my home city the police chief is an African-American who's now running for mayor. The head of the highway patrol for South Carolina is African-American," Scott listed. "In 1975, there is about 15% employment in the African-American community. For the first time in the history of the country it's under 5%."
America can be "measured in generations," Scott went on. "I look back at the fact that my grandfather, born in 1921 in Sally, South Carolina, when he was on a sidewalk, a white person was coming. He had to step off and not make eye contact. That man believed then, with some doubt now, in the goodness of America because he believed that having faith in God, faith in himself, and faith in what the future could hold for his kids would unleash opportunities in ways that you cannot imagine."
The senator went on to remark on how every major news network in the country has "African-American and Hispanic hosts." While he did not agree that "America has met its promise," he said the country should always strive to become a more perfect union.