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A Black Republican Tackles The Police ‘Trust Gap’

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A Black Republican Tackles The Police ‘Trust Gap’

Tim Scott

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina was still learning the ways of Washington, he says, when he saw a police officer following his car near Capitol Hill.

“I took a left…,” he recalled in a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, “and as soon as I took a left, a police officer pulled in right behind me.”

That was his first left turn. His second came at a traffic signal. The patrol car was still following him. Scott took a third left onto the street that led to his apartment complex.

It was his fourth left, turning into his apartment complex, that brought the blue lights on. “The officer approached the car,” Scott recalled, “and said that I did not use my turn signal on the fourth turn. Keep in mind, as you might imagine, I was paying very close attention to the law enforcement officer who followed me on four turns. Do you really think that somehow I forget to use my turn signal on that fourth turn? Well, according to him, I did.”

Oh, did I mention that Tim Scott is African-American? He’s the only black Republican in the Senate and the first to be elected from the South since 1881.

He did not get there by being a liberal or a Black Lives Matter radical. He’s a “pro-life,” anti-Obamacare and NRA-endorsed conservative.

He is also, whatever else you may think of his politics — which are more conservative than mine — a very likeable and thoughtful businessman from North Charleston whose family, as he likes to say with patriotic pride, “went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.”

Yet, issues such as police conduct and public safety have become personal for Scott. It was in his hometown, North Charleston, S.C., last year that a cellphone video showed Walter Scott (no relation), an unarmed 50-year-old black man, shot to death by a police officer from whom he was running away.

Two months later a gunman fatally shot nine people, including friends of Scott, at Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Scott calls for a halt to abuses by police, but he also wants fairness for police and improved law enforcement.

One tragedy illustrated the dangers of bad policing. The other illustrated why we need good police.

So when Scott stood on the Senate floor to declare and decry a “trust gap” between law enforcement officers and black communities, he was worth hearing.

“Please remember that, in the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement officers,” Scott declared in the widely covered and retweeted speech. “Not four, not five, not six but seven times in one year as an elected official.

“Was I speeding sometimes? Sure. But the vast majority of the time, I was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial.

“I do not know many African-American men who do not have a very similar story to tell,” said Scott, “no matter the profession, no matter their income, no matter their disposition in life.”

A young former staffer of Scott’s grew so frustrated over being stopped by District of Columbia police, the senator said, that he replaced the car with “a more obscure form of transportation. He was tired of being targeted.”

“There is absolutely nothing more frustrating, more damaging to your soul,” said Scott, “than when you know you’re following the rules and being treated like you are not.”

On that note, Scott asked for nothing in his speech, except empathy, a sincere effort to understand what others are going through — which in itself is asking a lot from some people.

“Today,” he said, “I simply ask you this: Recognize that just because you do not feel the pain, the anguish of another, does not mean that it does not exist. To ignore their struggles, our struggles, does not make them disappear. It simply leaves you blind and the American family very vulnerable.”

Well said. Folks who respond to complaints of racial discrimination by police by bringing up black-on-black crime need to hear what Tim Scott is trying to tell them. Fighting crime without fighting police misconduct leads to more crime. We need to get rid of both.



  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth July 16, 2016

    The ultimate oxymoron—a black Republican. While acknowledging his brush with the law for DWB(“driving while black”), he’ll continue merrily along just whistling Dixie and lauding the merits of picking cotton the old-fashioned way complete with a designated overseer.

    “Now, what is we goin’ to do?”

    1. AgLander July 16, 2016

      Bigotry alert! Liberals used to be so condescending and dismissive towards blacks who didn’t toe the Democrat line but now they are outright vicious in their personal attacks!

      1. drdroad July 16, 2016

        I’m looking for it, I really am. But I just can’t find a bunch of ‘vicious’ attacks by Democrats against Blacks. However, over on Newsmax I see plenty of them. Pretty sure those aren’t Democrats!

          1. JPHALL July 16, 2016

            But I bet you will find a whole lot more on right wing sites,

          2. drdroad July 17, 2016

            I read that article, and the term ‘Democrat(s)’ isn’t found anywhere. I still can’t find accounts of Democrats launching ‘vicious’ attacks on Black Republicans?? That’s because you tried to balance the crap that happens on all the Right Wing sites, like Newsmax, with something made up.

          3. Independent1 July 17, 2016

            You’ve proven time and again that don’t even have the brain power to understand the implications of what you’re reading. How can you expect to make sensible posts when you have absolutely no reading comprehension whatsoever!!!

      2. Cher July 16, 2016

        You should go see his post on Blaze. The reaction to him was venemous. Some accusing him of exaggerating while others saying he deserved this treatment ( including his treatment by guards in the Senate) because there are plenty of black criminals. In other words the republican base believes that all blacks deserve to be treated like crap until black crime stops. There are many personal attacks on him at that site and I doubt they were from liberals.

      3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth July 16, 2016

        The alert is sounded whenever you open your mouth(or use your keyboard). You see, you are under some post-hypnotic force that has crippled your rational mind.

        Every post you’ve submitted is a result of some battering of the rational portion of your brain. The GOP has reprogrammed you to such an extent that you perform your task flawlessly.

        Fortunately, the rest of us, aside from the Goat, can easily discern the damage to a person who follows the hypnotic suggestions of the Wingnuts. Your condition mirrors that of the rats which followed the Pied Piper of Hamelin to their eventual demise.

        AgLander Alert!

        1. dpaano July 18, 2016

          As I keep saying…..these trolls are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome…..they’ll believe everything they are told to believe by the GOP no matter how wrong it might be, AND they refuse to take the time to do research that would prove the GOP to be wrong because they refuse to believe that they are being lied to!!!

  2. adler56 July 16, 2016

    No details on what happened with the cop who followed him for “driving while black”?
    He was stopped 7 times and he’s still a Republican? Seems like he’s running from being black. what a waste of a brain- even being President of the United States doesn’t impress the racists- like ISIS- we need to get rid of them.

    1. AgLander July 16, 2016

      As opposed to becoming a Democrat and not having to use ones brain at all other than remembering where to vote?

      1. Independent1 July 17, 2016

        “As opposed to becoming a Democrat and not having to use ones brain”

        What brain were Bush and Cheney using when they refused 7 times the CIA’s desperate requests to let them try and stop and imminent attack by al Qaeda which ended up being 9/11 with almost 3,000 Americans dying?

        What brain were Bush and Cheney using when they lied America into a needless war that ended up killing over 4,000 more Americans and over 100,000 Iraqi’s? And may well increased America’s debts by as much as 6 trillion dollars!!

        What brain was Ronald Reagan using when he deliberately cut the max tax rate more than in half so he and his rich buddies could pocket more money which ended up sucking all the wealth from more than 80% of Americans pockets resulting in America having the 2nd highest income inequality on the planet?

        What brain was Richard Nixon using when he not only committed treason by sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks but also masterminded the Watergate break-in that forced him to step down from being president?

        What brain were Bush and Cheney using when they pushed for two tax cuts claiming that they would spur the American economy so much that increased taxes due to the cuts would pay for themselves?? Tax Cuts that are one of the major reasons America has 19 trillion in debt today??

        What brain were Republican legislators in Congress using the past 7 years when they frittered away over 1/2 a billion dollars deliberately voting more than 300 times for legislation that they new would be dead-in-the-water when it reached the Senate; like voting more than 50 times needlessly to repeal Obamacare?

        What brain were Republican legislators in Congress using when the concocted one fake scandal after another just so they could waste over 100 million dollars and countless hours of congressional clown shows coming up empty in every one of the fake scandal nonsense?


  3. FireBaron July 16, 2016

    Black man driving a nice car with out-of-state plates, in a nice neighborhood, pulling into an upscale apartment complex. I would be willing to bet this cop saw “drug bust”! Was Scott wearing his US Senate ID badge on his lapel? Would the DC Metro cop even recognize that?

  4. CrankyToo July 16, 2016

    I have zero love for Republicans (notwithstanding the fact that I used to be one). But it’s awfully hard to argue with a black Republican making sense. We should be applauding this guy for what he said on the Senate floor last Wednesday, not denigrating him.

  5. Peter Rosenwald July 16, 2016

    Beautifully put by that rare breed, a Republican Senator who cares.
    And we must, as he suggests, try to feel what he and other black people feel. And then we need not to stand by but to make our voices heard demanding that this kind, all kinds of racism, end. It won’t be easy, especially when the likes of Trump throw fuel on the racial injustice fire, but as the marchers sang: We Shall Overcome.

  6. stcroixcarp July 16, 2016

    Why is he still a republican?

    1. Bonissima91910 July 16, 2016

      What is the purpose or intention of your question? Being a Republican or Democrat is NOT going to stop a racist ill trained or presumptuous cop. It is comments like yours that give a window to the racist mindset of the nation. Unfortunately we have a lot to learn still; fortunately the sun rises every day so there is hope.

      1. AgLander July 17, 2016

        I think he’s saying that Democrats hate cops….and sadly, it’s true.

        1. marriea July 17, 2016

          Actually Democrats nor blacks hate cops, it’s what they do that bring out the angst in many including myself.
          A cop sees a black person doing something, it’s automatically wrong.
          While with a white person, it’s usually a shrug of the shoulders.
          Why is that? If you are in the business of reinforcing laws, all laws they would have us believe, why not treat them and the ‘lawbreakers the same?
          It’s too bad that that cop was not invited to the Senate floor to explain himself and his motivations.
          Too bad Scott didn’t use his bully pulpit as a way to understand why cops seem to think that it’s the blalck person who’s always a lawbreaker and expresses total shock when a white person does.
          Unless we make efforts to get rid of this absurb notion, then one of these days we as the most diverse nation on earth is going to be in bigger do-do.

        2. King of America July 17, 2016

          Nah, he was saying that Republicans are racist. Of course, being functionally illiterate is kinda your thing.

        3. dpaano July 18, 2016

          Sorry, not true! Don’t know where you get your asinine information, but you seem to be full of it!!! It matters little if a person is a republican OR a democrat…..what matters is whether they know the meaning of respect! That means respect on BOTH sides…..respect by the police officer and respect by the individual who is stopped.

  7. Jeff Noncent July 16, 2016

    I am a Black man I got stop by policeman more than one, I obey what the policeman tell me to do, the Issue here is not about crime, and it’s not about race, it’s not about gun, it’s about our moral is gone, I remember when I was in college,I came home to visit my parent one night, and there was kids there, they were misbehaving, they were kiking the door, and I followed them up the street, someone call the cop on me because I was following the kids that was misbehaving, and the cops took the kids side insted of mine, remember I am the adult here, that happen couple years a go way before the guy in the office took office, and it’s getting worse, we are not teaching the kids how to respect authority and the adult don’t respect kids, and kids don’t respect adult I wonder why? that is where the problem is

    1. dpaano July 18, 2016

      Jeff, I have to agree. Our young people do not know how to act like adults! My parents always stressed that you should respect our police officers. If you’re pulled over for ANY reason, you don’t make any quick movements, you do what you’re told, you answer their questions respectfully, and you act like a grown-up. If you’re sarcastic, disrespectful, or rude……you’re only going to make a police officer feel nervous. For some officers, this is not a good thing because our officers nowadays are so paranoid. If parents want to talk to their children about how to deal with law enforcement…..stressing respect is the first thing they need to talk about!!! Unfortunately, some parents today don’t seem to have the same respect either in some cases…….

      1. Jeff Noncent July 19, 2016

        I am with you ,I do believe the moral of these nation and the world is not there, and the family unit has been destroyed by the government

        1. dpaano July 19, 2016

          Definitely, there are more single-parent families among the African American population, and there are more black-on-black murders among African Americans. It’s a pretty sad thing to see people killing their own…..then they get all hyper about police shooting an African American (which I can totally understand because some of the actions of these rogue officers even offend me to the core). ALL parties need to communicate and figure out what to do about the loss the family unit and the problems with gangs and gang shootings. We are losing more and more of our African American youth today, and it’s definitely NOT okay and it’s not all the fault of our police. I’m not sure what can be done, and as a so-called “white” person, I don’t have answers, but I sure want to be a part of this. I basically lived in Compton from the age of 3 mos. to 4 years, and our family (the only white family on the block) got along wonderfully with our neighbors, which goes to show that not ALL African Americans and not ALL white people are bad. As I said many times, we’re all the same color under that thin layer of skin, and once we all start understanding that, maybe that would be a start. I’m on your side, Jeff…..just wish I had some ideas on how to fix the problems that are occurring now in our country.

          1. Jeff Noncent July 19, 2016

            The black American have low self esteem, because what happen to them a long time a go, and that is slavery, that alone grip the Black African people, if anyone has low self esteem, it’s hard for them to get back into the groove of life

          2. dpaano July 19, 2016

            Jeff, again, I agree wholeheartedly. That was a very sad time. I’m not sure what the answer is at this point, and I wish I did. Things need to change and we need to get rid of the racial tension that is in our country on BOTH sides. The answers are not easy, are they? Even the American Indians have the same problems with alcoholism due to the way that the American pioneers treated them. We have NOT been a good example to this country based on how we treated people in the past. We took away the Indian’s heritage, just as we took away the heritage of the African Americans brought here in slavery. What happened back then is appalling to me, and I’m sure a lot of others feel the same way and feel just as helpless to solve our problems today. It’ll take more than just you and I to solve the problems.

          3. Jeff Noncent July 19, 2016

            The answer to this problem is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ because he has the answer for human life

  8. dpaano July 18, 2016

    I have to agree somewhat…..our current police officers are NOT trained properly and do not deal with crime on an equal basis. Many years ago, as a member of a police group, I was involved in the vetting of potential police recruits. The vetting was much more in depth than it is now, and many did not make it onto the force. But, nowadays, the vetting of police recruits is lax and most departments will accept anyone that breathes! We need to get more serious about who we hire to protect our cities, and once hired, make sure they are trained properly. They need to be watched carefully for problems that arise and have these dealt with immediately! We cannot continue hiring police officers who have racist outlooks or have anger problems. These are NOT the types of individuals that should be patrolling our streets and protecting our neighborhoods!!! It’s no wonder that people no longer trust our police departments even tho’ only a small percentage of the officers are problems, but those few problem children are the ones that put a bad light on entire departments. This needs to stop!!! This needs to stop for both races, and we need communication in how to work together!!! We don’t need more violence or more protests that bring on violence…..both sides need to sit down and have some serious conversations on how to change the training of our officers and how to teach our young men and women in dealing with police officers so that no one gets hurt! African American parents shouldn’t have to sit their children down and give them the “talk” about dealing with law enforcement…..it should be something EVERYONE is taught. Everyone needs to realize that we’re all the same color under our skin!! Just because one’s skin color doesn’t match yours doesn’t make them any better or any worse, nor does it mean anyone should be treated differently by our police forces. Violence is NOT the answer!!!


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