South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott appeared on the ABC News show 'The View' Monday to take issue with previous comments by the co-hosts that his success was because he represented an "exception" to the Black experience in America and is not the "rule."
"One of the reasons why I'm on the show is because of the comments that were made, frankly, on the 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, who is also running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, said during his appearance on the show. "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."
Scott told the hosts of the show that the country has made progress since the time of his grandfather, who lived in the south and had to cross the street when approaching a white person and was prohibited from making eye contact.
"The transformation that I have seen in my life, and in South Carolina, is measurable by the millions of lives that are absolutely different today than it has ever been," he said. "Particularly when I look back at my grandfather's life."
Co-host Sunny Hostin pressed Scott on his view of not being an "exception to the rule" like herself and fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg because of five core issues harming the Black community including economics, healthcare, education, housing, and criminal justice, where she said structural racism still exists.
"The fact of the matter is we have had an African American president, an African American vice president, we've had two African Americans being secretaries of state," he said. "In my home state, the police chief is an African American who is now running for mayor. The head of the highway patrol for South Carolina is an African American."
Scott also compared the less than 5% African American unemployment rate achieved during former President Donald Trump's administration to the 15% unemployment rate for the minority during the 1970s.
"Progress in America is palpable," he said. "It can be measured in generations. Yesterday's 'exception' is today's rule."
He said the challenges faced 50-60 years ago are not the same challenges the nation faces now, and that he believes education is the "magic" in America that can lead to success for all people.
"I'm about making sure our kids have as many opportunities to succeed as possible," he said.
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