Senator Tim Scott is a product of Republican reverse racism and low expectations, according to a Bloomberg View editorial board member.
In a racially charged screed entitled “Do Republicans Lower the Bar for Blacks?” Francis Wilkinson dismisses South Carolina Republican Scott, the first African American to represent a southern state in the upper chamber since the Republican senators of the Reconstruction era, as a “thing most rare and precious” who offers the GOP “both an absolution for the past and a shield for the present and future.”
Wilkinson offers little evidence for his thesis, and at least one claim — that Scott has achieved his place in the Senate by being “so far to the right that there was no space for a Tea Party challenge” — that seems to suggest Scott holds his seat through his own political abilities rather than any special racial treatment from the GOP. Nevertheless, he sums up his racial theory confidently:
In effect, South Carolina Republicans treat Scott like the national party previously treated the ham-handed presidential candidate Herman Cain and the party’s not-quite-competent chairman during Obama’s first term, Michael Steele: They are members of an endangered political species for whom the bar is effectively lowered.
Affirmative action based on race has taken quite a beating at the Supreme Court, in state legislatures and at the ballot box. In the Republican Party, however, affirmative action can punch your ticket like nobody’s business.
For the record, black Democrats are held to the most rigorous standards of excellence and skill: