South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republician in the Senate, lit social media on fire when he said “America is not a racist country” during his rebuttal to President Biden’s first joint address to Congress on April 28. The statement was confusing, considering President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris nor any other sitting Democratic Senator has ever said America was a racist country.
While many people were blasting Scott’s comments, which also appeared to dismiss systemic racism, Lamar County Democratic Party Chairman Gary O'Connor crossed the line when he called Scott an “oreo.” O’Connor has now apologized and resigned.
According to The Washington Examiner, O’Connor said in a statement on May 4, “I am deeply and sincerely sorry for my inappropriate and hurtful use of racist term I used to describe Sen. Tim Scott on my personal Facebook page. It was insensitive, and I have embarrassed myself and my party by its use.”
He also added, “As a result, I feel compelled to offer my resignation as chair of the Lamar County Democratic Party for consideration by the County Executive Committee.”
O’Connor’s original post read, "I had hoped that Scott might show some common sense, but it seems clear he is little more than an oreo with no real principles.”
“Oreo” is a term that refers to a Black person who appears to be “white” in mentality and politics.
During Scott’s rebuttal, he defended America’s record on race, saying that Republicans have supported racial justice, equal opportunity and police reform policies. He bragged about a so-called economic windfall Black Americans experienced with the rest of the country before the coronavirus pandemic.
Scott also repeated a famous Trump line that "the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for African-Americans” was under the 45th president.
Fact-checkers, including the Economic Policy Institute, have disputed this one-liner for longer than two years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has only kept such figures since 1972 and “little, if any, credit for that belongs to the Trump administration,” according to the Economic Policy Institute.