South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican senator in office, was the last speaker during the first evening of the 2020 Republican National Convention on Monday. During his speech, Scott presented his own boot straps story while expressing his frustrations working with Democrats on legislation around criminal justice reform and then touting the many ways in which President Donald Trump has done right by Black Americans.
The kid of divorced parents, Scott spoke about his humble childhood with his mother, brother and himself sharing a bed in his grandmother’s two-bedroom home. His blind focus on football instead of academics as a youngster, nearly led him astray with failing grades. He credits his mother and his mentor for seeing more in him than he ever saw in himself.
“I took those lessons to heart and started putting the pieces of my life together,” said Scott. “I realized that education is the closest thing to magic in America and that’s why I fight, to this day, for school choice.”
After speaking about the “evolution of the Southern heart” and the voters who put him in office, “not for the color of my skin but the content of my character,” Scott went on to say that we live in a world that only wants you to believe in the bad news, “racially, economically, and culturally polarizing news. The truth is our nation always bends back to fairness.”
Scott continued by advocating that voters paint a full picture of the candidates and the importance of evaluating not just what they say, but what they have done by looking at their individual records. As for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Scott brought up several of the gaffes Biden has made when it comes to Black voters, the crime bill Biden supported back in 1994 and his lack of real transformation over the last 47 years in Washington. He believes the Democrats are campaigning on a “cultural revolution” for a “fundamentally different America” while also blasting them for taking voters of color for granted paying special attention to the protests that have erupted across the nation after the police killing of George Floyd.
In comparison, Scott supports Trump’s efforts towards criminal justice reform and his sacrifice to “clean up Joe Biden’s mess” by signing into law additional and permanent funding for HBCUs.
Watch the full speech below: