The New York Times reports: Tim Scott, the lone black Republican in the Senate, delivered a pointed history lesson on America’s 300-year legacy of racism to President Trump on Wednesday in response to what he called Mr. Trump’s “sterile” response to the riots in Charlottesville, Va., last month.
The president invited Mr. Scott, a conservative from South Carolina who had expressed disgust with Mr. Trump’s equivocal reaction to the white supremacist protests that left one woman dead, to the Oval Office for what Mr. Trump’s staff described as a demonstration of the president’s commitment to “positive race relations.” Both men described the interaction as positive and constructive, but Mr. Scott clearly had a point to make.
When a reporter asked the senator after the meeting if the president had expressed regret, a pained look flashed on Mr. Scott’s face. He paused for a few seconds and replied, “He certainly tried to explain what he was trying to convey.”
White House officials emailed reporters a photograph of Mr. Trump listening intently as Mr. Scott made a point, with both sitting in chairs often used for bilateral meetings with foreign leaders. The White House misidentified him as Tom Scott.
In his remarks to reporters, Mr. Scott made it clear he did not go to the White House for a photo op, but to decisively rebut Mr. Trump’s claim — to the president’s face — that “both sides,” racists and anti-racist protesters, were responsible for the violence that followed a torchlight protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.
“My response was that, while that’s true, I mean I think if you look at it from a sterile perspective, there was an antagonist on the other side,” Mr. Scott said.
“However, the real picture has nothing to do with who is on the other side,” he said.
“It has to do with the affirmation of hate groups who over three centuries of this country’s history have made it their mission to create upheaval in minority communities as their reason for existence,” he continued. “I shared my thoughts of the last three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, KKK, Nazis. So there’s no way to find an equilibrium when you have three centuries of history versus the situation that is occurring today.”
Mr. Trump responded by repeatedly saying, “That makes sense,” and concluded the meeting by telling the senator, “Let’s keep talking.” [Continue reading…]