When Exactly Did America Stop Being Racist?

By refusing to cop to ingrained oppression in the U.S., political leaders are living in denial

Scott Woods


Photo: Bonnie Cash-Pool/Getty Images

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting LEVELMAN.com.

Many Americans have been mulling over Republican of South Carolina, Senator Tim Scott’s wildly fantastic rebuttal to President Biden’s address to Congress earlier this week.

These remarks, delivered Wednesday night, found Scott offering jaw-dropping observations about the Republican party that the last four years of American life have proven patently false: that the GOP had a Covid-19 relief plan; that GOP changes to Georgia voting laws will somehow make it easier for more people to vote; that the GOP opposes Supreme Court-packing. It was a fun house mirror of appraisals.

Being a Black person in America, there was one line from the bizarre oration that stuck out. “Hear me clearly,” Scott said, “America is not a racist country.” Mind you, this is after Scott recounted a litany of racist acts that he’s experienced over the course of his life, presumably to show that he understands what racism is.

If Scott were the only high-ranking politician to make such a claim, I wouldn’t care. There’s nothing that…