WATCH: Ibram X. Kendi Suggests Tim Scott Doesn’t ‘Understand Racism’

'Anti-Racist Baby' author says Scott shouldn't focus on individual black success

June 9, 2023

"Anti-racist" activist Ibram X. Kendi said Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.), a 2024 presidential hopeful, should look at "communities," not "individuals," to "understand racism."

"I think Senator Scott wanted to focus on individuals, because there certainly have been individuals who, over the generations have been rising into positions that previous generations, they would not have been able to," Kendi said in a Thursday MSNBC interview with Al Sharpton. "But at the same time, you have black people who are being—their votes are being suppressed. Both are happening at the same time."

Scott said on The View Wednesday that "progress in America is palpable­—it can be measured in generations."

"We’ve had an African-American president, an African-American vice president," Scott said. "We’ve had two African Americans be secretaries of state. In my home city, the police chief is African-American, who’s now running for mayor. The head of the highway patrol for South Carolina is African-American. In 1975, there was about 15 percent unemployment in the African-American community. For the first time in the history of the country, it’s under 5 percent."

Scott has repeatedly come under fire from Democrats and members of the media due to his skin color. A Washington Post fact check in 2021 questioned how humble Scott’s beginnings really were, concluding his "cotton to Congress" line is "missing some nuance," but declined to give it a Pinocchio rating. Democratic analyst Jason Nichols called Scott a "clown" whose "ancestors are ashamed of him," in a since-deleted tweet.

In his response to President Joe Biden’s 2021 State of the Union address, Scott said he is "called ‘Uncle Tom’ and the N-word by progressives."