NBC News anchor Craig Melvin asked Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., if the GOP is "using" him as a "token" amid the response to George Floyd's death. Scott has been leading the effort in the Senate among Republican lawmakers in pursuit of police reform. However, the "Today" host questioned whether Scott's party was maximizing the only black GOP senator to its advantage.
H/T: Fox News
Read a partial transcript of the interaction below.
"You have faced a fair amount of criticism, especially over the past few days, because you are the only black Republican senator," Melvin said during an interview. "Some have said that your party is using you, they’ve even thrown around the word ‘token,’ as well. Your response to that criticism?”
"Well, I am also the only person in my conference who has been racially profiled driving while black," Scott said. "I’m the only one in my conference that’s been stopped seven times in one year as an elected official, perhaps the only one in my conference wearing this Senate pin that was stopped from coming into the building. So if there’s someone in the conference who understands discrimination and profiling, it’s me. It’s the reason why I asked to lead this charge, because it is a personal issue, it is the right issue. And frankly, I think it helps to have someone who's been a victim of this situation and who still has a tremendous respect for where our country can go together."
He continued, "So I shrug those comments and criticisms off. But you’ve got to know, when you’re a black Republican, you’re like a unicorn. People are going to criticize you when you wake up, when you go to sleep, if you say you like apple pie and football, there’s a lot of critics for that, too. So God bless their souls."
NBC’s Craig Melvin goes after Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) for being the only black Republican in the Senate.— Paul A. Szypula (@Bubblebathgirl) June 12, 2020
Melvin called Scott a “token” who is being “used” by the GOP.
Would the only 2 black Democrat Senators (Booker and Harris) ever face such similar racist language from NBC?
And don’t throw “you’re the only black guy they know” at me either. There are only two black Democratic Senators, stop pretending there’s some huge racial diversity gap in the Senate. Ask my Dem colleagues what their staffs look like...I guarantee you won’t like the answer.— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) June 10, 2020
...Melvin prefaced his question with "because you are the only black Republican senator." Note there are only two black Democratic senators. Yet, the conservative of the three is the one who is grilled over whether he is a "token," rather than a legitimate leader in his own right— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 11, 2020
The mainstream media disgust me. > Jonathan Turley blasts NBC anchor for asking Tim Scott if GOP uses him as a 'token' https://t.co/ckA23BgA4A— Vincent de Castro (@SimplyGOP) June 12, 2020