GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said he believes President Donald Trump could benefit from speaking with civil rights leaders like Democratic Rep. John Lewis in the wake of the president claiming many sides were responsive for the violent outbreak at a white nationalists rally in Charlottesville.
Trump faces sharp backlash from members on both sides of the aisle following his remarks at his press conference Tuesday. Scott said the president needs to take strides to assure the nation he is capable of helping bridge America’s divisions. The senator believes speaking with those who personally faced racism and bigotry could help Trump gain a better understanding of their struggles.
“It would be fantastic if he sat down with a group of folks who have endured the pain of the ’60s, who have- the humiliation of the ’50s and the ’60s,” he said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. “This would be an opportunity for him to become better educated and acquainted with the living history of so many folks, from John Lewis to my mother and so many others who have gone through a very painful part of the history of this country, so that when he acts, when he responds, and when he speaks, he’s not reading the words that are so positive that he’s breathing the very air that brings him to a different conclusion, a conclusion that comes from the wells of his heart.”
Scott said the counter-protests to the white nationalist movement signal the American people want the president to denounce hate groups and work to prevent future instances of violence.
“We’re seeing America rise in a way that it did not in the ’60s, which, I think, is powerful and symbolic to the rest of the world that we reject the darkness and we embrace the light,” he continued. “These are good times for those who believe that darkness must be put out and light must shine even brighter.”
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