For a brief moment last week, it looked like Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) was breaking with the standard bearers of the Republican party by drawing a line at institutionalizing abject racism. Scott called out his GOP presidential primary opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, under whose administration a new set of teaching standards will require imparting to public school students that slavery had benefits for the enslaved. Sure, it’s politically expedient to oppose something so egregious, but in the anti-Black politics of today’s conservative movement, it’s almost always a political risk for a Black man to oppose a man like DeSantis rather than falling in line.
But if you were prepared to entertain the idea that Scott—who’s also known for ethering meaningful police reform legislation in Congress—had turned a new leaf, lay down that burden, dear brother. That shining moment is behind us. Instead, on Friday, Scott returned to form by vowing to enact one of Donald Trump’s most infamously racist policy platforms, building The Wall.
“As president of the United States, I will finish this wall, and I will use the available technology to surveil our border to stop fentanyl from killing another 70,000 Americans in the next 12 months,” said Scott on Fox News.
Folks probably recall that building a wall along the Southern border to keep out people from Mexico was a key part of Trump’s 2016 campaign. And if you have any doubts about whether or not this was racist, the speech announcing his campaign and his imagined wall might give you some hints.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” said Trump. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Now, the wall was obviously never completed. According to the Associated Press, the majority of the new wall construction under Trump was in place where a barrier already existed.
Creating a border wall would mean investing tens of billions of dollars into new construction. And According to the Brookings Institution, a wall would do little to stem drug smuggling. These barriers can also be highly dangerous. Water barriers, which were put up along the Texas border, were widely criticized for endangering the safety of migrants.
“Build The Wall” isn’t the only issue that Scott has decided to ally himself with Trump on over the last week. On Tuesday, the South Carolina Senator argued that the Department of Justice was being unfair to Trump by prosecuting him for his attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
Although Scott might be willing to stand-up to his party on something as blatant as “slavery was actually good,” it seems he’s going to continue sticking to the party line on pretty much everything else.