Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) spoke out this week in an emotional speech about the unfair scrutiny he has been subjected to as a black man by police.
“In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement,” said, the senate’s only black republican member. “Not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one year as an elected official.”
Scott said the speech was difficult to give because it touched him on a personal level.
“In many cities and towns across America, there is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement. A trust gap, a tension that has been growing for decades. And as a family, one American family, we cannot ignore these issues,” Scott said.
“I can certainly remember the very first time that I was pulled over by a police officer as just a youngster. I was driving a car that had an improper headlight,” Scott said. “The cop came over to my car, hand on his gun and said, ‘Boy, don’t you know your headlight is not working properly?’ I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and scared, very scared.”
He went on to say that only two of the times he had been pulled over were because he was speeding.
During the speech, he also pleaded with Americans to be kind to law enforcement. “There is never, ever an acceptable reason to harm a member of our law enforcement community,” he said.
However, he went on to plead with those who had not experienced racism not to discount the stories other people tell.
“Recognize that just because you do not feel the pain, the anguish of another, does not mean it does not exist. To ignore their struggles, our struggles, does not make them disappear. It simply leaves you blind and the American family very vulnerable.”
Watch Sen. Scott’s full remarks in the video below.