Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said he expects a “robust” dialogue about race relations in the wake of last week’s massacre of nine parishioners at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
“When we look for as to the reasons why this happened, it’s hard to understand, when evil is just over taking the heart, the mind is just demented. This was obviously a case of racism. His actions were driven by hatred, and that is the clear and dominant reason this happened,” Scott said on CBS’ Face the Nation when asked if “racism, guns” caused the crime.
“There’s no doubt that when your mind and your heart are consumed with hatred and with racist motivations, that he sought to create a race war, according to, I believe, his own words, in this country, what he’s done for South Carolina and what he’s done for Charleston is, he’s brought our community together,” the senator said. “One of the beautiful scenes that I have had, that was etched into my memory now is Morris Brown Church, when we had such a diverse gathering of Charlestonians and South Carolinians coming to pay homage, pay respect to the families and to love on them, and just a day-and-a-half later, to have several thousand people show up, two- thirds or more not being black, here at home to see that kind of a unified group of people coming together to pray for and to just hug the families so much about what he has sparked, which is bringing people together.”
“I think we’re going to have a robust conversation going forward about race relations, a robust conversation going forward about bringing people together. And I look forward to participating in that conversation. The entire state now is, without any question, taking a leap forward. What the enemy meant for evil, I believe God will bring good out of it.”
Scott acknowledged that South Carolina “has a rich and provocative history” that includes the Confederate flag.
“For some, that flag represents that history. And for so many others, it represents a pain and oppression. I’m looking forward to our state leaders getting together and having robust conversation after the funerals about what is the next step,” he said.
Scott said he won’t state his personal position on whether or not to remove the flag in front of the state capitol until after the nine victims in the church shooting have been laid to rest.
“I am going to make sure that I am a part of that conversation. My voice will be clear. My position will be stated,” he said. “…I have made the commitment to wait until after the funeral to start that debate. And I’m going to honor that commitment.”