Allowing a racist slur against Tim Scott to trend confirms social media's activist bias

Allowing a racist slur against Tim Scott to trend confirms social media's activist bias
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If you were clinging to the argument, as so many have in the media, that Big Tech giants like Twitter aren't biased toward conservatives, that ship sailed after the injustice that occurred against Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTrump helps raise million in first six months of 2021 Senate passes bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to first Black NHL player Scott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill MORE (R-S.C.).

Said injustice occurred on Wednesday night after Scott – the first African American elected to the Senate in the South since Reconstruction – delivered the Republican rebuttal to President BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response MORE's address to a joint session of Congress. Almost immediately after Scott's speech was over, #UncleTim began trending on Twitter.

“Uncle Tim” is a play on Uncle Tom, the lead character in the anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin.” The character "Uncle Tom" has become synonymous with subservience and self-hatred.

So much for the tolerant left, where diversity is celebrated, except in situations where class acts such as Scott don't carry the same ideology or worldview. And as we've seen increasingly on America’s college campuses, the most important diversity of all – diversity of thought – is dismissed in the most pious manner imaginable.

So given that Twitter is keenly aware of what the most popular topics are on its platform, one would think “#UncleTim” wouldn't trend for too long. But one hour became another. Then another. Then five hours. Then 10 hours.

Finally, at nearly the 12th hour, Twitter decided to block the hash tag. But even then, it blamed "an algorithm” for allowing “#UncleTim” to trend for so long. "This algorithm identifies topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter," the spokesperson said.

Scott told Fox News on Thursday that stepping "out of your lane" in terms of free thought is a big no-no on the left, so it attacked Scott based on his color. 

“The left has doubled down [on] what they are going to [do], not attack my policies, but they’re literally attacking the color of my skin,” Scott said. “You cannot step out of your lane, according to the liberal elite left.”

What seemed to upset those liberal Twitter users and some pundits on CNN and MSNBC was Scott's contention that while he had personally experienced racism, he does not believe the country itself is racist. 

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“Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present," Scott explained. "Original sin is never the end of the story. Not in our souls and not for our nation. The real story is always redemption." 

On MSNBC, Joy Reid – who recently played the race card from the bottom of the deck by alleging that conservatives would "trade all the tax cuts to be able to say the n-word" – took exception to Scott's optimism

"This was standard Republican pablum. This could have been delivered by [Sen.] Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Biden administration expands Afghan refugee program | Culture war comes for female draft registration | US launches third Somalia strike in recent weeks Up next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Chuck Todd is dead wrong: Liberal bias defines modern journalism MORE or [Sen.] Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThis week: Senate starts infrastructure sprint Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet MORE. ‘America’s not a racist country.’ ‘There’s no racism here.’ I’m not sure what the purpose of this was," the primetime host, whose entire brand is based on stoking racial division, explained. 

On CNN, Scott's contention that the country isn't racist was also met with scorn, this time by Van Jones, who claimed Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE's 2016 victory was the result of a "whitelash" instead of his positions on taxes, trade, abortion and border security. 

"Scott lost a lot of African Americans, by the tens of millions, when he said, ‘America is not a racist nation.’” Jones said. “Look, you can say we’re getting better, you can say we’ve come a long way. But when you look at these numbers and you look at these statistics, it is still very clear that this country is still struggling with racism and we still have racism showing up in almost every institution.”

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Social media was far, far worse in its assessment of Scott, with various memes and horrible things written that won't be repeated here. Tweets – including those from verified members that would normally be flagged – not-so-surprisingly were not, including this one from verified member Tariq Nasheed, who called Scott a "Black victim" who exists to "protect white supremacists." 

This kind of rhetoric dominated Twitter for 12 hours. It follows a Washington Post fact-check that openly wondered whether Scott's ancestors really had it that bad in the Deep South. 

"Just last week a national newspaper suggested my family’s poverty was actual privilege because a relative owned land generations before my time,” Scott said during his rebuttal.  

Fortunately, the "fact-check" got decimated by the left and right. 

 

From here, Scott's national profile will only grow. The same thing occurred after "60 Minutes" attempted to carry out a hit piece against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida poll: DeSantis falls behind Crist as COVID-19 cases surge Overnight Health Care: Florida becomes epicenter of COVID-19 surge | NYC to require vaccination for indoor activities | Biden rebukes GOP governors for barring mask mandates Biden rebukes GOP governors for barring mask mandates MORE earlier this month. Instead of taking him down, DeSantis's 2024 stock surged, just as Scott’s will.  

DeSantis/Scott. Scott/DeSantis. If betting on a likely 2024 Republican presidential ticket if Trump doesn't run, this exacta box is looking more and more formidable. 

Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.