Allowing a racist slur against Tim Scott to trend confirms social media’s activist bias
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 Scott (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 Biden’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.
“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 Cotton or [Sen.] Mike Lee. ‘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 Trump’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.”
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.”
A major strategy of racists, is to incentivize one of it’s Black victims to act as the crash test dummy for white supremacy.
When Uncle Tim Scott says America is not a racist country, he is fully aware he is speaking in bad faith.
The purpose is to protect white supremacists pic.twitter.com/Wk8OVF2Nl1
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) April 29, 2021
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.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 25, 2021
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 DeSantis 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.