ICYMI: Senator Scott Column in USA Today

Time to come together over race
by Senator Tim Scott
USA Today,July 21, 2016

Our nation needs to have a painful, productive conversation on race. But, and I cannot say this any more clearly – killing, injuring or otherwise targeting our law enforcement officers is absolutely unacceptable, and those who do so must face swift justice.

In my hometown of North Charleston, S.C., I have walked the streets with law enforcement officers early on Christmas morning, hand-delivering presents to children who otherwise probably would not have received anything.

But in spite of the tremendous work done by so many of those who protect us every day, there is a trust gap between the black community and law enforcement. No matter what you are seeing on TV or reading on Twitter, this is an issue that has been growing for years.

Many Americans, including some of my colleagues, were surprised last week when they heard me share stories like this in one of three speeches I delivered from the Senate floor. It was a painful, personal and necessary experience.

Since I was a teenager, I have felt the fear, anger, sadness and humiliation that only comes when you know you have been wronged even as you’re doing things right.

Now, we must come together, not just in government, but in living rooms, schools and neighborhoods across America, to find solutions. It’s time to unclench the angry fists and stop the hand-wringing. Let’s join hands instead.

It will be hard. There is no single solution. But there are clear starting points.

On the law enforcement side, police departments interested in purchasing body cameras should have the resources to do so. The FBI should track police-related shootings in a way that provides all of us the clearest picture of what is actually happening.

Additionally, too many communities have been left behind. They see the American dream as only that: a dream. Their sense of abandonment only feeds the despair. We need to build opportunities in underserved communities by focusing on education, job creation and community investment.

My family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime. We endured our bumps and bruises, and know that while challenges certainly still remain, we have come a long way.

That is the true story of America, and that is what we should be striving for in every community across this great land.

You can read Senator Scott’s full columnHERE.