The only Black Republican senator has come under fire for making an overt appeal to Black people and working class Americans to support President Donald Trump‘s tax plan that would only benefit the rich. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott used slang in an effort to convince “the average American” that the president’s plan would allow them to “take home more of their pay by taking less out of their pay.”
But it was how Scott followed up those words that caused many to react in disbelief. The senator — who was among the loudest voices to condemn Trump’s apparent defense of White nationalists in the wake of deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month — looked right into a camera while recording a promo spot for the tax plan and said, “We want to help you keep yo money.”
Scott touted the phrase as a hashtag, which has since gone viral, but not like he probably would have preferred. The South Carolinian was quickly lampooned across social media for exploiting a verbal dialect that is typically negatively associated with Black people.
The Trump tax promo was likely even more frustrating for some who saw Scott backtrack on his initial rebuke of the president for seemingly defending White nationalists and Nazis involved in the violent protests in Charlottesville. At the time, Scott as among those leading the chorus of condemnation. Trump consequently invited him to the White House to talk about “positive race relations” in America during a meeting that the New York Times described as “a history lesson on racism.”
Two weeks after that meeting, Scott was inexplicably filming the promo and showing support for Trump’s tax plan on both social and traditional media, complete with the controversial hashtag.