Folks in the White House have a soft spot in their collective hearts for the Confederacy. As the lone Black GOP senator, South Carolina’s Tim Scott has become the only African-American voice on race issues with direct access to the Trump administration who can offer a history lesson.
But his track record isn’t very good. As many people predicted, his meeting with President Donald Trump had no impact on the president’s view that “both sides,” White supremacist and antiracism protesters, shared blame for violence in Charlottesville.
Scott is now joining the chorus of voices criticizing the latest controversy sounding the Confederacy coming from the White House, this time from chief of staff John Kelly (the “adult” in the room at the White House) who said the Civil War was caused by the inability to compromise.
“We need to stop relitigating and referencing the Civil War as if there was some moral conundrum,” Scott said in a statement. “There was no compromise to make – only a choice between continuing slavery and ending it.”
The controversy stems from Kelly’s interview on Fox News Monday night. In addition to his Civil War comment, the president’s aide defended Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and opposed the removal of Confederate monuments.
In addition to the multiple scholars who have corrected Kelly, lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus are also urging him to take a history course.
Cedric Richmond (D-La.), CBC chairman, said in a statement that the Civil War was not a disagreement between people of good faith. “It was a struggle for the soul of this country. Thankfully, the right side won the war and slavery is no longer the law of the land,” he added.