Did you know that Representative Tim Scott will be the first black Republican senator since 1979? Well, that's a fact. But what's far less clear is what his appointment says about the racial attitudes of the GOP, according to Adolph Reed in the New York Times.
Reed says: "this “first black” rhetoric tends to interpret African-American political successes — including that of President Obama — as part of a morality play that dramatizes 'how far we have come.' It obscures the fact that modern black Republicans have been more tokens than signs of progress."
He adds that, since most of Mr Scott's politics are "utterly at odds with the preferences of most black Americans" (being anti-tax, anti-abortion and anti-union), there's really no sign that the Republicans are listening to the concerns of America's ethnic minorities. (Who, as we've discussed on IV before, can hardly be thought of as minorities anymore.)
So this appointment, according to Reed, is far more a ploy to draw white voters back to voting Republican - allaying fears that to do so is a "racist" decision.
What do you think, is this a step forwards for the Republicans, or are they plastering over a whitewash?