Graham stands behind comments denying systemic racism in America
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham did not back down from comments he made on Fox News that America is “not a racist country.”
Graham answered a question about his Sunday appearance on Fox News after touring an MUSC COVID-19 vaccine clinic in North Charleston.
“Jim Crow is systemic racism,” he said. “There was a time in South Carolina and in the country, where you had a hard time voting if you’re African American. The laws were set up, so you wouldn’t be registered and you’d have a hard time actually voting. That’s not the case today.”
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Graham said cited the election of former President Barack Obama to two terms and the November election of Vice President Kamala Harris as examples that show the nation’s systems are not racist.
“Within every society, you have bad actors,” he said on the Sunday program. “Reform the police? Yes. Call them all racist? No.”
Graham repeated the examples of Obama and Harris and also cited U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, the only African American in the U.S. Senate as well as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was of Indian descent.
“We’ve come a long way,” Graham said. “Are we a perfect country? No, but we’re not systematic racist.”
He said he does not believe our police officers are racist, but said we need to do a better job about community policing and getting people of color in the policing business.
“If you’re born in America, you won the lottery,” he said. “Let’s make America better, but let’s stop putting the place down. So I don’t think this is a racist nation and I sure as hell don’t believe South Carolina is a racist state.”
A reporter then asked Graham about the message he would extend to his African American constituency who feels they are being discriminated against.
“You have a voice: use it,” he said. “Go vote. You have a chance to participate. Sen. Scott’s a good example of where you can go in the state.”
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