“Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.”
Those were the words of Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who spoke during the opening night of the 2020 Republican National Convention.
The senator was referring to his grandfather, who would have turned 99 years old Tuesday. Growing up, Scott said, his granddad “had to cross the street if a white person was coming,” adding, “He suffered the indignity of being forced out of school as a third-grader to pick cotton and he never learned to read or write.”
Yet,” Scott continued, “he lived long enough to see his grandson become the first African-American to be elected to both the United States House and the United States Senate in the history of this country. Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime, and that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last.”
In a time of such racial unrest in the U.S., Scott’s words were a strong reminder of how far the country has progressed.
He also called on listeners to find the good news, rather than dwelling on the negatives so often put on display by the national news media.
“We live in a world that only wants you to believe in the bad news, racially, economically, and culturally,” Scott said. “The truth is, our nation’s arch always bends back toward fairness. We’re not fully where we want to be, but I thank God Almighty we are not where we used to be. We are always striving to be better. When we stumble — and we will — we pick ourselves back up, and try again.” “We don’t give in to cancel culture or the radical and factually baseless belief that things are worse today than in the 1860s or the 1960s,” he continued. “We have work to do, but I believe in the goodness of America, the promise that all men and all women are created equal, and if you’re watching tonight, I’m betting you do, too.”