This Friday, April 23rd, the Washington Post published a “fact check” to try to disprove the origins of Republican Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). However, the newspaper’s claims turned against them to make it even more evident that the United States has not ceased to be a country of opportunities. The publication of the newspaper caused the reaction of different personalities who even classified the piece as a racist attack.
The article written by Glenn Kessler has a very superficial approach: it goes back to the importance of highlighting whether Scott’s grandfather could read or write; and although in his Twitter account he qualifies it as a “fact check”, it does not really disprove the senator who has assured that in his life he went “from picking cotton to being the fourth African-American senator” in the U.S. Congress.
Kessler criticizes in his article that Scott has assured that his grandfather did not know how to read or write, he also criticizes that the senator’s ancestors owned large amounts of land; but he fails to deny that the senator was indeed a farmworker and that he did manage to grow despite adversities, as the Republican has made known.
“Against heavy odds, Scott’s ancestors amassed relatively large areas of farmland, a mark of distinction in the Black community at the time. Scott, moreover, does not mention that his grandfather worked on his father’s farm — a farm that was expanded through land acquisitions even during the Great Depression, when many other Black farmers were forced out of business.” Kessler’s article concludes.
It is unknown what the author’s intent was in attempting to smear Tim Scott about his origins, and it is also unknown why Kessler attempts to disparage the senator for his ancestors’ holdings as if it were a negative to own land and produce on it.
It also causes suspicion that the Washington Post article was published hours after it became known that Senator Tim Scott will be delivering the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress next week.
“Honored to have this opportunity. I’m as confident as I’ve ever been in the promise and potential of America and look forward to sharing my vision for our nation with all of you,” Sen. Tim Scott said on his Twitter account after being chosen to respond to Biden.
The fact-check on Tim Scott’s ancestors is ‘filthy’ and ‘shameless’
Reactions to Kessler’s article have not been long in coming, users of the social network Twitter have described the article as dirty, malicious, and unfortunate.
Jorge Bonilla, director of MRC Latino said: “Last time I saw something this filthy and shameless, Univision was casting Marco Rubio as an unindicted juvenile drug trafficker over immigration policy.”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Mollie Hemingway, editor, and reporter of The Federalist, told Kessler.
“WaPo fact checker who put out a gratuitously and vile racist attack on Sen. Tim Scott today denies that his grandfather is the man pictured in a photo of Nazis circulating today,” Hemingway noted in retaliation to Kessler’s writing and commenting about a later fact that arose during the day, namely, that Kessler’s grandfather and great-grandfather were potentially Nazis.
“I think I join all people of good will when I celebrate the fact that Sen. Scott’s family was able through hard work buy for Black farmers at least, was a substantial amount of land. There no need to possibly embellish an already great story,” wrote one Twitter user demonstrating how the WP article would not have achieved the goal of smearing the senator.