But never, ever, call out the GOP.
There is another part of that bargain: If, in fact, there are ever any questions about why there are so few black Republican elected officials, be ready to be part of that small list as a sign of progress.
In an interview with Fox News the night after he got elected, he was asked about comments by Rep. Charles Rangel suggesting that Republicans “believe that slavery isn’t over and that they won the Civil War.”
From the piece:
“Scott called Rangel’s comments ‘ridiculous.’ And he’s got a point. Scott then insisted on focusing on ‘tomorrow, not on yesterday,’ rather than ‘harken back to … 100 years ago, or 70 ago.’
“The lowest common denominator of fear and race-baiting is something that the other party has tried to do, and the voters said ‘No.’ They rejected it. And that’s good news,” Scott said, pointing to Indian-American Govs. Nikki Haley (S.C.) and Bobby Jindal (La.) as proof of the progress the party has made in the South.
The last bit was classic Scott. And that classic black Republican bargain — look at how bad the left is on race and look at the minimal diversity in the GOP.
But Scott has evolved.
He, along with other black Republicans, such as Utah’s Mia Love, have had to in the era of Trump.
In his op-ed about King, Scott, who is one of two black Republicans in Congress, chastised his party as a whole.
“When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole,” he wrote in The Washington Post, adding later: “Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism — it is because of our silence when things like this are said. Immigration is the perfect example, in which somehow our affection for the rule of law has become conflated with a perceived racism against brown and black people.”
Scott, of course, has been mostly silent about Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric on migrants. King is a much easier target and, even with his recent comments, isn’t worried about much blowback. And now the question for Republicans, some of whom have condemned King’s statement via tweet, is what to do about the Iowa congressman.
But that raises a larger and more uncomfortable question for the GOP.
If you censure Steve King, what about Trump?