Sure, people get worked up around politics and say wicked things on social media. We’re human and it happens. And sometimes people do the right thing, apologize, and delete their offending posts.
This was the case with Gary O’Connor, chairman of Texas’ Lamar County Democratic Party, after he unceremoniously referred to Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., with a racial slur following Senator Scott’s address last week in the official Republican response to President Biden’s first address to Congress.
After referring to Senator Scott in a now-deleted Facebook post as an “oreo with no real principles,” O’Connor stepped up and sent a personal letter to the Senator explaining “I profoundly apologize for the racially insensitive remark” adding, “I was wrong.”
O’Connor also submitted his resignation because of the comments, but the Lamar County Democratic Party refused to accept his resignation after taking the “last few days to reflect upon this incident.” They also stated in their refusal their commitment to “strongly condemn bigotry of any kind and will continue our historic efforts to work for justice and equality for all our fellow citizens.”
Senator Scott described in last week’s rebuttal how “I get called Uncle Tom and the n-word by progressives and liberals.” Newsweek explained that for “12 hours after Scott’s speech, Twitter highlighted ‘#UncleTim’ as one of the top trends on the platform” and not in a good way. Kevin Williamson over at National Review Online recently demonstrated how deftly and humorously Senator Scott handles such racial attacks from opponents, explaining:
When a nice liberal on Twitter described him as a “house nigga,” [Sen. Scott] offered a simple correction:
We must also remember that every human being, regardless of age, color, shape, skillset or place of birth, is equally loved and valued by God. Everyone. No one person is better than another. Each are equal simply by virtue of their membership in humanity.
To treat any human being uncivilly simply because of their race or skin color is vile and should never be tolerated or dismissed. How severely we punish such offense as fellow citizens is a topic worthy of discussion and deliberation. But to pretend any particular political perspective has the topic absolutely right or wrong is to fail to appreciate the universality of human pride and prejudice. We all fail and we must own it when we do.
No one should use race as a slur, nor as a political weapon. One violates the dignity of our common humanity and the other cheapens our national politics. We do not owe our opponent our agreement, but we do owe them respectful disagreement.
Photo from Sipa USA/REUTERS