01:40 - Source: CNN
Tim Scott defends use of 'all lives matter'

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Tim Scott: If that is somehow offensive to someone, that's their issue not mine

Scott is the sole black Republican senator in the chamber

Washington CNN —  

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said it is not his problem that Black Lives Matter activists find the phrase “all lives matter” offensive.

“If it causes offense that I say that ‘all lives matter’ – black lives, white lives, police officers, jurists, all of us, even politicians, all of our lives matter – if that is somehow offensive to someone, that’s their issue, not mine,” he told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “The Situation Room” on Thursday.

Scott, South Carolina’s first black senator since Reconstruction, said that racism has historically been a problem in the U.S. but unity is required for moving forward.

“If we’re saying that the country has a provocative history on race, I affirm that fact. But for under the circumstances, to find a way forward, it is truly together,” he said. “One of the things I’ve said since I’ve been an elected official is we are better together.”

CNN commentator Donna Brazile wrote an opinion piece for CNN last month that said “all lives matter” can sound dismissive when used as a response to Black Lives Matter.

“Of course ALL lives matter. But there is no serious question about the value of the life of a young white girl or boy. Sadly, there is a serious question – between gang violence and this police violence – about the value of the life of a young black girl or boy,” she wrote. “So those who are experiencing the pain and trauma of the black experience in this country don’t want their rallying cry to be watered down with a generic feel-good catchphrase.”