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Pat McMahon

Updated Dec 18, 2012 - 7:05 pm

New South Carolina senator marks progress in South

In the news on Monday, there was an item about history.

For the first time, in modern politics, a state in the Deep South will be represented in the U.S. Senate by an African-American.

Tim Scott was just appointed to Jim DeMint’s Senate seat by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. I said, as of Jan. 3, one of the two senators from South Carolina will be black.

And as they say on TV, wait, there’s more! Soon-to-be Sen. Tim Scott is not just a black politician, he’s a Republican, a far-right conservative and the Tea Party loves him. This, in a state that, only an hour and a half ago, had separate bathrooms and water fountains for whites and blacks.

Good! It’s the Nixon-in-China thing. A black Democrat in the Senate wouldn’t be that unusual, but this breaks the mold. And if there was anything getting moldy, it’s South Carolina. We continue to make progress in racial matters, but sometimes it seems it’s at a snail’s pace.

1947 doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? But on April 15 of that year, Jackie Robinson became the first black man allowed to play Major League Baseball.

So welcome Sen. Scott, welcome.

I’m Pat McMahon.

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