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Tim Scott: Speaking out on race opened people's eyes

Sen. Tim Scott said Sunday that he perhaps “validated the concerns of many African-American males” when he spoke out earlier this year about being stopped by law enforcement.

Speaking with host John Dickerson on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the South Carolina Republican said he thinks his story “opened the eyes” of people who may have disregarded other African-American experiences.

“I think it’s opened the eyes of a lot of folks who perhaps have listened to the cries and the screams and the shouts of others and disregarded those,” Scott said. “I think perhaps my speaking out on the issue has validated the concerns of many African-American males who have gone through similar situations, but it has said to others on the other side that perhaps there is some validity to the issue and we should take a second look.”

Scott, one of two African-American men in the U.S. Senate, along with Cory Booker (D-N.J.), gave a speech from the Senate floor in July saying he had been stopped seven times in one year by police even though he was an elected official.

“I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you’re being targeted for nothing more than being just yourself,” he said in that speech.

Scott says that since the speech, “disproportionately speaking, the response has been tremendously positive.” However, he said some people believe he is “feeding into a narrative.”

“I am comfortable with where I am. It’s not necessarily been a comfortable ride or journey, but it’s been a necessary journey,” he said.

When asked by Dickerson about fears among people of color that President-elect Donald Trump does not represent them, Scott said that there was fear on both sides of the aisle and that the same conversation would be taking place if Hillary Clinton had won.

“What I say to folks is: Let’s give Mr. Trump a chance,” he said. “Let’s gauge progress in his administration by what he does. And I’m going to hold him accountable like every single American should hold all of our presidents accountable.”

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