|By Michael Barone; Michael Barone, Examiner Senior Political Analyst|
On Monday, the
The newest senator is South Carolina Rep.
The most senior senator was
Much has been made of the fact that Scott will be the only black senator and the first black Republican senator since
Haley noted that fact and made the point that he was qualified on the merits. He has served only one term in the House, but that's also true of his South Carolina House Republican colleagues, except one who asked that he not be considered for the seat.
Scott also served a term in the
He lost an arm in combat in
Inouye was elected
Most Americans today would find it hard to imagine the degree of anti-Asian prejudice in the early years of his career. Inouye attended a segregated public school, and U.S. immigration laws effectively barred Asians from entry.
Japanese-Americans on the
In contrast, today one has to look very hard for signs of anti- Asian animus in American life. The only significant discrimination practiced against people of Asian descent is by admissions officers at selective colleges and universities, who worry about an Asian "tilt" because so many have sterling high school records.
Such a change in attitudes took a generation or so. It has been so thorough that most of us don't realize that it occurred.
The appointment of
Scott may have been appointed to the
In the process, he beat
That's the Strom Thurmond who was the
Scott is not the first black Republican elected to the House from a majority nonblack district.
Republican primary voters also selected the Hispanic Sen.
And of course,
But on balance, we have seen an enormous reduction in racial prejudice and animus in recent generations.
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