Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) went on CBS on Sunday to backtrack a bit, saying that while he still does not think America is a racist country, he also “absolutely” believes that there’s a lingering effect of centuries of racism and discrimination in this country.

“Let me ask you about your- your theory about race,” said “Face The Nation” host John Dickerson. “You said America is not a racist country. And your response to the president. The president has subsequently said he agrees with you. So there’s some common ground there. You’ve also said to suggest there aren’t racial challenges and patterns is for someone to be blind. And you’ve also said that- that the system is breaking the back and breaking the spirit of millions of people in our country. And you’re talking about Black Americans who are being affected by that system. So help people understand when you say it’s not a racist country, but then you do talk about a system that targets Black Americans. You’ve talked about it today. Help people square those two statements.”

“Sure,” Scott replied. “Well, first, let me say thank goodness that finally, our president, our vice president, and one of the leaders in the Democrat- Democrat caucus in the House, Jim Clyburn, have all come forward and said exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time. America is not a racist country. The question is, is there a lingering effect after a couple of centuries of racism and discrimination in this nation? The answer is absolutely. The question we should be debating and fighting over is how do we resolve those issues going forward.”

“One side says I’m going to take from some to give to others. Fighting bigotry with bigotry is hypocrisy. It just doesn’t work,” he added. “The second our side — what I’ve suggested is let’s expand opportunity and make sure that we are fully equipped for the challenges of the future. One of the reasons why we have fought for and won the highest level of funding for historically Black colleges, Republicans leading that fight, is because I understand that if I could level the playing field in education, we will actually see human flourishing like we’ve never seen before.”