Lindsey Graham says young black Americans and immigrants ‘can go anywhere…if they are conservative’

SENATOR Lindsey Graham says South Carolina is a good place for young black people and immigrants – as long as they're on the right side of the political spectrum.

The lawmaker, when asked about racism in South Carolina during a debate against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, said systemic racism didn't exist in the state.

"To young people of color, to young immigrants, this is a great state, Graham said. "If you are a young African-American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative not liberal."

South Carolina is typically a red state, but about 40% of its voters in the 2016 elections were liberal.

South Carolina was the site of one of the most high-profile and violent hate crimes against African-Americans in the last decade–the murder of nine black worshippers at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston by white supremacist shooter Dylann Roof.

Graham made his statement in a televised debate with an unconventional format, with each candidate recorded separately answering a set of questions.

Harrison had requested Graham be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the planned debate because Graham had been exposed to Donald Trump and other sick White House insiders.

Graham refused, so Harrison would not debate him face to face. Each candidate instead released a video questionnaire, without having the opportunity to respond to each other.

Graham has held the Senate seat since 2003 but faces a hard-fought challenge from Harrison, a lawyer and former staffer for Rep. Jim Clyburn.

Three Republican senators have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last month and six are in quarantine, which has observers speculating about whether Democrats (who control 47 seats) could bring votes in the absence of those Republican lawmakers.

If Lindsey Graham tested positive and went into quarantine, that would bring Republicans to 46 senators who can actually be present in the Senate.

The Harrison-Graham race is reportedly a dead heat, with Harrison and Graham both polling at 48%.

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