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WATCH: ‘We have work to do’ on race, Sen. Tim Scott tells Republican National Convention

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott says he is living the American dream and cites “the evolution of the Southern heart” as the reason he, as a Black man, was able to win a primary election against a son of Strom Thurmond.

Watch Scott’s remarks in the player above.

Scott, the only Black GOP senator, was the closing speaker at the Republican National Convention on Monday. He recounted growing up in a single-parent household and failing out of ninth grade before finding a mentor and becoming a small-business owner.

The senator says any insinuation that America has gone backward is false. He talked about his 2010 primary win against Paul Thurmond, son of the segregationist senator, in a congressional race.

He says, “In an overwhelmingly white district, the voters judged me not on the color of my skin but on the content of my character.” He says, “We live in a world that only wants you to believe in the bad news, racially economically and culturally polarizing news.”

Scott says America isn’t “fully where we want to be.” But he says, “I thank God almighty we are not where we used to be.”