WASHINGTON (Gray DC) KM: Congress just passed this bipartisan resolution condemning the white supremacists, Charlottesville violence, other hate groups, was this something you encouraged him to sign when you saw President Trump today?
TS: I did not actually my focus is, while the resolution makes a statement the legislation makes a difference in the long term. I think the resolution well intended and will hopefully help people rethink their positions and their perspectives on things my focus was going to be on the legislation that will actually improve the outcome of individual lives, not to downplay the importance of the resolution but to emphasize the importance of the legislative track that we can be on and frankly having the open dialogue is something that is incredibly important for this nation. It's something that we all benefited from long term.
KM: You were saying that you didn't want the focus to be on race. You wanted to talk about the broad issues that you cover here. But as one of the few minorities in Congress did you feel compelled and frustrated, that you wanted to have this conversation with him?
TS: I am who I am. The good Lord made me exactly as he intended me to be to serve the greater good as an African American with my history and perspective. As a member of Congress, as a member of senate, really the question I always ask myself is how I take all the resources I have and improve the overall good for as many people as possible. I see this as one of our opportunities to do so. Race is a part of our society and one that we have struggled with and improved upon for the last couple hundred years. So we're going to continue to struggle and improve, struggle and improve.
KM: I thought it was interesting that you were saying you were surprised by the amount of attention you thought this was getting.
TS: Yeah I mean I was shocked really at the amount of interest in this story and in this opportunity to hopefully move the nation forward I think it does say a few things about us as a people. One I think we were all moved and concerned about what happened in Charlottesville and the aftermath of Charlottesville, and this is that we are hopeful people believed that tomorrow we can always be better than today.
KM: What struck you about the conversation the most?
TS: I think having the President and the Vice President show up for a meeting to start having a conversation or dialogue on race and the advancement of the American people. Just spoke volumes without words.
KM: Well hopefully more of the same. More focus on legislation that actually improves the quality of life and more conversations that helps us to understand and appreciate other perspectives other than our own.