Newt Gingrich Says White People "Don't Understand Being Black In America"
While on a Facebook Live on Friday afternoon with activist and commentator Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, a potential running mate to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, spoke candidly about the added danger of being black in America.
Gingrich and Jones used the Facebook Live to discuss the recent news of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the shooting of several police officers by at least one sniper shooter in Dallas, Texas.
"It is more dangerous to be black in America," Gingrich said. "It is more dangerous in that you're substantially more likely to end up in a situation where the police don't respect you and where you could easily get killed."
Gingrich even spoke about the extra care that black parents must take to raise their boys to be respectful and obey the police — given the many ways that being black in America can cost black people their lives.
"It took me a long time, and a number of people talking to me through the years to get a sense of this," the former speaker of the house said. "If you are a normal white American, the truth is you don't understand being black in America and you instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk."
Gingrich called for a dialogue between people of different racial backgrounds to understand each other's experiences.
Gingrich is currently being vetted to be Donald Trump's running mate in the 2016 election. His comments pointed toward the potential for Americans to unite behind common principles of respect and racial justice, which is a stunning counterpoint to Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric, which is often categorized as divisive.
Recalling his moving into segregated Georgia as a child, Gingrich said that the lack of progress since segregation "creates the kind of alienation where it begins to be legitimate to think about, whether it's in songs or slogans or whatever, shooting a policeman."
He added, "If we were to continue in this direction of alienation on both sides, you could really be a pretty coarse and dangerous society in another 10 or 15 years."