Newt Gingrich Says White People "Don't Understand Being Black In America"

Newt Gingrich Says White People "Don't Understand Being Black In America"
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

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."

Source: Mic/Facebook

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. 

Source: Mic/Facebook

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."

Read more: 
Shetamia Taylor's Story From the Dallas Attack Shows Why Blaming Black Protesters Is Wrong
CNN Asks Philando Castile's Mother to Respond to Thursday's Dallas Shooting
Dallas Police Shooting Is the Type of Violence Black Lives Matter Is Fighting Against

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew Rodriguez is a Staff Writer at Mic. He is a queer Latino New Yorker who enjoys female rappers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Flannery O'Connor. He is a former editor at TheBody.com and he is working on a memoir.

MORE FROM

70% of Muslims still believe in the American dream, according to new Pew study

Despite high rates of discrimination, Muslims are optimistic about their lives in the United States.

Man with Nazi tattoos at Cleveland Indians game sparks outrage. The Indians’ mascot is still racist.

Swastikas are bad. So is Chief Wahoo.

Baton Rouge police chief resigns after a year of political turmoil over Alton Sterling shooting

Baton Rouge's mayor had campaigned on a promise to replace the city's police chief, in the wake of Alton Sterling's shooting death.

‘Whose Streets?’ film highlights Ferguson activists’ battle with the trauma of protests

Brittany Ferrell, an organizer of the Ferguson Uprising, says a new documentary about Black Lives Matter protests shows why activists should be more intentional about checking in on each other.

Minneapolis police chief resigns after fatal shooting of Australian woman

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced in a Facebook post that she is stepping aside.

Mentally ill prisoners in Louisiana forced to bark like dogs for food, lawsuit claims

Investigators came. Everyone was told not to speak to them.

70% of Muslims still believe in the American dream, according to new Pew study

Despite high rates of discrimination, Muslims are optimistic about their lives in the United States.

Man with Nazi tattoos at Cleveland Indians game sparks outrage. The Indians’ mascot is still racist.

Swastikas are bad. So is Chief Wahoo.

Baton Rouge police chief resigns after a year of political turmoil over Alton Sterling shooting

Baton Rouge's mayor had campaigned on a promise to replace the city's police chief, in the wake of Alton Sterling's shooting death.

‘Whose Streets?’ film highlights Ferguson activists’ battle with the trauma of protests

Brittany Ferrell, an organizer of the Ferguson Uprising, says a new documentary about Black Lives Matter protests shows why activists should be more intentional about checking in on each other.

Minneapolis police chief resigns after fatal shooting of Australian woman

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced in a Facebook post that she is stepping aside.

Mentally ill prisoners in Louisiana forced to bark like dogs for food, lawsuit claims

Investigators came. Everyone was told not to speak to them.