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Insulting Comments at Fox News Debate Show Newt Clueless on Black Americans

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Last Edited: January 18, 2012, 12:48 pm

At the GOP debate Gingrich stood by his comments about African-Americans needing to demand work, and his description of Obama as the “food stamp” president, showing why he—and his party—can’t appeal to nonwhites.

Republicans Debate

If you want to understand why the GOP is so ill prepared to compete in an increasingly nonwhite America, just look at the exchange between Fox News questioner Juan Williams and Newt Gingrich halfway through last night’s Republican presidential debate.

It being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Williams asked Gingrich whether some poor and minority voters might not be insulted at his claim that poor kids lack a work ethic and that black people should be instructed to demand jobs, not food stamps. Gingrich, as is his wont, haughtily dismissed Williams’s question, to wild applause.

Then Williams tried again, mentioning a black woman who had taken Gingrich to task for calling Barack Obama a “food stamp” president. By this point, the overwhelmingly white crowd had begun to boo the only African-American on stage. When Gingrich insisted that Obama was indeed the “food stamp” president—because more Americans are now on food stamps—and dismissed Williams’s criticism as “politically correct,” the crowd began to scream with delight. By the time Gingrich finished his answer, the crowd was on its feet in a standing ovation.

The fascinating thing about the exchange is that Gingrich is not a racist. I suspect he genuinely cares about the African-American poor. In fact, he’s convinced himself that his willingness to say things that many African-Americans consider insulting is an expression of that concern; that only he cares enough about African-Americans to speak the “politically incorrect” truths that black leaders won’t.

Gingrich’s problem isn’t racism; it’s ignorance. Only someone profoundly ignorant of African-American politics would suggest that black Americans have spent the past few decades seeking food stamps, not jobs. We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, after all, in part because of the speech King gave at an event called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. If you look at the budgets proposed by the Congressional Black Caucus over the years, you’ll see that they often include huge, FDR-style government jobs programs. Gingrich may not think that’s the best way to go about providing jobs, but to suggest that African-Americans and their leaders don’t consider jobs important just reveals how shut off from Africa-American politics he actually is.

I’m sure Gingrich also sees nothing offensive in calling Obama the “food stamp” president. After all, under Obama the number of people using food stamps has gone up! So because Alan Greenspan presided over predatory lending policies by banks, perhaps we should have called him the “Shylock” chairman of the Federal Reserve. And if child molestations by priests rise on this administration’s watch, perhaps we should call Joseph Biden the “pedophilia” vice president.

Gingrich would never use those phrases, of course, because he’s familiar enough with Jews and Catholics to understand why they’d find them offensive. But for Gingrich—a veteran politician from the state of Georgia, speaking at a debate in South Carolina on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday—not to understand why calling the first African-American in the Oval Office the “food stamp” president would offend African-Americans is simply amazing. The most plausible explanation is that Gingrich inhabits a cultural and intellectual bubble. A bubble called the Republican Party.

I don’t doubt that Newt Gingrich wants to help African-Americans, just like I don’t doubt that George W. Bush wanted to help Iraqis. But in politics, if you want to help people, it’s a good idea to learn something about them first.

Source:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/17/insulting-comments-at-fox-news-debate-show-newt-clueless-on-black-americans.html

Entry #237

Comments

1.
ToddComment by Todd - January 18, 2012, 10:24 am
We're going to see more and more of these racist articles as the election approaches. When Democrats have nothing else to criticize, they start making charges of racism. Very sad.

Not that I'm any big fan of Newt Gingrich. But charges of racism should be leveled on a person only when they are undeniably true, and charges of racism should be rare these days. To hear it spoken every single day means that the term "racism" has lost its true meaning. Now it's become a term that means, "I hate you, and this is the worst thing I can think of to call you."
2.
rdgrnrComment by rdgrnr - January 18, 2012, 10:25 am
What a bunch of bullsh*t. Democrats just want to keep them on the plantation voting democrat and paying them off with food stamps. That's the cold hard truth.
They can't stand it when somebody hits them broadside with the truth instead of couching it in politically correct mumbo jumbo.
Obama IS the food stamp President and everybody knows it. And it's killing the Golden Goose.
3.
time*treatComment by time*treat - January 18, 2012, 10:40 am
This *should* be a non-issue, racially, since the number of people on food stamps is GREATER, by millions, than the number of black folks in the nation. People seem to prefer emotion to measurable data.
4.
emilygComment by emilyg - January 18, 2012, 2:02 pm
Todd - agree 100%.
5.
sully16Comment by sully16 - January 18, 2012, 3:15 pm
I see everyone, all colors , on the food stamp gravy train , love it when they call it their money. REALLY.
HAD a woman the other day, she had food stamps from Georgia and Michigan, spent 1300 dollars on bullsh*t , I wouldn't feed to a dog.
6.
Comment by Starr920 - January 18, 2012, 5:35 pm
Thanks for your comments everyone. Like it or not, Gingrich as Republican candidate would definitely get voters running to the polls - just like McCain did back in 2008. Race "should" be a non-issue but the truth is - it's not. IMO no matter what Republics say about food stamps, unemployment or "the plantation vote," Obama will be hard to beat in November.
7.
jarasanComment by jarasan - January 18, 2012, 6:18 pm
Hey got some news up in here!!!!!!!!!!! For all you racisists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time*treat is 1000% correct!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a LOT more poor people than all blacks by a factor of 2!!!!!!! This BS it ain't gonna work this go round.

Oh yeah Shep Smith, O'reilly, Hannity, Chris Matthews, all the talking heads, are just that. Don't pay attention especially the blowhard O'reilly NEVER trust an Irish man that don't drink. Freak of nature can't trust him. F chris dodd he is a liar, he just said millions of Americans are copywriters BS.
8.
rdgrnrComment by rdgrnr - January 19, 2012, 10:55 pm
"...blowhard O'reilly NEVER trust an Irish man that don't drink"

Roger that! Just ONCE I'd like to see that loudmouth let somebody answer a question without cutting them off. I can't stand that guy.

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