Black Health

Newt Gingrich: Black People Need to Get Off Welfare

by Dr. Boyce Watkins “I will go to the NAACP convention and explain to the African-American community why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps,” said Newt Gingrich at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. This is just the latest in a series of insulting comments being made by GOP hopefuls, who seem confused about the fact that they can’t get the African American vote.  Just a week ago, another GOP candidate, Rick Santorum, characterized black people as being on welfare during a visit to Iowa, of all places. I’m not sure where Gingrich is getting his perception of the black experience in America.  I’ve never asked for a welfare check in my life, and neither have most of my friends.  My mother and I received public assistance when I was a baby, primarily because we needed it in order to survive.  But Gingrich, being the “good Christian liar and adulterer” that he is, would have been just as happy if my mother and I had died on the street. The Republican Party is amazing in their inability to move forward in race relations.  They’ve consistently sought out the black vote, but only on their terms.  They get a handful of brave African Americans who are willing to extend an olive branch (after being ignored by the Democrats), and end up testing the limits of this relationship with one insult after another.  A consistent onslaught of racially-offensive rhetoric is a reminder that many of the leaders in the Republican Party grew up during a time when it wasn’t necessary to show respect to people of color. Gingrich was born in 1943.  The chubby, entitled little kid didn’t even have to share a bathroom with black people until he was in graduate school.  He cut his political teeth in Georgia, a state that has no problem incarcerating black men at holocaust proportions, killing black men (Troy Davis) who didn’t commit any crime, and telling black political leaders (President Obama) that they must prove their citizenship in order to run for president.  In other words, we need to start calling Gingrich, Santorum and others what they are:  Good old-fashioned American bigots .  These men have already outlived their relevance in our society, and our country will be better when they have left the earth for the afterlife (no, I don’t condone killing them – mother nature will handle that soon enough). I have no idea why Newt Gingrich is going to insult the NAACP by making an appearance.  There is nothing productive to gain by having him come to a venue full of African Americans only to speak down at them.  He is not coming to speak with an open heart or mind, and only plans to give political orders, not take them.  NAACP members should boycott Gingrich’s speech – you don’t have to accommodate to a man who does not respect you.   Dr. Boyce Watkins  is a Professor at Syracuse University  and founder of the Your Black World  Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.  

newt gingrich tells black people to get off of welfareby Dr. Boyce Watkins

“I will go to the NAACP convention and explain to the African-American community why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps,” said Newt Gingrich at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.

This is just the latest in a series of insulting comments being made by GOP hopefuls, who seem confused about the fact that they can’t get the African American vote.  Just a week ago, another GOP candidate, Rick Santorum, characterized black people as being on welfare during a visit to Iowa, of all places.

I’m not sure where Gingrich is getting his perception of the black experience in America.  I’ve never asked for a welfare check in my life, and neither have most of my friends.  My mother and I received public assistance when I was a baby, primarily because we needed it in order to survive.  But Gingrich, being the “good Christian liar and adulterer” that he is, would have been just as happy if my mother and I had died on the street.

The Republican Party is amazing in their inability to move forward in race relations.  They’ve consistently sought out the black vote, but only on their terms.  They get a handful of brave African Americans who are willing to extend an olive branch (after being ignored by the Democrats), and end up testing the limits of this relationship with one insult after another.  A consistent onslaught of racially-offensive rhetoric is a reminder that many of the leaders in the Republican Party grew up during a time when it wasn’t necessary to show respect to people of color.

Gingrich was born in 1943.  The chubby, entitled little kid didn’t even have to share a bathroom with black people until he was in graduate school.  He cut his political teeth in Georgia, a state that has no problem incarcerating black men at holocaust proportions, killing black men (Troy Davis) who didn’t commit any crime, and telling black political leaders (President Obama) that they must prove their citizenship in order to run for president.  In other words, we need to start calling Gingrich, Santorum and others what they are:  Good old-fashioned American bigots.  These men have already outlived their relevance in our society, and our country will be better when they have left the earth for the afterlife (no, I don’t condone killing them – mother nature will handle that soon enough).

I have no idea why Newt Gingrich is going to insult the NAACP by making an appearance.  There is nothing productive to gain by having him come to a venue full of African Americans only to speak down at them.  He is not coming to speak with an open heart or mind, and only plans to give political orders, not take them.  NAACP members should boycott Gingrich’s speech – you don’t have to accommodate to a man who does not respect you.

 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

View the original here:
Newt Gingrich: Black People Need to Get Off Welfare

To Top