While speaking on this week’s shootings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the police officers in Dallas, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that white Americans “don’t understand being black in America.”
Gingrich said on Facebook Live event with CNN analyst Van Jones that it took him a long time to understand this, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“If you are a normal, white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America and you instinctively under-estimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk,” Gingrich said.
He added that white parents do not have to teach their sons to be careful when dealing with the police.
Gingrich also spoke about moving to Georgia in 1960.
“It was still legally segregated, which meant the local sheriff and National Guard would impose, by force, the taking away of rights of Americans,” Gingrich said.
The U.S. has made progress, Gingrich said, acknowledging Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, and Democratic Representative John Lewis. “But we’ve stalled out on the cultural, economic, practical progress we needed,” he said.
Gingrich said the lack of progress “creates the kind of alienation where it begins to become legitimate to think about, whether it’s in songs or slogans or whatever, the shooting of policemen. If we were to continue in this direction of alienation on both sides, you could really be a very coarse and dangerous society in 10 or 15 years.”
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