Newt Gingrich, the man who called President Obama the “welfare president,” is back with his own brand of racial enlightenment, using the CBS airwaves yesterday to blame Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for the racial tensions in the country and to claim that New York City Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg had “saved” more African-American lives than anyone by ordering the police department to profile Black citizens with the stop-and-frisk policy.
“You have the first African-American president, you have an African-American attorney general six years into their effort,” said Gingrich, a former Republican presidential candidate and, as the Speaker of the House, formerly one of the most powerful men in Washington. “We are in some ways further apart, not closer together. That’s a tragic failure of leadership at the very top.”
Meanwhile on Fox News, host Tucker Carlson called Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) “openly bigoted, openly racist” for invoking the term “white privilege” in a tweet.
“When you exercise your #WhitePrivilege, don’t think I’m not going to remember. I will use it for the future. Uncomfortable?” Chappelle-Nadal, who was tear-gassed in Ferguson, said in one tweet.
In another she wrote that the “system has literally failed the people I represent. There is no hope that anything will change. We go through the motions [because] we have to.”
“Here’s the problem I have with it,” Carlson said. “It’s not just that she’s obviously an extremist, but she’s a race hater. She attacks people based on the color of their skin, that’s just not a good thing. That’s not moral. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t be allowed.”
“And two, she’s an associate of the president,” he continued. “Why is it that President Obama has people like this supporting him? Has people like Al Sharpton in the White House 70 times? People who are openly bigoted, openly racist, and nobody calls him on it?”
The specter of these two powerful men leveling racism charges at African-Americans, who have been the tragic victims of racism in a country that has systematically oppressed and subjugated them for centuries, is the height of folly, a twisted farce of logic. In fact, the only reason their statements are to be taken somewhat seriously is because of who they are.
No president or attorney general in American history has been subjected to as many racist attacks as Obama and Holder—yet Gingrich blames the two of them for a heightening of the racial climate and not the fact that African-Americans are outraged over the continual killing of Black men by police who are allowed to stroll away from the carnage without penalty.
But Gingrich took it a step further by suggesting that African-Americans were “saved” by a policing policy that was declared unconstitutionally discriminatory by a federal judge.
“Let me just remind you, the two people who have done the most to save African-American lives in New York City were Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg, their [stop and frisk] policing techniques, led by Chief Bratton who invented them, actually have saved thousands of lives by focusing on crime in a very intelligent way,” he said.
The judge ruled in 2013 that after stopping and frisking more than four million Black and Hispanic New Yorkers, almost always with no probable cause, the city police department had to immediately halt the policy and allow the department to be monitored by an independent entity.
“I’m saying the president uses a lot of his time using language which is divisive, automatically jumps to conclusions about things he doesn’t know,” Gingrich replied. “I’m saying the attorney general has clearly given speeches which are divisive.”
“And I’m just suggesting to you, this is just a tragic lost opportunity, that you would think that six years into the first African-American president [SIC], there would be a sense in the community of us coming closer together. That hasn’t happened.”
Whereas Carlson bemoaned a world in which Chappelle-Nadal is allowed to freely talk about white privilege in public. He made these statements from the perch of his own show on a network that has spent considerable time exercising its white privilege to try to control the narrative surrounding Black people—and now apparently even trying to legislate the term “white privilege.”
“There ought to be some line that you don’t cross if you’re an elected official,” he said. “Attacking people on the the base of their race—and this white privilege stuff is just that, it’s attacking people based on their skin color, and I think we should call it what it is.”