Thursday, March 27, 2008

Newt Gingrich On Race

From the NY Times "The Caucus" blog:
"In an hour-long address at the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Gingrich touched on a few points brought up by Senator Barack Obama during his wide-ranging speech last week on the state of race in America. Mr. Gingrich, who often scolds his own party, offered a few annotations along the way and also, as is his way, gave a few tips of advice to Mr. Obama:
I do think there’s an authenticity and legitimacy to anger by many groups in America. Senator Obama said in his speech, quote: “That anger may not get expressed in public in front of white co-workers or white friends, but it does find voice in the barber shop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition.”I think that that’s right. And I think it’s important to recognize that anger can be a source of energy to create a better future, in which case it’s a good thing. But if anger is a self-inflicted wound that limits us, it is a very bad and a very dangerous thing. And we have to be very careful about the role that anger plays in our culture.
But then Mr. Gingrich took a sharp right turn from Mr. Obama’s train of thought.“Tragically what has happened is that cultural and political leaders have used anger as an excuse to avoid reality, as an excuse to avoid change, as an excuse to avoid accountability. Because everything that is wrong is somehow somebody else’s fault,” Mr. Gingrich said."
Astute observation.

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