Right-wingers Are Willfully Ignorant about “Black-on-Black” Crime

Former Speaker of the House and perennially failed Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Sunday that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are the real instigators and root causes of the current racial tension now evident and obvious throughout the US.

On the other hand, however, Gingrich averred that both former New York City Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg had actually “saved” more African-American lives than anybody else in the country by institutionalizing racial profiling against New York’s millions of black citizens.

Gingrich was gracious enough to admit that America’s “criminal justice” system was not perfect and that some minor tweaks were needed. Specifically, he allowed that certain people are and have been imprisoned “who didn’t need to be.”

But that situation is easily fixed. When police kill unarmed black people, well… according to Gingrich, they are just doing their jobs. You see, there “has to be some recognition — and this will probably get me in trouble — young people should be told, when a policeman tells you to stop, stop,” Gingrich said.

But, again, Gingrich’s real focus and complaint was against Obama and Holder. He then went deep:

“You have the first African-American president; you have an African-American attorney general six years into their effort,” he emphasized. “We are in some ways further apart, not closer together. That’s a tragic failure of leadership at the very top.”

Visibly incredulous, Schieffer pointedly asked the former Speaker, “Are you somehow saying this is the fault of Barack Obama?”

“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 shot back.

As for the Holder, Gingrich offered this: “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.”

Note that the former Speaker offered not a single chapter or verse of either Holder’s or Obama’s “divisive” language or tactics. He simply mouthed an timeworn, conservative, right-wing, and Tea Party mantra and article of faith that to merely talk about or point out the rampant white racism which still afflicts this country is in and of itself “racist.” To ask the question, for example, why white men like Gingrich continue to apply a suffocating stranglehold on all things economic, political, social, and cultural is to promote and practice a dastardly form of “reverse racism” which only serves to further victimize the real victims of racism – white men.

Schieffer (a white man, naturally) did not ask about and Gingrich certainly did not deign to address the fact that he once referred to Obama as “the food stamps president.” Nor did Gingrich mention that the Congressional Republicans (and conservatives throughout the nation) have done everything humanly possible to assure that nothing — absolutely nothing — Obama has done over the course of these last six years, or which he proposes to do in the remaining two, would or will succeed. The word “obstruction” appears to not be in Gingrich’s vocabulary – or memory banks.

Still, selfless white men like Gringrich have not turned their backs on black people, says Gingrich. On the contrary, they have striven mightily to actually “save” black folks from themselves.

Dig this:

“Let me just remind you,” the Great White Father Gringrich proclaimed yesterday, “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.” [Emphasis added].

Indeed, if he had his druthers, Gingrich would apply the Giuliani-Bloomberg-Bratton policing model applied nationwide. He specifically pointed to Chicago, Obama’s (and my) beleaguered hometown, where “black-on-black” crime would be stopped in its tracks if racial profiling were fully administered and implemented on Chicago’s South and West Sides.

As stated, Gringrich represents and espouses the right wing and conservative shibboleth declared and codified into law by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2007when his Supreme Court finally defanged the whole nefarious concept of racial “affirmative action.” Roberts famously wrote at the time, “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

This is the preferred “remedy” to racial conflict consistently offered by the Gringriches and Roberts of the world – that no racial “minority” (and most especially black people) is owed any special or targeted help in overcoming four centuries of racial discrimination at the hands of a white majority. Just stop talking about it, okay? And, then everyone (most especially white people) will be happy, for we all will have reached racial nirvana through this no-talk, “color blind” policy. (Incidentally, “color blindness” may actually blind one’s eyes to color. Many people really are physically color blind. But it does not blind one to patterns and practices of historical and ongoing racial discrimination).

Finally, according to the Gospel of Gringrich, the racial “divisiveness” that he accuses Obama and Holder of fomenting and foisting upon this race-talk-fatigued nation-state really has nothing to do with the history or current police practices of practically every police department in the country.

The unspoken subtext of Gringrich’s and the right’s dislike and disdain for Obama – the real reason that Obama is responsible for these “tensions” – is that he had the temerity to get his black self elected president – not once, but twice.

Herbert Dyer, Jr. is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Herb may be reached at: accra0306@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Herb.