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Newt Gingrich: Black Americans Still Encounter "Residual Racism"

"This is a national conversation we need to have."

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is reportedly being vetted by Donald Trump's campaign as a potential running mate, says black Americans still encounter "residual racism" in their interactions with police and others.

Gingrich on Friday commented during a Facebook live chat that “it is more dangerous to be black in America” than white. Gingrich elaborated on those comments in an interview on the John Gibson Show on Monday.

"Let me start with something which I have been told by people like Congressman J.C. Watts, who was a All-American quarterback at Oklahoma. People like Colin Powell, who's certainly reasonably famous in his own right. That there is still a residual racism that is peculiar to being African-American," Gingrich said.

Gingrich recounted stories he had been told by black Americans who were pulled over for driving expensive cars or served more slowly in restaurants.

"Very few white people have that feeling," added Gingrich, who said he had been told by successful black professionals that they warn their children to be careful in their interactions with police. "White people just wouldn't, it wouldn't occur to them that you can have a problem."

The former speaker said a parallel problem was violence in predominately black neighborhoods in Chicago.

"It's also true that we have to protect the innocent from the power of the state. That you do have occasions where you've seen somebody who was shot 16 times. You have to ask yourself, 'what was that all about? Why did that make sense.' This is a national conversation we need to have. It's not simply one. It's not A or B, it's in fact got different pieces of it on all sides around."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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