Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich responded to the recent shooting deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and several police officers by stating that white people don't understand being black in America on July 8.
"It took me a long time and a number of people talking to me over the years to begin to get a sense of this: If you are a normal, white American, the truth is you don't understand being black in America and you instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk," Gingrich said during a live Facebook video with former Obama administration aide Van Jones, according to the Hill.
"We've come a fair distance — we have a black mayor of Atlanta, and have had a series of them," added Gingrich, who spent his high school years in a segregated part of Georgia. "John Lewis has gone from marching on Selma to the Democratic whip in the U.S. Congress. We've made progress. But for some reason we've stalled out on the cultural, economic, practical progress we needed to parallel the fight over legality."
Gingrich, who has been in the news frequently of late for throwing his support behind and campaigning with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, called for viewers to "rethink what it means to be an American and how we function together as an extended family."
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The former Speaker's comments followed a statement Trump released earlier in the day, in which he called for "strong leadership, love and compassion," according to the Los Angeles Times.
"We must restore law and order," Trump added. "We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street. The senseless, tragic deaths of two motorists in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done."