NAACP Statement on Newt Gingrich Comments

(Baltimore, MD) – NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous today gave the following statement on comments about the NAACP by former Speaker Newt Gingrich:

“It is a shame that the former Speaker feels that these types of inaccurate, divisive statements are in any way helpful to our country,” said Jealous. “The majority of people using food stamps are not African-American, and most people using food stamps have a job.”

According to Talking Points Memo and other sources, Gingrich was quoted as saying, “I will go to the NAACP convention, and explain to the African-American community why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps.”

“We invited Speaker Gingrich to attend our annual convention several times when he was Speaker of the House, but he declined to join us,” Jealous continued. “If he is invited again, I hope that he would come, with the intention to unite rather than divide.”

“Gingrich's statement is problematic on several fronts, most importantly because he gets his facts wrong."  

The NAACP does not endorse or oppose candidates for public office.  For over 100 years the organization has decried offensive racial rhetoric wherever and whenever it occurs.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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