As voters head to the polls today in South Carolina, an African-American man confronted Newt Gingrich outside a campaign stop on race issues, pressing the GOP candidate on his idea to make poor kids work as janitors in their own schools.
The Hill reports, “The man said what Gingrich was asking for amounted to a ‘new form of slavery’ and would force young African Americans to drop out of school.” Gingrich engaged with the man, who said he had spoken with Rev. Al Sharpton, asking Gingrich to meet with him, along with NAACP president Ben Jealous and black TV personalities Roland Martin and Juan Williams. “Sure — glad to do it,” Gingrich replied. “I’d be willing to do it. I know Al.”
Gingrich has come under increasing fire for rhetoric on food stamps and child labor than many view as racially-tinged. Yesterday, he said “work” was a “foreign, distant concept” to Williams, whom Gingrich scolded a few days earlier for asking about race.
In New Hampshire earlier this month, an African-American man confronted Gingrich at campaign stop, telling the former Speaker to “stop using blacks as a punching bag.”