Clinton Opposes Slavery Reparations (6/17/97)
Gingrich Wants 'Perspiration And Teamwork' On Race
House speaker lays out his prescription for racial progress
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 19) -- House Speaker Newt Gingrich Wednesday night drew a broad portrait of what America's path should be on race relations, a picture that included less "obsessing on race," less "therapy and dialogue" and no quotas.
In a speech before the Orphans Foundation, a group that gives scholarships and other assistance to foster and orphaned children, Gingrich called for Americans to think of themselves and others as individuals, not members of a group.
"Obsessing on race will not allow us to move beyond race," he said. "Perspiration and teamwork will dissolve racism faster than therapy and dialogue."
Gingrich noted the actions of basketball player Michael Jordan in the waning moments of last week's decisive NBA championship game.
Jordan didn't look for the nearest black face, Gingrich said. "He looked for the nearest Chicago jersey. That happened to be Steve Kerr, who is white," he said. "This is the example for society to follow -- a group of individuals so focused on a common goal of winning that they don't have time to worry about what color the other guy is." (384K wav sound)
Gingrich expressed doubts about the goals of the president's new advisory panel on race relations.
"We thank the president for wishing to continue the dialogue on race last weekend, but frankly, there has been much talk on this issue and very little action of the sort which will dramatically change people's lives," Gingrich said.
The speaker suggested some new directions for the panel. "Instead of focusing on broad sweeping generalizations about race, the president's commission needs to focus on practical, doable, immediate action steps that can solve America's problems," Gingrich said. Among them:
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