Catholic Leaders Call On Gingrich And Santorum To ‘Stop Perpetuating Ugly Racial Stereotypes’ About Poverty

By Films For Action / thinkprogress.org
Jan 23, 2012
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Faith in Public Life reports that more than 40 Catholic leaders and theologians across the country are calling on two of their “fellow Catholics,” GOP contenders Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, to stop using divisive rhetoricabout race and poverty on the campaign trail.

Noting that Catholics consider racism an “intrinsic evil,” the open letter confronts the two candidates about their comments singling out minorities who receive welfare:

As Catholic leaders who recognize that the moral scandals of racism and poverty remain a blemish on the American soul, we challenge our fellow Catholics Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail. [...]

Labeling our nation’s first African-American president with a title that evokes the past myth of “welfare queens” and inflaming other racist caricatures is irresponsible, immoral and unworthy of political leaders.

Some presidential candidates now courting “values voters” seem to have forgotten that defending human life and dignity does not stop with protecting the unborn. We remind Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum that Catholic bishops describe racism as an “intrinsic evil” and consistently defend vital government programs such as food stamps and unemployment benefits that help struggling Americans.

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