During a radio interview with California’s lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom last Friday, comedian and writer Adam Carolla asked, “What’s wrong with them [blacks and Latinos]?”
As the two discussed government issues, the conversation became heated when the topic of socioeconomic inequalities arose, reports the Huffington Post.
“Think about it, Adam,” Newsom said. “Half of African-Americans in the state of California, roughly half of Latino families, have no access to a checking account or an ATM. Things we take for granted. They don’t have checking accounts.”
To which Carolla responded: “What’s wrong with them?”
As the back-and-forth progressed, Carolla said, “But I want to know why those groups? Why those two groups don’t have access?”
Newsom eventually replied, “A lot of communities have problems, a lot of whites have these problems.”
“So it’s not just black and Hispanic? But why’d you bring up black and Hispanic?” Carolla questioned.
“Because the magnitude is ominous,” Newsom responded.
“Well what happened to them [blacks and Latinos]? Why are they struggling?” Carolla continued. “Hispanics have been here. Blacks have been here longer than we’ve been here. What about Asians? They were put in internment camps. Are they at the check cashing places?”
“I don’t want to have a sociological debate,” Newsom stated. “I want to deal with reality.”
“Why are [these problems] concentrated in the African-American community?” Newsom continued. “Look at the history. It’s naive to suggest that those things don’t matter.”
The radio show interview, in which the lieutenant governor was originally there to discuss his new book, Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government, has sparked conversation around the web about Carolla’s line of questioning and Newsom’s responses.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.