got my first job when I was 12. The deacons at my church paid me $2 a week to keep it swept and mopped. So I do not need Newt Gingrich to lecture me about a good work ethic. In this, I suspect I speak for the vast majority of 39 million African Americans. There has been a lot of talk about whether Gingrich’s recent language, including his performance at last week's South Carolina debate and his earlier declaration that Barack Obama has been America's best "food-stamp president," amounts to a coded appeal to racist sensitivities. The answer is simple: yes.