By now, the name William Bennett should ring a bell. Bennett, the former Secretary of Education under the Reagan administration, made rather racist comments about reducing crime on his radio show not too long ago. If you haven’t heard the comments you must have been living in some kind of padded, soundproof cell. But just in case, Bennett said, "...you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."
So tell us how you really feel….Anything else you want to throw out there to enlighten us? Go ahead, we’re all ears. We’re waiting. And people say racism no longer exists. What a crock! Bennett later went on to say that it "would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do ... but the crime rate would go down." What a contradiction. Maybe he would’ve fared better if he kept his mouth shut.
My question is this, why abort all the black babies? How is it that the crime rate will go down if all black babies are aborted and no other group of babies? It doesn’t make it right and I don’t support the argument either way, but if you insist to continue with the argument why not abort all babies (regardless of race) if you want to lower the crime rate. This is completely ludicrous! Comments like these prove just how disposable we are. Comments like these prove just how little respect and decency a significant portion of this society has towards black people. And to top it all off, very few if any members of the GOP (please correct me if I’m wrong) condemned Bennett for his comments. So that must mean that several other members of his party share similar beliefs. Or they don’t see anything wrong with the comments. This incident reminds me of the climate after some comments Vincente Fox, President of Mexico, made months back. [for more info, check here http://www.seeingblack.com/2005/x080305/mexican_stamp.shtml and here http://www.adl.org/international_affairs/letter_mexico.asp]
These incidents and the recent Hurricane Katrina tragedy (the rather tardy response of government officials and the presentation of the incident by the news media) go on to show that we still have serious racial and social class issues in this country. People try to push racism further under the rug or act like it no longer exists. However, it’s still ever present. Social class issues have never really been dealt with in this country at all. Meanwhile, the disparities between the races and within the races seem to grow wider and wider as the years progress.
Typically, the GOP is late (if ever present) to the table when issues of race are the top of the menu (not unless it addresses something that will impact them directly). Because we all know it’s about the haves and the have-nots. And if you fall in with the latter, the GOP wants little to nothing to do with you. Oh yeah, let me not forget to mention that the White House Press Secretary did issue a statement from Bush saying that Bennett’s comments were “inappropriate.” Wow, what a response! On the other hand, the Democrats responded promptly, demanding that Bennett apologize. Some even went as far to call for Bennett’s resignation from his radio show.
Historically, it’s members of the GOP who’ve made comments along the lines of Bennett. And when the shit hits the fan, they typically stick by their remarks, will not apologize, and will cry that they’ve been misquoted, misrepresented and misunderstood. When in actuality, they weren’t mis- anything. They were quoted, represented and understood quite well.
While everyone else drowns, several members of the GOP continue to swim to the top of the sea of bigotry, racism, social class disparities, inequalities and homophobia. Well it’s time for us to rise to the top and rid the sea of its pollution. Cause we’ve got a long way to go. It’d be wise to get the boxing gloves ready. It’s going to be long fight. And it won’t be ending early.
I’m interested in knowing your thoughts. What are your ideas, opinions, recommendations, etc., about what we as a community (and we as a society) need to do to get beyond this current demise?