Wednesday, September 28, 2005

This is today's Republican Party
This morning on his nationally syndicated radio show, very moral person, Bill Bennett, said:
I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.

Media Matters has the full context. It doesn't help. Bennett will surely protest that he didn't say we should do that, it was just an example he brought up to make a point. But what kind of person even thinks of these kinds of examples, much less airs them on national radio. At best this kind of modest proposal is a sick joke that you share with your friends; no one in the right (or in his case, far right) mind says this kind of thing in public.

David Neiwert regularly writes about eliminationist rhetoric on the right. This is a good example of how it begins. Right wing extremists and hopelessly adolescent loud-mouths make these kind of statements and, when confronted with them, cry that they were only joking or trying to make a point. You can bet that hard-core racists will start passing this around as a "good idea" over the next few days.

Forbidden thoughts do have a place in social satire and black humor. Bennett wasn't doing either of those. He was making a flippant, off-hand comment in defense of banning abortion. But if we consider that context, let's also consider that he chose that example at a time when Hurricane Katrina has exposed the persistence of white fears of black lawlessness. Hundreds of news outlets uncritically printed rumors of criminality once New Orleans had been left in the hands of lower class blacks. Almost all of the stories have proven false, but that isn't preventing the evacuees from being treated like criminal hordes wherever they go.

Did that background noise have anything to do with Bennett's choice of example? I don't know, but his perpetuating the idea of African-Americans as a criminal race certainly isn't going to help things. What a sick bastard.

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