Thursday, September 29, 2005


A few choice stories to pick up on today. First and foremost is hypermoral compulsive gambler Bill Bennett's, ahem, interesting commments about aborting black babies. The second--which I find even more insidious--is the latest editorial from the WSJ relating to the victims of Katrina. What we see here today is the intersection of morally-based and economically-based institutionalized racism, and it's quite telling that both of these things happen on the same day.

The main difference is that while the economic elitist proto-fascists on the WSJ editorial board have no idea what it means to be a member of the working poor and hate them--not only because they can't understand them, but because the moral imperative to improve the living conditions of the working poor is, according to them, at direct odds with their ability to exploit the financial market for all it is worth--and are thus wrong about their economic assessment of inert mothers and men who will not work, Bill Bennett may actually be right about what he said. If, in the current United States of America, every single black woman currently pregnant today had an abortion, it might reduce the crime rate 15-18 years down the road (Freakonomics makes a similar argument). Where Bennett errs--and where the source of the appropriate outrage concerning his comments is based--is in ascribing the relation between blacks and crime to the failings and criminality inherent in black people, rather than an outgrowth of centuries of economic exploitation, marginalization and oppression that continues up to this day. That's where the racism comes in. After all, Bennett did say that engaging in such a genocidal practice would be extreme and morally reprehensible. Bennett's problem is that the logic behind his statement is also reprehensible.

What is interesting to me about this statement is actually that Bennett, by the very fact of making the statement, has proven that he supports Roe v. Wade. After all--if every single black baby in the country were aborted, Bennett's fellows would probably argue that such an act would lead to a huge instantaneous spike in the murder rate, and could not possibly countenance the idea that such an act could have positive ramifications, no matter how inherently racist they may be. NARAL should seize on this as proof that Bennett is pro-choice.

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