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Does Bill Bennett Advocate Aborting Black Babies to Reduce Crime?

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Former Drug Czar and long-time Republican presidential appointee Bill Bennett is a lot of things. Here’s Brad DeLong’s laundry list:

Bill Bennett is a hypocrite, a loathsome fungus on the tree of American politics, a man who has worked unceasingly to make America a worse place—when he’s not publishing the work of others under his own name, or rolling the dice at Las Vegas while claiming that America’s poor would be rich if only they had the righteousness and moral fiber than he does.

But, as DeLong points out, one of the things he’s not is a despicable racist hellbent on destroying the African-American youth of America.

This simple fact has been left out in much of the coverage following his jaw-dropping comments on his national radio program, Bill Bennett’s Morning in America. What has been widely reported is Bennett’s assertion 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.”

As a stand-alone comment, this is disgusting, racist and inexcusable. But, in the interest of the truth (that pesky thing), it is important to introduce the context in which these words were uttered—a context that is rarely fleshed out in news reports. Bennett was fielding a call from some nut who was postulating the if the abortion rate in this country hadn’t been so high for so many years, we would have a fiscally sound Social Security system now.

Bennett’s response was to introduce his abort-black-babies theory as a reductio ad absurdum argument. Immediately following the offensive remarks—and much less frequently quoted in the media—was this: “That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”

Clearly, Bennett’s point was that abortion is not the appropriate lens through which to view such things as economics or crime. That doesn’t let him off the hook for the racist assumption of his postulation about the crime rate, but it’s only fair to view his comments in their original, unedited context.

There are undoubtedly statistics to back up Bennett’s equation of African-Americans to crime. It would be disingenuous to argue otherwise. Perhaps Bennett should take his own advice, however. If it is inappropriate to look at economic matters solely through the lens of abortion, it is certainly inadequate to look at crime only in terms of race. Bennett should know better. The fact that he seems not to leaves some questions about Bennett disturbingly open.

Originally published as Bill Bennett, Genocidaire?.

(parenthetical remarks)
Ed:LisaM

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  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com rj

    bill bennett, who is a rather pompous ass, and more than a little holier-than-thou, did absolutely nothing wrong in his comments on his radio program.

    He merely engaged in a politcally-incorrect (but true) hypothetical.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Scary. Is this RJ Elliott? Um no, there’s no truth to it.

    That is all.

  • Inaru

    “leaves some questions disturbingly open” ?! Bennett’s equation of race to crime is nothing short of racist. If he’d said “Irish”, “Jews”,
    “Germans”, “Japanese” it would be exquisitely clear, but the entertainment industry and the media have promoted the idea that Blacks are more criminal by rarely revealing the fact that there is racial profiling targeting Black people in the first place. Thus conservatives (especially Bennett defenders) focus on the abortion part, and do their damnedest to minimize the racism. Get it, Republican folks, that your party was founded to reverse racial integration after the Civil War. Bennett’s comment’s only surprising for his honesty, and he remains unapologetic as he truly believes that only Black people who act white are not criminals.

  • 1Potato

    There is scientific, statistical evidence linking race and crime. Blacks are certainly profiled to some degree, and may be convicted more easily by many juries, but the statics show that blacks commit more crimes overall, even with those factors taken into account.

    As for blacks who act “white” not committing as much crime, I can only guess that it is true. That is, if by “acting white” you mean staying in school, not joining gangs, being studious, having two parent household, and not having a steady diet of gangsta rap, then yes, probaly those folks will commit less crime. That’s my speculation.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    1Porato, the connection is not directly race to crime, except on a statistical level. You really are going into the dark area that Bennett did not if you suggest that race causes criminality. It’s merely that poor blacks tend to live in conditions which encourage crime – it’s a social problem and a cultural problem, not a racial one.

    Dave

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Cite it, 1Potato. Cite mainstream social scientific research which indicates that black crime is a result of something about black people (whether genetic or cultural) that goes beyond economics and discrimination.

    I call BS. Show us your sources.

    That is all.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Criminals commit crimes, folks — all the rest of this is statistics, and if you don’t know by now that statistics are used to support all kinds of ridiculous, untrue or politically-obscene assertions, you haven’t been paying attention.

    In fact, Bennett was trying, by his own statements before and after the one this flap is about, to illustrate the absurdity of relying on extrapolation from statistics to recommend social action.

    So beat up on the guy for the example he chose, decry the underlying negative perception of blacks spun up by both sides of the argument — but don’t even try to show a connection between crime rates and abortion.

    That’s as likely as the statisically-demonstrated relationship between smoking and mental illness.

  • Truth speaker

    Aborting male babies would drop the crime level down 90%.

  • http://www.msnbc.com Edward G

    You know, Bennett’s comments are correct…

    According to Reuters, blacks have a higher VICTIMIZATION rate of 26 per thousand households ….so, in theory, if there were less blacks to be VICTIMIZED, then crime would go down….go figure.

    The comments were racist, uncalled for, even if it were to prove how ridiculous the idea is.

    He should resign, or at the least obligate himself to some community service, maybe one that helps deter crimes in inner cities.

  • 1Potato

    This is from an associated press writer extrapolating from the US Census:

    ­”Non-Hispanic blacks were 42.3 percent of all local jail inmates in June
    2000, down slightly from 42.5 percent in 1990. By comparison, non-Hispanic
    whites were 41.9 percent of jail inmates in 2000, up slightly from 41.87
    percent a decade ago.

    ­791,600 black males were incarcerated in June 2000, a new high. Nearly one
    in eight black males age 20 to 34 were in prison on any given day.”

    Again, I never said why this is, just that it is. And Bennet never said why, that wasn’t the topic he was discussing.

    It is possible to have a discussion about the race and representation in prison, law schools, the army, etc. without talking about why the numbers are the way they are, without being racist.

    I will agree that on TV or in a press conference, these remarks would be somewhat distasteful, just because people don’t talk so bluntly in those forums. But on talk radio, things are much less scripted and free flowing. Air America says outrageous things all the time, but after they say it we just just hear crickets from the main stream media.

    If you want to know WHY certain minority groups are poor and possibly prone to crime, ask Anthony Grande. He has a theory on that I am sure you have seen posted (i.e. the DemocRATs only stay in power if their constituancy stays down and out, so therefore they do what it takes to make sure they stay that way).

    Bennet may acknowelge that blacks have certain social problems; but the far left WANTS it that way so they have something to complain about and “fight” for.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    1pot says: That is, if by “acting white” you mean staying in school, not joining gangs, being studious, having two parent household, and not having a steady diet of gangsta rap…

    True, I’ve never met any white people who listen to gangsta rap. Certainly not EVERY SINGLE SUBURBAN WHITE KID out there. And all whites get straight A’s because of their happy, married, heterosexual parents.

    Also, I believe Bob A Booey asked you a question…

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    This was BAB’s question: Cite mainstream social scientific research which indicates that black crime is a result of something about black people (whether genetic or cultural) that goes beyond economics and discrimination.

    It remains unanswered.

  • 1Potato

    Truth Speaker writes:

    “Aborting male babies would drop the crime level down 90%.”

    Why is that statement not an utterly sexist and vile comment?

    Please tell us.

  • 1Potato

    That what do you mean by acting white? You tell me.

    As for citing the study, look at my posts. I never claimed that blacks committed more crime because of something other than economics or discrimination. So I don’t need stats to back up a claim I never made. I did say discrimination was not enough. But it could be a combination of economics and discrimination, I don’t know. However I think the stats are so skewed there is something else at work. But I mean social factors, not genetic.

    For example, I happen to think that the very ideas that people like you foist upon the black community and which are supposed to help them, that is, blaming the racist system, is part of what holds them back. Successful people, in business, sports, whatever, do not waste time with the blame game. I think conservatism is a strong philosphy for black Americans to embrace if they want to succeed.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    I think it was a joke, 1pot.

    Then again, there probably are clear genetic reasons why men commit more crim than women. What is true of gender is not true of race.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    I don’t use phrases like “acting white” because they’re utterly idiotic things to say.

    Please, do tell, what ideas do I “foist upon the black community”? Be specific and use examples from things I’ve written.

  • 1Potato

    Then again, there probably are clear genetic reasons why men commit more crim than women. What is true of gender is not true of race.”

    “I think it was a joke, 1pot.”

    So that makes it OK?

    So, racist jokes are bad. And jokes that demean women are bad.

    But jokes that demean men are OK? Let’s abort men, that’s f***ing funny to you? That’s acceptable?

    What if I joke that killing all women would be OK because all the greatest scientists are men so who cares about the bitches anyway? HA HA HA.

    Can’t you people see the double standard?

  • 1Potato

    Pete:

    I said people like you. I am assuming you are liberal. Part of being liberal, at least currently, is focusing on how the governent should take care of us. I believe this disempowers people and makes them less effective and less successful in the long run.

    1P

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    1Pot: When you assume, you make an ass … well, you know what you make.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    bill could have easily and cleverly pointed out what was wrong with the caller’s social security/abortion comment without making an equally stupid and jaded comment himself…
    that he still maintains he said nothing wrong and that naysayers would be more understanding if they only took what he said in total context is reflective of his overall character…
    in total context, one can safely assume that he thinks the bulk of crime in this country is perpetrated by blacks…
    bennett’s mother didn’t have an abortion and i don’t see that this improved the quality of radio…

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    For example, I happen to think that the very ideas that people like you foist upon the black community and which are supposed to help them, that is, blaming the racist system, is part of what holds them back. Successful people, in business, sports, whatever, do not waste time with the blame game. I think conservatism is a strong philosphy for black Americans to embrace if they want to succeed.

    do you have any idea how self-righteous it is to say these things?
    who but someone with a superiority complex and lacking in awareness would say things like “foist upon”, “supposed to help them”, “holds them back”, and “a strong philosophy for black americans to embrace”…
    this statements are made as if there couldn’t possibly be any black people reading or posting, as if there are people in the assumed position of needing (much less wanting your) help, as if there are people being helplessly held back with no credit to what any one person or group has ever accomplished, as if there are those without the power to avoid having anything foisted upon them, and as if there’s something wrong with the philosophy any non-conservative now embraces…
    we’re not talking about a population of children getting their lunch money stolen from them everyday, we’re talking about grown people, many of whom don’t want nor need help regardless of their income or what’s being offered or by whom, and aren’t necessarily in need of a philosophy upgrade…
    reword the entire italicized paragraph with “male” and see if that sets right at all…reword it with “white male”, “chinese female”, “handicapped”, “wounded servicemembers”, etc — it all sounds the same: as if you’re patting an entire class of people on their wee little heads and assuring them daddy is going to make it all okay…
    no one is so much better off than anyone else, as an individual or a class, to be looking down at any other individual or class and think they know what’s best for them above what that individual or class thinks is best for themselves…

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    1Potato’s got nothing, as I suspected. He cites some weak news wire crime report and backs off any explanation for crime.

    Black crime isn’t a “cultural” problem. It’s about poverty, period.

    And Bennett’s decision to single out “all black babies” for his ridiculous hypothetical reveals a racist assumption that black people are criminals because they’re black, above and beyond crime among poor whites, Hispanics, or anyone else.

    That is all.

  • Maxwell

    hartman

    It is not SAFE to assume that Mr. Bennett thinks the bulk of crime in this country is perpetrated by blacks. The only safe thing to conclude is with fewer blacks, there would be fewer blacks. He didn’t say end the black race and you will end crime. Statically speaking each grouping of people will represent a sum number. Removing any group will lower this sum number. You would be reading into his comment if you got anything else.

    “Bennett’s mother didn’t have an abortion and I don’t see that this improved the quality of radio…”

    See quality and quantity and are completely different. A health conscience person might be inclined to split his sundae with you. If he only gave you the chocolate ice cream would this make you angry? Did you think he was giving you all the fat, calories and crime?

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    Statically speaking each grouping of people will represent a sum number. Removing any group will lower this sum number. You would be reading into his comment if you got anything else.

    bennett didn’t say “every baby”, he said “every black baby”…
    that’s what bennett said, not my interpretation of what bennett said…

    A health conscience person might be inclined to split his sundae with you. If he only gave you the chocolate ice cream would this make you angry? Did you think he was giving you all the fat, calories and crime?

    did you feel better after that stretch?

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    Max, your last comment was full of it. Do you honestly think he just randomly said “black” babies when what he meant was “any subset of babies that I will just, with no connotations whatsoever, break down racially because it is my random whim to do so”? Do you really?

    Without reading into things, we’d just be stuck here gazing at our own navels. This is why they call an educated guess, “educated.” Maybe you need more schoolin’.

  • chip

    Wouldn’t aborting any race drop the crime rate?
    of course it’s a completely immoral and senseless thing to do, Bennet himself was in no way in favor of doing so. But is what he said true or false?

  • MCH

    “bill bennett…did absolutely nothing wrong…He merely engaged in a politically-incorrect (but true) hypothetical.”
    – Bobby (RJ) Elliott

    Look, Bobby, that’s about as absurd as saying that had your parents aborted you, there’d be one less Chickenhawk clucking around…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “in total context, one can safely assume that he thinks the bulk of crime in this country is perpetrated by blacks…”

    Actually, no, one cannot assume that.

    One can only assume that Bennett believes (correctly) that blacks commit crimes on a higher per-capita basis than other races.

    So, he was spot-on. Look up the FBI’s UCR sometime…

  • weslry nwene

    1Potato [edited], black people don’t need Conservatism to be successful. One way is to watch out for people like 1Potato and bill bennett. Conservatism is a for White mainly male republican to act and live in America. It was built without black or other minorities input. Where are the native american indians did Conservatism help them being slaughted.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    If you were to take this fascist eugenics hypothetical to its logical conclusion, no, it wouldn’t reduce crime.

    You eliminate all black babies. No new generations of black people. So who becomes the poor and the targets of economic discrimination? Whoever else has most recently faced economic discrimination — Hispanics, Asians, maybe even recent European immigrants or Jews. Suddenly, we’d have a society talking about “criminal” Italian and Irish immigrants again.

    Unless you assume there’s something about black people (as a result of their genetics or culture) that’s UNIQUELY criminal, it’s not even a TRUE counter-factual.

    And Levitt’s response adequately addresses the silly race-crime linkage independent of economics and poverty.

    That is all.

  • 1Potato

    How did we get from blacks and conservatism to Indians being slaughtered?

    As for Bob A Booey, what do you need a “study” for? Even Bill Cosby acknowleges cultural problems in the black community. He should know, he is black, American, a good 65 years old, and a genius. I think I will listen to Bill Cosby before a guy named after Howard Stern’s sidekick (Stern, who many blacks think is racist, btw).

    1P

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Is that really the best you can do?

    Do a search, Mr. Potatohead, and look up the thread on Cosby and race for my thoughts and why you can’t possibly expect to make that argument.

    Then come back with that weak sauce.

    That is all.

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    “You eliminate all black babies. No new generations of black people.”

    You can’t say the same if you elimated all homosexuals. Society would create more.

    “So who becomes the poor and the targets of economic discrimination? Whoever else has most recently faced economic discrimination — Hispanics, Asians, maybe even recent European immigrants or Jews. Suddenly, we’d have a society talking about “criminal” Italian and Irish immigrants again.”

    Blacks were being oppressed at the same time as Italians and Irish. The Italians and Irish eventually intergrated into society, blacks did not. Currently the Hispanics and blacks are the poor oppressed, but Hispanics are slowly intergrating into society just like the Italians and Irish, but the blacks are staying right where they are.

    It is because of the lack of true black leaders. Cosby would make a great black leader, but people like Jesse Jackson and Sharpton have the black masses calling Cosby a racist. The problem is that they are being oppressed by their own leaders.

    And why are we even talking about “if black babies were killed”. Bennett’s words were taken out of context, no one wants us to elimate black babies.

    The conservatives don’t want to elimanate black babies because that is barbaric and unAmerican.

    The liberals don’t want to eliminate black babies because then who would vote for them???

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    One can only assume that Bennett believes (correctly) that blacks commit crimes on a higher per-capita basis than other races.
    So, he was spot-on. Look up the FBI’s UCR sometime…

    bennett asserts that his comments were about reducing the crime rate, not the black crime rate, and his defenders agree; in fact he didn’t mention the black crime rate at all, just the crime rate…why would a man of his intelligence, reputation, and education neglect to clarify that he was talking about the per captia black crime rate rather than the crime rate when asserting even a hypothetical reduction of the latter?
    i would assert this is because his comments were based on his perception of the crime rate rather than the reality of it…

    as has been noted, aborting any sector of the population would reduce the crime rate so why did he focus on black babies rather than all babies when hypothetically asserting a reduction for the crime rate?
    his comment about the crime rate didn’t focus on the group of people with the greatest number of criminals but rather the group he associates with the greatest number of criminals…
    now go back and read the rest of the fbi’s ucr…while the percentage of blacks committing crimes exceeds the percentage of whites committing crimes, the majority of crimes are commited by whites, not blacks…bennett’s hypothetical reduction of the crime rate doesn’t fly because the bulk of the crime rate is still white, not black…if we’re to believe bennnett and his defenders that he was talking about the crime rate then why didn’t he suggest aborting the babies of the crime rate’s largest contributor? again, i would assert his comment was based on his perception and not reality, and that his perception, born of ignorance despite his impressive resume, is racist…
    remember, because this is important, bennett himself and his defenders insist that his comments were about the crime rate, not the black crime rate and we can lean toward believing this because he never mentioned the black crime rate…as such, per-captia statistics are moot because bennett himself asserts he was talking about the overall crime rate, not the more specific black crime rate…
    plucking one statistical cell from the fbi’s ucr to substantiate a comment such as bennett’s is feeble at best…in reality, the chance of being the victim of a white criminal is greater than the chance of being the victim of a black criminal…additionally, considerably more white collar crimes are perpetrated by whites than blacks so that taking yourself off the street doesn’t help…

    face it, bennett is intelligent, reputable, educated — and racist…

  • Maxwell

    Hartman,

    Obviously you don’t “feel better” by working yourself into a sweat by reading between the lines. And by “reading between the lines” I mean not reading at all.

    Hartman: Bennett didn’t say “every baby”, he said “every black baby”…
    that’s what Bennett said, not my interpretation of what Bennett said…

    The phrase “every black baby” doesn’t make Bennett a racist. That is your interpretation. The statement is factual. How can a factually statement be considered racist? Less blacks, less crime. Eating less chocolate (vanilla or strawberry) ice cream less fat in your diet.

    Bennett said, “…abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”

    Now when I got this far in Bennett’s commentary I assumed there was some underline reason he singled one group of people. But only someone with RACE on the brain would think his comments were that of a racist. Has race become such a social TABOO that the mere mention of it makes that person a racist?

    It is would take a remarkably ignorant and basis person to conclude racism from these comments. Some people are beyond critical thought. They will forgo “active reading”—missing what was really said—and when their minds falls victim to rage or boredom they will add reasoning that was never intended by the author.

    The issue was abortion. Babies can’t be aborted. They can be killed or eaten (according to Jonathan Swift or the “Pro-choice crowd”), but they can’t be aborted. A scoop of chocolate ice cream has more value than an unborn black baby to them, for:

    (1) Chocolate ice cream tastes better
    (2) You can buy and sell chocolate ice cream
    (3) It is easier to rid yourself of chocolate ice cream
    (4) Chocolate ice cream can’t commit a crime

    Bennett values black babies more than the Pro-choice crowd, but he is the racist. How deluded do you have to be to think that?

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    The phrase “every black baby” doesn’t make Bennett a racist.

    i didn’t say it did…

    I assumed there was some underline reason he singled one group of people.

    you don’t say what you think the reason was for his singling out one group…what do you think was the reason?

  • Maxwell

    Blackwell,

    Blackwell: Maybe you need more schoolin’

    OH, Blackwell the Great. There is a difference between “reading into things” and clouding what you are reading with your own prejudices.

    Someone makes an “educated guess” in the realm of the sciences of math and medicine. You, Blackwell, have over stepped the bounds of logic. How is it possible to guess what someone is thinking?

    How were you going to prove your own theory?

    Your guesses have carried you away. “reduction ad absurdum”. A little latin and here we are name calling and acting all superior. I guess I didn’t take that course when I was college that gave me the abilities to delve into someone’s soul.

    Your “educated guesses” and “labels” are the stuff racism is made of.

  • Maxwell

    Hartman,

    “…every black baby…”

    Ever time “white or black” is used in any context I “assume all over the place”. But I do my best not to form any prejudices, because I know nobody is free from their prejudices.

    I wasn’t listening to Bennett’s radio program that day, but I heard the soundbite and read the comments he made afterwards. Even when I take these comments with a few grains of salt I cannot condemn him as a racist as you have:

    “…face it, bennett is intelligent, reputable, educated — and racist…”

    I am not aware of any past racist actions. Bennett claims his past actions have been beneficial to the black community. He does have black fans and defends. I heard it say that Bennett defenders are racist because he is racist. I have also heard it said Bennett cannot advocate morals because he gambled a lot of money. And because Bennett knows Rush Limbaugh, who abuses drugs, he is amoral and therefore a racist.

    I am not willing to make “educated guesses” like these.

    Honestly I don’t know the reason he singling out one group (he was answering a question on the fly here). Obviously there are prejudices surrounding Blacks and Crime. Bennett obviously knows this. Sometimes the answer speaks louder than the question. Bennett did say this was an impossible question, then he answered it and others judge the answer of this impossible question instead of addressing the underline question.

    Which is: Is Abortion the answer?

    Bennett is being attacked because he has oppose a brainy question that houses three hot topics: (1) race (2) crime (3) abortion

    “Racist” is a loaded word—one of many deadly weapons. Even “Love” can sting when it is used carelessly.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    Bennett was implying a specific link between blacks and crime. That’s not even an educated guess. It’s blindingly obvious. It is also, as has been pointed out amply above, an ignorant, simplistic thing to say. I didn’t call Bennett a racist. I will call him ignorant and simplistic on this issue—particularly in that he was trying to point out the simplicity in someone else’s argument with his ill-chosen example.

    I never said I was great or anyhing like that. I merely think you’re being credulous if you think Bennett’s intentions were purely innocent.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Does anyone find these completely illogical ice cream analogies cute in a kindergarten kind of way? It’s like when you talk to a little kid who’s not quite concrete yet in their reasoning who tries to explain things to you that you know don’t make sense in their own language.

    That is all.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    Does anyone find these completely illogical ice cream analogies cute in a kindergarten kind of way?

    are you at least understanding them? cos i’m not that far into it…
    i’m a good ten years out from having to listen to kindergarten analogies and frankly i don’t want to have to revisit those skills in an effort to understand a grown person…

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    No, they’re completely nonsensical, which makes it even funnier since it’s attempting to be informal logic.

    If only we could just melt racism like ice cream and be one runny pool of melted ice cream flavors together.

    That is all.

  • Maxwell

    What do you mean by “innocent”? Did Bennett have some sort of dark purpose? And there is no need to read into anything he said, because he has responded to the criticisms. And there are links between blacks and crime. But why does what you think Bennett is implying overshadow what Bennett is saying?

    You are NOT addressing the issue Bennett was discussing. You are caught up in the example.

    I said: Your “educated guesses” and “labels” are the stuff racism is made of.

    I didn’t say you called Bennett a racist.

    Maybe you are the one being “ignorant”? Is it on purpose?

    Complicating simple things doesn’t make someone intelligent.

    So you gone back on the “educated guesses”, now it is “blindingly obvious”. It is blindingly obvious what he was implying. Do you even know that Latin phrase mean. You are not even agreeing with yourself.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    I don’t know if Bill Bennett is a racist. I don’t care about the hues of those who commit crimes and, frankly, I do not believe in the concept of race. I believe the comment denotes something sick resides within Bennett’s soul, but I have had that opinion for years. The thing really getting to me is that Bennett is being described as reputable. Reputable? Bill Bennett? Book of Values Gambling Man? Rush Limbaugh’s good buddy? It is to vomit.

  • Maxwell

    Booey: “they’re completely nonsensical”

    You don’t like the ice cream, but it is more to the point of what Bennett was saying.

    Ice cream is worth something. An aborted baby is worth nothing. I don’t know how it is possible to melt racism when it is hard frozen in some people’s minds, Booey.

    Blackwell’s original post is attempting to play both sides. He is half a step from calling Bennett a racist. This post was originally title: “Bill Bennett, Genocidaire?” He called the caller a NUT. Is Bennett a “NUT” too? Are we forgetting Bennett is Pro-Choice?

    You know what is funny, Booey? It is funny to see a post calling Bennett’s comments “disgusting, racist and inexcusable”, but passing no judgment about the “context that is rarely fleshed out in news reports”.

    Another thing is really funny is seeing racism and ignorance when it isn’t there. It is not possible to not think of something.

    It makes perfect sense why you would think what I wrote is nonsensical. If it made sense to you then it wouldn’t be nonsensical and this entire issues would simply evaporate.

  • Maxwell

    “Reputable? Bill Bennett? Book of Values Gambling Man? Rush Limbaugh’s good buddy? It is to vomit.”

    Case in point.

    Another “educated guess”—sorry—“blindly obvious” conclusion; why didn’t I take that soul reading course when I was in college? Maybe Blackwell was right? Maybe I need more schoolin’?

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Perhaps, Mr. Maxwell. There is much for all of us to learn.

    As for the Gambling Man’s soul… he is in a conversation… he has the entire world of reprehensible hypotheticals from which to choose and he leaps to conflating aborting “black” babies with crime reduction. Seems to me that the idea must have been residing within him, given his apparent ease with accessing the thought and making it audible.

    Again, I don’t know if Bennett is “racist,” but given his unfortunate semantic choice, surely you can’t be surprised that people would wonder. It is my opinion that someone who even could conceive of such a thing — even Bennett called it immoral — must have something sick and foul living within him or her. Such a thing would never occur to a decent human.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    I don’t try to play both sides in my original post. It was a response to the over-the-top response that his comments got from the left. As is “blindingly obvious,” I don’t think he’s a Genocidaire. Let’s take a look at the title and abstract of the Blogcritics version.

    Title: Does Bill Bennett Advocate Aborting Black Babies to Reduce Crime?

    Abstract: Short answer, no, but there are still some disturbing, unanswered questions. Long answer, read on.

    The unanswered questions I refer to come from the underlying assumptions of his chosen example. I believe it was a very poor choice and it is revealing of the way he views black people.

    The Latin phrase I used was not to be fancy-schmancy. It’s simply the term used in formal logic to describe what he was trying to do. He was taking his caller’s argument and reducing it to absurdity to show that it doesn’t make sense.

    His point: you can’t look at economics only in terms of abortion. It’s absurd. But, he turns around and makes a claim that comes (at least) dangerously close to doing the same thing for race and crime. Not his finest moment, and, also not his worst, which was the whole point of my original post.

  • 1Potato

    B. Booey:

    When you apply for jobs, do you tell them you are retarded?

    1P

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    1P, I thought he was a little weird, but I wasn’t sure.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    It just keeps getting better. Every day a Republican implodes. Why, just in the last week we have this Bennet comment, TWO DeLay indictments, and the Frist investigation for insider trading.

    Oh, and Judy Miller is rolling over on Karl Rove about now too.

    It’s a good day to be a Democrat. Oh, and I told you so.

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    If you are happy about little liberal lies like these then it is obvious that you haven’t been happy for a long time.

    The DemocRatic Party is the party of negativity. They only talk and bring down instead of moving forward.

    This is why the DemocRats are going to fall flat on the faces in 06. Mark my words.

    I will be saying I told you so.

    P.S. Nice copy and pasting

  • Maxwell

    Blackwell,

    If Bennett is being absurd then what is the problem? I say something absurd. I say that absurdity is wrong. Why are there “some disturbing, unanswered questions”? Must I believe something that is absurd just because I said it? If you believe in the logical argument then why are you discounting it? Is it too simplistic?

    And I don’t agree that Bennett was reducing the caller’s argument to absurdity. Bennett simply didn’t agree. The caller was referencing a book, which is not simplistic, called “Freakonomics”. Bennett only said the caller’s conclusion was too complex (that NUT) and there were too many variables. Bennett thought it wasn’t a valid support for the Pro-Life cause. Abortion was the issue, not Economics. Economics was only the angle the caller was using to support the Pro-Life cause. Bennett doesn’t support abortion. But he said the crime rate would drop if black babies were aborted. Crime can’t exist in a vacuum. No people, no crime. That is a clear and sound argument.

    He was addressing the book, the book “Freakonomics”. If he were implying anything about blacks it would be regarding: (1) drugs (2) education (3) single mothers/broken families. None of these are surprise and it a good thing to address the reason for crime.

    This would be the middle ground. If you understand the logic argument then again, “What is the problem”?

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    First of all, the caller starts in with an economic argument:

    I noticed the national media, you know, they talk a lot about the loss of revenue, or the inability of the government to fund Social Security, and I was curious, and I’ve read articles in recent months here, that the abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade, the lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30-something years, could fund Social Security as we know it today. And the media just doesn’t — never touches this at all.

    Second of all, nowhere in the transcript that I read does Bennett say the caller’s ideas are too complex. The issue of the solvency of Social Security is certainly too complex to be seen only in terms of abortion. You have it backwards.

    Bennett is, by definition, attempting a reductio ad absurdum argument. He takes the caller’s logic and then applies it to a different situation to show that it is, in Bennett’s own words, “an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do.” That’s the dictionary definition.

    Clearly, as was the whole point of my post, Bennett does not believe that we should abort black babies to reduce the crime rate. He rejects this not because it wouldn’t, in his mind, work, but because it is a morally repugnant idea. Points for Bennett there.

    The fact that strikes me is that Bennett rejects the morality but not the efficacy of the genocide solution. He is still making the connection between blacks and crime. This is not the part that he thinks is absurd. It is that part, which rejects the complexity of the crime problem in what I see as a naive way, that I have an issue with.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “as has been noted, aborting any sector of the population would reduce the crime rate”

    This is simply not true.

    Crime “rate” does not mean “total crimes committed.” It is a per-capita ratio.

    IOW, if Population A commits crimes at a 1-per-1000 rate, and Population B commits crimes at a 3-1000 rate, than making Population B “disappear” would reduce the overall crime rate, all else being equal.

    Of course, Bennett does not support this. So this is a phony “scandal”…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Are we forgetting Bennett is Pro-Choice?”

    He is???

  • Maxwell

    Blackwell: Second of all, nowhere in the transcript that I read does Bennett say the caller’s ideas are too complex. The issue of the solvency of Social Security is certainly too complex to be seen only in terms of abortion. You have it backwards.

    Bennett didn’t say they were too simplistic either. Media Matters doesn’t show the entire conversation between Bennett and this caller.

    At the end of the conversation Bennett said the caller’s question was thoughtful and interesting.

    If you want to get technical Bennett and the caller were taking about other people’s ideas. The caller posed a question someone else has made in a news article and Bennett was referencing a mainstream book. Crime and Abortion is a question the book raised. The book (I am using an educated guess here) Bennett was reading showed a relationship where the crime rate was down and abortion was up.

    P.S. You say the issue of “Solvency of Social Security” is too complex to be seen only in terms of abortion. I agree “ONLY” because you used the word “ONLY”. But how do you solve something that is complex? I would first examine its simplistic parts. But abortion is not simplistic. Wouldn’t you say that abortion is complex? How can something complex be simple? A computer program is complex. A line of code is simple. But change just one line of code and that program could crash.

  • Maxwell

    Blackwell,

    Genocide? Bennett said it was impossible. Impossible solutions don’t work. And abortion is not genocide. An abortion anything is meaningless, it never matter anyway.

    Are you saying genocide isn’t efficient? The Nazis were very systematic and organized. Killing is always efficient, but not always moral. To deny the efficacy of genocide is the belief of the naïve.

    Your problem with Bennett is the naïve way he has rejected the complexity of the crime problem. That is only your perception. If you are only going to take in the last couple of minutes of a three hour show and analysis that I guess you would be left with all sorts of assumptions (educated or otherwise).

    P.S. I saw the Amazon link to a book Bennett wrote on top of this page. I am guessing others have done the same thing. I’ve been reading some of the more recent reviews of his book. I wonder if someone here wrote “I think it would be funny it Bennett died of Cancer.”

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Is that the best you can do, 1Potato?

    Calling me names because you can’t win an argument with me? If I’m “retarded,” you really should examine your own level of intellect since you can’t appear to make a single defensible argument.

    That is all.

  • http://afterabortion.blogspot.com Annie B.

    I may be one of the few who’s discovered this, but FREAKONOMICS book author Steven Levitt stated essentially the same racist theory Bennett cited and condemned, in 2 published research papers, and after substituting cleansed phrases for the racist phrases (but not altering their meaning), he then turned it INTO that bestselling book Freakonomics? Levitt actually quoted other studies in writing as part of his reason for his conclusions that “African-Americans” are among those “most at risk to give birth to children who would engage in criminal activity.”

    Sounds just like what Bennett was referring to, doesn’t it?

    Yet Levitt makes millions and gets glory while Bennett is tarred and feathered.

    Both Levitt and Bennett are wrong to believe the theory is even true, of course (because it hasn’t been proven and probably can never be), but I asked our readers and some of the media directly (like the top dogs at AP, Mensah Dean of The Philly Daily News and Robert Steinback of The Miami Herald), why only take Bennett to task? I am sure 99.99999% of America doesn’t but should know the truth about Levitt’s racist/eugenicist foundations (from 1991 to 2001).

    I uncovered this when writing an online, 5-part expose about the “abortion lowers crime” myth (not my word, but what one of 5 Ph.D. criminologists from the likes of UPENN and Carnegie Mellon called it).

    I have a much-shortened excerpt of the lengthy series that is pertinent to the proof points mentioned above, if anyone wants to email me so I don’t clog up the comments here.

    Or you can read the full series, just up this week, ironically, though I’ve been researching it for a month: links are here: http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2005/10/crime-also-how-five-renowned-ph.html

  • Frank

    The guy is only telling the truth, and you liberal types cannot pull your heads out of your as… to see. Blacks have completly isolated them selves from others in this country. First, I find it rediclous that MOST (not all) cannot speak proper english and have made up their own fake accent that sound completly stupid! I work with this black women who I have to constatly correct her on her grammer. What the F… is “aksk”??? I have to remind her we do not speak EBONICS and it will only make others think you are stupid. She does agree and is working to get rid of her fake accent.

    To people who say that poverty causes crime, all I have to say is bullshit! Look at poor whites in Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, they do not go around killing each other at astoshing rates???? Society is soooooo tired of hearing excuses for this race of people! They need to get their shit together or get out of MY country!

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Frank, setting aside the general ignorance and racism your comment reveals, if you want to pick on people for their language skills, you might want to make sure your own use of the language is more adept than you show above…

  • STM

    Frank, you appear to be ranting and gibbering.

    Signed, liberal with head up asshole

  • Sarah

    Bill Bennett is pro life. You all should look at the Maafa 21, which outlines how Planned Parent Hood and the rest of the Pro Choice movement advocate killing black babies. The number one killer of blacks in America is abortion.