Skip to comments.Shameful Attacks (on Bill Bennett)
Posted on 09/30/2005 6:24:29 PM PDT by veronica
Bill Bennett stresses our morality and pays the price.
In the course of a free-wheeling conversation so common on talk-format programs, Bill Bennett made a minor point that was statistically and logically unassailable, but that touched a third rail namely, the nexus between race and crime within the highly charged context of abortion policy.
He emphatically qualified his remarks from the standpoint of morality. Then he ended with the entirely valid conclusion that sweeping generalizations are unhelpful in making major policy decisions.
That he was right in this seems to matter little. Bennett is being fried by the PC police and the ethnic-grievance industry, which have disingenuously ripped his minor point out of its context in a shameful effort to paint him as a racist. Hes about as bigoted as Santa Claus.
Heres what happened. In the course of his Morning in America radio show on Wednesday, Bennett engaged a caller who sought to view the complexities of Social Security solvency through the narrow lens of abortion, an explosive but only tangentially relevant issue. Specifically, the caller contended that if there had not been so many abortions since 1973, there would be millions more living people paying into the Social Security System, and perhaps the system would be solvent.
Bennett, typically well-informed, responded with skepticism over this method of argument by making reference to a book he had read, which had made an analogous claim: namely, that it was the high abortion rate which was responsible for the overall decline in crime. The former Education secretary took pains to say that he disagreed with this theory, and then developed an argument for why we should resist extensive extrapolations from minor premises (like the number of abortions) in forming major conclusions about complex policy questions.
It was in this context that Bennett remarked: 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. Was he suggesting such a thing? Was he saying that such a thing should even be considered in the real world? Of course not. His whole point was that such considerations are patently absurd, and thus he was quick to add: That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.
Bennetts position, clearly and irrefutably, is that you cannot have tunnel vision, especially on something as emotionally charged as abortion, in addressing multifaceted problems. It is almost always the case that problems, even serious ones, could be minimized or eliminated if you were willing to entertain severe solutions. Such solutions, though, are morally and ethically unacceptable, whatever the validity of their logic. The lesson to be drawn is not that we can hypothetically conceive of the severe solutions but that we resolutely reject them because of our moral core.
This is a bedrock feature of American law and life. We could, for example, dramatically reduce crimes such as robbery and rape by making those capital offenses. We dont do it because such a draconian solution would be offensive to who we are as a people. But it is no doubt true that if we were willing to check our morality at the door, if the only thing we allowed ourselves to focus on were the reduction of robbery and rape, the death penalty would do the trick.
We are currently at war with Islamo-fascists, and our greatest fear is another domestic attack that could kill tens of thousands of Americans. The attacks we have suffered to this point have been inflicted, almost exclusively, by Muslim aliens from particular Arabic and African countries. Would it greatly reduce the chance of another domestic attack if we deported every non-American Muslim from those countries? Of course it would how could it not? But it is not something that we should or would consider doing. It would be a cure so much worse than the disease that it would sully us as a people, while hurting thousands of innocent people in the process.
The salient thing here is the moral judgment. But, to be demonstrated compellingly, the moral judgment requires a dilemma that pits values against values. Remarkably, Bennett is being criticized for being able to frame such a dilemma which was wholly hypothetical but given no credit for the moral judgment which was authentically his.
Statistics have long been kept on crime, breaking it down in various ways, including by race and ethnicity. Some identifiable groups, considered as a group, commit crime at a rate that is higher than the national rate.
Blacks are such a group. That is simply a fact. Indeed, our public discourse on it, even among prominent African Americans, has not been to dispute the numbers but to argue over the causes of the high rate: Is it poverty? Breakdown of the family? Undue police attention? Other factors or some combination of all the factors? We argue about all these things, but the argument always proceeds from the incontestable fact that the rate is high.
The rate being high, it is an unavoidable mathematical reality that if the number of blacks, or of any group whose rate outstripped the national rate, were reduced or eliminated from the national computation, the national rate would go down.
But Bennetts obvious point was that crime reduction is not the be-all and end-all of good policy. You would not approve of something you see as despicable such as reducing an ethnic population by abortion simply because it would have the incidental effect of reducing crime.
Abortion, moreover, is a grave moral issue in its own right. It merits consideration on its own merits, wholly apart from its incidental effects on innumerable matters crime rate and social security solvency being just two.
[T]hese far-out, these far-reaching
extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky, Bennett concluded. It was a point worth making, and it could not have been made effectively without a far-out example that highlighted the folly. Plus he was right, which ought to count for something even in what passes for todays media critiques.
Sadly the white house has validated the attacks on Bennett. All the lefty talking heads are making sure that everyone knows that the white house has denounced Bennetts comments.
Foot-in-mouth disease...should have thougt through his statements better.
I still don't understand what part of what he said was wrong?
Figures as much.
Nonsense! The statements were very well reasoned. The critics fall into two camps: (1) those unfamiliar with the pro-abortion (and racist) position he was criticizing and (2) those who share that pro-abortion position and want to prey on the ignorance of the typical TV viewer to destroy the credibility of pro-life people. The first group, sadly, consists mostly of conservatives. I assume the White House statement was intended to soothe their anxieties.
No, I don't think so. If you can't speak the truth then the PC "thought police" have won.
That didn't answer my question to you, but thanks for responding I suppose.
The outrage is false outrage to begin with. It took nearly two full days before someone told the usefull idiots to be outraged.
Leave the White House out of it. They should have never been asked in the first place, but what they you don't mind carrying the lib media's water yourself.
Basically, he said that some of the black children who are in utero will grow up to be criminals.
I can guarantee that if you aborted every Polish/American baby, the crime rate would drop. Being Polish that is.
No matter who the group is, the crime rate will drop.
Bennett's crime was saying "black" while being white.
Question, would anyone have gotten on Walter Williams for saying this?
I don't have anything to say about whatever it was.
The outcome of the "Great Society" has been the wholesale destruction of the Black family and all of the opportunity that Black people where starting to strive for and enjoy in the opening days of the 60's.
This was undertaken to placate and hold the poor in dependency and create a base of dependent people who are afraid of losing their "support". To make people this helpless, they destroyed the families, discredited the fathers, and murdered their children in the millions.
Now with Bill Bennett's comments, the horror of abortion. Of the deliberate Eugenic experiment that has been played out on the Black community is brought to the surface just like the horror of dependency that was exposed in New Orleans.
The Democrats see this as a turning point, but they don't understand that the turning point is that of Black Americans looking to the Republican party for an opening into DIGNITY, THE COURAGE OF FAITH, and INDEPENDENCE.
>>Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, thought much the same thing as Bennett.<<
Apparently you didn't hear the entire call.
Please, you are looking idiotic by posting this.
This column was one of the most clear presentations of what Bennett said that I have heard all day.
Rush Limbaugh was a waste of airtime on the subject... having already doused himself in stupid juice over the McNabb issue, he couldn't even comment with any specificity as to the premise behind Bennett's moral equation.
I like McCarthy's use of the phrase "ethnic-grievance industry". There are literally people who wake up every days with the sole mission in life to find something that MIGHT be racially offensive.
Nice try, troll. Did you even bother to read the article?
I agree. He's so bright and articulate and yet he made his point in the clumsiest way. To qualify the idea of aborting all black babies by saying it would be "impossible, ridiculous, morally reprehensible" doesn't help. That's almost like saying 'but we can't do if for these specific reasons'. Saying it is morally reprehensible is a gross understatement.
Besides, each racial or ethnic group is responsible for some amount of crime, so aborting all babies in any one group would decrease crime. Even his point doesn't make any sense.
You may be right, esp. about the true motives of the democrats coming to light.
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