Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Desperate Call For Further Education

Former Secretary William J. Bennett

I'm finally getting around to this, I would imagine, after having to pick myself up off the floor after hearing it.

However, as of today, former U.S. education secretary (yes, that's right…I said, "education") turned talk show host, William J. Bennett remains under fire for his remarks last week which stated: "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." Bennett then quickly added that: "Such an idea would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but..." he added, "your crime rate would go down."
Still maintaining that he will stand by his remarks, Democratic lawmakers and civil rights leaders have denounced the conservative commentator for suggesting on his syndicated radio show that aborting black children would reduce the U.S. crime rate.

Which of course, now brings us to the question(s): Would not this proposed "solution" also be *lessening* the chances for the, I don’t know, say Supreme Court justice perhaps (the names Thurgood Marshall or in more recent times, Justice Clarence Thomas ringing any bells here?), or, the next Nobel prize winner perhaps (gee, I wonder what the inimitable Ms. Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature AND a Pulitzer Prize to boot, would have to say about her mother having contemplated such a decision...hmmm), or possibly the next scientist such as Dr. Charles Drew and others whose contributions to this society have truly made a difference -- as opposed to the committing of low-level street crimes that rip people off? Or, perhaps, the sheer disparity in the idea of genocide as the solution for a future population based merely on the belief that they might share the very same "skin color" as someone you might have seen committing criminal acts, so therefore, kill 'em before they spread? And of course, for those "darkies" already here, how's about a 2005 version of Auschwitz, perhaps? Or, do we simply just call out the Orkin Man?

Clearly, and in case no one ever told you, babies, for the most part, are born innocent into this world, Herr Bennett. And whether or not those babies make it into this world should be left soley to the owner of the womb they occupy at the time of conception and gestastion -- and NOT to any of your insightful and/or "contextually" misconstrued suggestions, dear sir.

And so ends my rant for today.

Make it a good Wednesday, if you can, all. As we continue to learn how to peacefully co-exist... somehow.


Nia said...

I was just as angry as you when I heard the comment. That of course was the point of the media quoting him the way they did. It an of itself its a horrible comment and I'd be the first to agree he should be horse whipped for it. However, in its entirety that is not what he meant. It was actually a reference to a book called Freakonomics. Don't get me was a poor reference but it was grossly taken out of context.

H.G. Dowdell said...


Thanks very much for the visit and your comment, which are both appreciated.

However, as a former member of the news media myself, as well as being very much aware of Mr. Bennett's "caveat" as already mentioned in my post: "Such an idea would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but...your crime rate would go down," -- I can indeed recognize the issue of SPIN -- on either side of the coin. Clearly, leaving enough wiggle room for side-stepping, double-dodging, and cleverly "wallpapering" over something that is as flammable as if it just exploded in the room next to you, is nothing new. Hence, trying after the fact, to "lay it down, flip it, and reverse it," after it's already been expelled from your lips -- is usually just as unacceptable. Thus the closing remark in my post regarding Mr. Bennett's: "...insightful and/or 'contextually' misconstrued suggestions."

As for the book reference, indeed, there are many books that I, too, find a bit "freaky" and ridiculous, therefore, I rarely "quote" from them -- at least, not with the same fervor and depth as Mr. Bennett in this particular instance.

In any event, once again, thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to share your views with me.

Best regards,

Ann said...

Bennett's was one of the sickest remarks I've ever heard.

Susan Henderson said...

Amen to what you wrote. Always love it when I find time to check in with your blog.