“Some of my best friends are black fetuses…”

Nice job, asshole.

Democratic lawmakers and civil rights leaders denounced conservative commentator William J. Bennett yesterday for suggesting on his syndicated radio show that aborting black children would reduce the U.S. crime rate.
The former U.S. education secretary-turned-talk show host said Wednesday 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.” Bennett quickly added that such an idea would be “an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.” But, he said, “your crime rate would go down.”

Holy. Shit.
Bennett doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation to begin with–after writing books about traditional values and such he admitted that he lost millions in casinos due to a gambling problem–but this shit is just insane.
Media Matters has the audio clip.

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11 Comments

  1. bear
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    He may have a point, because white GOP congressional leaders don’t break the law, nor do they illegally give big government contracts to their friends, and caucasion White House leaders don’t obstruct justice, or break the law nor do they….hmm. But I am sure Bennett didn’t really mean it. He was just talking about aborting the black fetuses that would be born into criminals. He wouldn’t want to abort a fetus that would grow up to be a productive member of society, because he is a family values guy.
    Fuck, my friends looking over my shoulder are getting off on the girl in the t-shirt ad. I’ve got to go.

  2. Jessica
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    i’m sure my roommate will appreciate that her feministing modeling is bringing her such attention!

  3. Thomas
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I always wondered who that was, and what the thinking was. I mean, the tank is partially see-through. It comes across as a very sexual image, and I always kind of assumed that it was intended that way — sort of an “I’m so sex-positive that I incorporate sexual display into my feminism” kind of statement. Did the model get to see the image before it went up? Was she down with the sexual aspect of the message?

  4. Posted September 30, 2005 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    On the issue of the ad, that I just find myself thinking “Good Lord I can see her areola,” every time I see it.

  5. Jessica
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    wow, didn’t realize that people were looking so hard at that pic! maybe it’s my browser (is that even possible?), but the shirt doesn’t look see through to me at all. i can’t see anything…
    as far as my roomie seeing the pic, yeah she saw it. there wasn’t any conscious decision about the pic being sexual, i never thought of it as sexual at all, actually.

  6. bear
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, didn’t mean to start something. I was just annoyed at my neanderthal friends, who were looking at the pic really hard.

  7. Thomas
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Now that’s an interesting study in the author-viewer discussion I’m having with Crys T on the Suicide Girls thread.
    You never thought about it, the model never thought about it. Yet, as my browser shows it, Yellow’s right: she’s not wearing a bra, and I can see her areola. I never really thought of the picture as erotic. But it seemed self-evident that, with a model who is conventionally attractive and has large breasts modeling a tight tank top thin enough to show a hint of nipple, the intent was to convey overt sexuality.
    Of course, it’s fair to call me hypersexual, so that if there’s a sexual subtext in anything, I’m very aware of it. But this isn’t just me — Bear’s buddies and Yellow noticed the same thing, generally. And Yellow is a woman, so it’s not just that a bunch of men see breasts where women intend to display a tee-shirt.
    It _is_ an object lesson in lenses, though. I’m a sex-positive kinky feminist straight man. So I interpret it as a message about sex and feminism, though that’s not what was intended. It sounds like Bear’s friends were expressing less political interpretations easily stated in the form of “look at the …” I know some commenters have interpreted it as a cheap attempt to sell the shirts using unreconstructed exploitive sex marketing. I’m interested in what Bear and Yellow thought the intent of the photo was.

  8. JesusJonesSuperstar
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Hate to say it but most likely he is correct.
    It would also be true that if you abborted all poor children the crime rate would go down. If you abborted all but middle class children with college educated parents making over x amount a year.. presto crime would go down.
    IT is actually a less charged statement than it at first appears in my opinion. It is a mean spiritied and pointless thing to say but that does not make it not true.

  9. bear
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    JJS- What?! If you eliminated any 12% (blacks are 12% of the national population) of the people in this country, crime would go down. Of course it was a charged statement (even if he didn’t mean it to be). Bennett basically said that black people grow up to be criminals. People grow up to be criminals. Some happen to be black, some happen to be hispanic, some happen to be white, middle class children with college educated parents making over x amount a year, and others happen to be congressional GOP leaders. Being born black doesn’t predispose you to becoming a criminal.
    Jess – again, sorry about the t-shirt debate.

  10. tfreridge
    Posted October 1, 2005 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Also, that comment was sooo out of context. He was talking about the book “freakonomics” you need to hear the entire statement.

  11. jenpossible
    Posted October 2, 2005 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    TF, the comment was not taken out of context. The problem with Bennett’s theory is that he singled out a race of people and suggested that they are responsible for crime. He was trying to point out the impossibility of using an argument on such a big “what if . . . ” However, he chose an example that conveys how racist he is. It would be equally racist to say, “If we aborted all of the Asian fetuses, we’d have less math geeks later.” It would be true since less people = less math geeks, but the racist part is using race at all.

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