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Sunday, October 02, 2005

No black baby guiltless...Bill Bennett Redux

In a Salon article, Cecelie S. Berry eloquently laments Bill Bennett's shameful remarks. She points to the real crux of his statement which some pundits have glossed over as "being taken out of context."

While others suggest that Bennett was hypothesizing to the extreme and doesn't personally hold such sentiments about aborting black babies wholesale, they do not qualify the statement, as neither does Bennett, and by their omission imply that ridding the world of blacks before they even get to this earth would drop the crime rate; the inference is that the drop would be significant.

As I stated in answer to a commenter to a previous post, Bennett's argument is statistically tenable only that logically if you factor out any one particular group or race from the equation, any acts, good or bad, are also factored out. So any crime committed by any black would be eradicated with the total disappearance of the race. But the same can apply to any race or any group. You rid the world of all males, and, lo and behold, the drop in sexual crimes and murders would be a given. But also note, that sexual crimes and murders would still exist.

But Bennett neglected, or just didn't see the need, to qualify that every member of the African-American race isn't inherently criminal, and that even those who commit criminal acts aren't inherently evil. Other factors including poverty, lack of opportunities, and yes, racism (as this issue proves) sometimes play into the overall equation. Just as all men aren't rapists and pedophiles, all blacks aren't criminals. Statistically, most blacks aren't criminals. So why even go there with that stupid hypothesis?

In summation, Ms. Berry says it so much better than I:

Criminal tendencies exist, according to Bennett, not in some black babies but in every black baby. Apparently, it would take the elimination of every black baby to decrease the crime rate. There is no succor then for those of us who are blessed with education and income: His words lead inescapably to the conclusion that every black baby is guilty before having taken his or her first, tentative steps in the world of polluting it. Bennett defines the problem of crime in America exclusively in terms of race, not of class or conditions, not of poverty or lack of opportunity; it is not, claims the advocate of traditional values, even a problem of moral choice, to be addressed through religious or ethical instruction. It is purely, simply a matter of race.

And therein lies the problem in the "tricky extrapolations" proferred by supposedly unbiased public figures like Bennett. They are, ultimately, not unbiased because they do "define the problem of crime in America exclusively in terms of race." Unfortunately, their personal prejudices can have ramnifications for a whole lot of people when they see the world only through prisms of black and white.

Note: The graphic above was sold on t-shirts through a website called run by owner Gary Cohen. Wonder if Bennett is a silent partner?

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 10/02/2005 09:20:00 AM Permanent Link     | | Home


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