People seem to be shitting themselves over comments by William Bennett. In response to the idea that legalized abortions reduce the crime rate (by the logic that aborted babies would tend to be born in to lower class families and be more likely to break the law), he said:

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. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.

If you look at the comments on the MM page, you’ll see that people are having conniption fits over this thing, of the “OH MY GOD WHAT A RACIST!!!1!” sort. Come now.

1. Blacks are disproportionately represented in the American penal system. Say what you want about the circumstances that got them there: judicial bias, social and economic inequalities, whatever; it has nothing to do with inherent racial flaws, but black people do commit more crimes, statistically speaking.

2. It may have been a poorly chosen example, but pick your own: if we kill all humans, the environment will improve; if we kill all men, crime will go down; if we burn down all fast food chains, our obesity epidemic will improve. The example was chosen because, while technically true, it would be utterly ridiculous to implement, just like Bennett said.

I’m not familiar with Bennett’s other work, and it may be that I wouldn’t agree with him any other time, but in this situation, I think the response on the Left has been dominated by histrionics. Calm down, people: what part of “morally reprehensible” don’t you get?

§778 · September 30, 2005 · Tags: , , ·

5 Comments to “Bennett: aborting black babies”

  1. Andy says:

    How even-handed of you.

  2. S4R says:

    Censorship from the left is a frightening thing.

  3. Jeff says:

    I don’t know, aren’t there other consequences to aborting all black children? This was on TAPPED:

    One could equally well argue, since we are in the realm of science fiction, that such an occurence would wreak psychological, cultural, and economic devastation on America’s cities, with God only knows what impact on crime. Every major city would start to look like Detroit, depopulated and run-down where it had formerly been vibrant. Elementary schools would be the first to close, then high schools, then colleges. Tax bases would be wiped out. Whole swathes of the workforce would disappear, simultaneously depriving people of needed jobs and cities of employees to run necessary services. Who knows what would happen in such an environment — it is really both unknowable and unthinkable.

  4. S4R says:

    Yesterday Bennett was all over cable news complaining that people actually thought he was advocating we should abort all black babies. Of course no one is suggesting that; people’s complaint was that he immediately went to black when he thought crime, i.e., a poorly chosen example.

  5. Ben says:

    In bad taste, yes, but not a factually poor example.

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