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Posted: 9/30/2005 6:11:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 6:14:29 AM EDT by The_Macallan]



Bennett under fire for remarks on blacks, crime

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congressional Democrats blasted former Education Secretary William Bennett on Thursday for saying that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce the crime rate, and demanded their Republican counterparts do the same.

"This is precisely the kind of insensitive, hurtful and ignorant rhetoric that Americans have grown tired of," said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois.

Bennett, who held prominent posts in the administrations of former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, told a caller to his syndicated radio talk show Wednesday: "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 impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he said.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, called on President Bush to condemn the comments by Bennett, who was anti-drug chief in Bush's father's administration.

"What could possibly have possessed Secretary Bennett to say those words, especially at this time?" Pelosi asked. "What could he possibly have been thinking? This is what is so alarming about his words."

Bennett stood by his comments Thursday night.

"I was putting forward a hypothetical proposition. Put that forward. Examined it. And then said about it that it's morally reprehensible. To recommend abortion of an entire group of people in order to lower your crime rate is morally reprehensible. But this is what happens when you argue that the ends can justify the means," he told CNN.

"I'm not racist, and I'll put my record up against theirs," referring to Pelosi and other critics. "I've been a champion of the real civil rights issue of our times -- equal educational opportunities for kids."

"We've got to have candor and talk about these things while we reject wild hypotheses," Bennett said.

"I don't think people have the right to be angry, if they look at the whole thing. But if they get a selective part of my comment, I can see why they would be angry. If somebody thought I was advocating that, they ought to be angry. I would be angry."

"But that's not what I advocate."

Asked if he owed people an apology, Bennett replied, "I don't think I do. I think people who misrepresented my view owe me an apology."


Bennett served as Reagan's chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1981-1985 and secretary of education from 1985-1988. From 1989-1990, he served as "drug czar" in the administration of the elder Bush.

Rush called on "my friends, the responsible Republicans" to rebuke the former Cabinet official by backing a House resolution condemning his remarks as "outrageous racism of the most bigoted and ignorant kind."

"Where is the indignation from the GOP, as one of their prominent members talk about aborting an entire race of Americans as a way of ridding this country of crime?" asked Rush, a former Black Panther. "How ridiculous! How asinine! How insane can one be?"

He called instead for "aborting" Republican policies "which have hurt the disadvantaged, the poor, average Americans for the benefit of large corporations."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he was "appalled" by Bennett's remarks.

"The Republican Party has recently taken great pains to reach out to the African-American community, and I hope that they will be swift in condemning Mr. Bennett's comments as nothing short of callous and ignorant," said Reid, D-Nevada.

And Bruce Gordon, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded an apology from Bennett and the Salem Radio Network, which airs his radio program.

"In 2005, there is no place for the kind of racist statement made by Bennett," Gordon said in a written statement. "While the entire nation is trying to help survivors, black and white, to recover from the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it is unconscionable for Bennett to make such ignorant and insensitive comments."

A man who answered the phone at the network said no one would be available to comment until Friday.

Bennett's 1993 repackaging of traditional morality tales, "The Book of Virtues," became a bestseller, and Bennett became a popular lecturer on moral issues. But in 2003, stung by news reports that he had lost millions of dollars in Las Vegas and Atlantic City over the last decade, he publicly renounced gambling and vowed to stay away from the slots from then on.

He is a Fox News contributor and chairman of "Americans for Victory over Terrorism," which his Web site calls "a project dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public opinion as the war on terrorism moves forward."


Wow.

Just wow.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:12:33 AM EDT
IBTLIBTL
IBTLIBTL

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:12:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:13:21 AM EDT
He was on Hannity & Colmes last night - telling people "yes, that's what I said - but what I was really saying was this..."

Looks like Bennet's gonna have a hard time finding a date to the prom this year.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:16:28 AM EDT
Careful what you post on this thread, Dolomite
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:18:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 6:19:30 AM EDT by The_Macallan]

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
He was on Hannity & Colmes last night - telling people "yes, that's what I said - but what I was really saying was this..."

Looks like Bennet's gonna have a hard time finding a date to the prom this year.


Don't kill the messenger.

What he said was "factually" accurate in a "Final Solution" kind of way.

But it was said with all the tactfullness of an anti-war rally.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:19:42 AM EDT
media taking statements out of context, whats new?
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:20:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:20:44 AM EDT
If we aborted all black babies, the rate of sickle-cell anemia would go down as well.


Now, am I a racist for stating a verifiable, statistical fact?


Neither is Bennett. YMMV, of course.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:20:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:20:47 AM EDT
Talk about putting your foot in your mouth...
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:21:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
media taking statements out of context, whats new?


" you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down."

I'm sorry but you're not gonna spin that one into blaming the media.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:21:07 AM EDT
He could have made his point another way and he probably could have used the word poverty rather than crime. I think he did the argument a dis-service to link crime and poverty though. That's a recipe for a hand-out if nothing else works.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:25:00 AM EDT
Bennett hates black people.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:26:54 AM EDT
You can't attack a utilitarian proposition without stating it. DOJ statistics make it perfectly plain that the difference in crime rates between the US and, say, Canada or Spain is attributable to the activities of some members of a specific identifiable subgroup of Americans. I suspect that Bennett's point was that nobody is suggesting that members of that group be incarcerated, deported, or aborted wholesale, despite that fact. Why not? Because human beings are entitled to be judged and dealt with as individuals.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:27:33 AM EDT
The truth always offends someone
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:27:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
media taking statements out of context, whats new?


" you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down."

I'm sorry but you're not gonna spin that one into blaming the media.



No, he clearly said that, but the media is focusing on what he said and not his intent, which was to state a fact. He was clearly not advocating this as national policy.

I'm curious as to what the caller was asking about, I've used similar arguements against gun control. People say that we should confiscate all guns because dropping crime should be a number one priority. I say, well if it didn't start a war, confiscation of every gun in america would likely reduce crime, but at what cost? Putting a camera in everyone's house to monitor them or aborting black babies would likely have the same net effect, but these are morally reprehensible. Why isn't mass gun confiscation? I'm trying to get the point across that the end doesn't justify the means.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:30:40 AM EDT
[jimmy the greek]They're bred for crime, and runnin' too . . . [/jimmy the greek]
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:31:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
media taking statements out of context, whats new?


" you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down."

I'm sorry but you're not gonna spin that one into blaming the media.



I guess you missed this part of the original statement, Mac: "That would be an impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he said.


Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:35:22 AM EDT
I so no reason for a lock.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:35:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 6:37:15 AM EDT by HardShell]

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
I'm sorry but you're not gonna spin that one into blaming the media.



I'm sorry, but yes I will.

There's a big difference between quoting...


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 impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.


... and quoting...


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.


Context is everything. Guess which version the MSM will be playing ad nauseum...

ETA: IOW, what FLAL1A said above but I took longer to type...
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:37:48 AM EDT
He told the truth, of course someone will be mad.

Other truths.
1) "If you abort all babies born to out of wedlock mothers, the crime rate will go down" - growing up without a father figure is more likely to make you a criminal than any other factor (race, income, urban vs suburban vs rural, etc).

2) "If you abort all babies, the crime rate will go down" - true, because the species will go extinct.

Now, if someone said #2, it would be factually correct. Does that mean someone favors that we kill all babies to stop crime? No it doesn't.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:40:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
media taking statements out of context, whats new?



exactly, it's as old as communication.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:40:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 6:42:03 AM EDT by hardcorps1775]
oooh, a two-fer! ibtl AND d00p!

it's even on the same page!
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:41:20 AM EDT
LOL!
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:43:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 6:46:54 AM EDT by VoodooChile]

Originally Posted By HardShell:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
I'm sorry but you're not gonna spin that one into blaming the media.



I'm sorry, but yes I will.

There's a big difference between quoting...


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 impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.


... and quoting...


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.


Context is everything. Guess which version the MSM will be playing ad nauseum...

ETA: IOW, what FLAL1A said above but I took longer to type...




Even the full quote doesn't pass the smell test..anybody can smell the bullshit on that. If you don't have a good idea then don't go spouting off stupid ones then disowning them.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:43:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 6:47:42 AM EDT by Dolomite]
But isn't Bennett technically part of the media?

That's what pisses me off about all of these AM radios talking heads bitching on and on about the media - they are the media too.

He's just saying what he thinks his target audience wants to hear.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:46:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
media taking statements out of context, whats new?


" you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down."

I'm sorry but you're not gonna spin that one into blaming the media.




"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 impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he said.



Reading is Fundamental....

If you only take PART of what someone said and report it as their entire view, thusly CHANGING the meaning of the comment, *THAT* is the definition of TAKING COMMENTS OUT OF CONTEXT!!!. If the people of this country are such pansies that they are offended by THE ENTIRE QUOTE then they have no business out of their personal closet. Another ArfCommer has a sig line that I think is appropriate, the one that says that "we used to have a guy named Darwin in charge of quality control, but he got downsized years ago." [Sorry if I butchered the Sig line]
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:50:15 AM EDT
If you replace the word 'black' with 'muslim' and 'crime' with 'terrorism' and 'country' with 'world' it has the same effect.

Right or wrong, out of context or not, that guy is in deep shit for saying it.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:58:02 AM EDT
But... but.... it's just words!

I thought we are supposed to be "above" inflamatory rhetoric...

Or is that only white folks who are supposed to not use bad language?
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:58:55 AM EDT
Bennett's my kind of guy! He speaks the truth, sadly. He just happens to be a white guy saying what Bill Cosby has said all along. Neither has been well received by the parties that need to heed the message.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:01:02 AM EDT
I'd like to read the full transcript of that show. For all we know he prefaced the remark with "Let's examine this issue from the white supremecist point of view" etc. The term "spin doctor" was coined for a reason.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:07:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 7:08:40 AM EDT by VoodooChile]

Originally Posted By Nozzleman:
Bennett's my kind of guy! He speaks the truth, sadly. He just happens to be a white guy saying what Bill Cosby has said all along. Neither has been well received by the parties that need to heed the message.



I don't think conservative Black Parents like Mr. Cosby will be too happy with Mr. Bennett..Most conservatives don't want to have the term abortion used in conjuction with their children...not as a joke...not as a throw away idea. If someone started talking about aborting my kids...they might not make it to the disclaimer
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:09:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 7:13:39 AM EDT by Boom_Stick]
Well damn, if you aborted all whites there'd be no place for blacks to thrive (or collect wellfare). Seriously, look at Africa before you call me a bigot.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:10:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:11:46 AM EDT
This statement is probably true:

"You could abort every non-Asian baby in this country and the average IQ would go up"

It's just statistics. Anyone attaching emotional importance to them has some insecurity issues.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:14:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 7:17:48 AM EDT by torstin]

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
I'm curious as to what the caller was asking about, I've used similar arguements against gun control. People say that we should confiscate all guns because dropping crime should be a number one priority. I say, well if it didn't start a war, confiscation of every gun in america would likely reduce crime, but at what cost? Putting a camera in everyone's house to monitor them or aborting black babies would likely have the same net effect, but these are morally reprehensible. Why isn't mass gun confiscation? I'm trying to get the point across that the end doesn't justify the means.




i strongly suspect the caller was asking about a specific chapter in the book Freakonomics, by economist steven levitt. he devotes a chapter to how dropping crime rates starting in the mid 90s were not the result of prosperity and cops on the street programs, but rather the result of legalizing abortion. in a sense, the people who were most unable to care for and raise responsible children and thus most likely to create future criminals were now aborting them.

its an unorthodox look at economics and statistics, but an interesting read overall. in a discussion of this sort and if discussing the books analysis, i can easily see how bennetts comments could have been made and been completely benign.

personally, its nice to see someone sticking by their comments no matter how insensitive they may seem out of context.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:14:26 AM EDT

"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."


One sentence to alienate yourself from both the right and the left!

I don't see quite what the uproar is all about. He's talking about an extreme solution to a problem, and specifically says it is morally reprehensible. If he said "If you wanted to solve our social security problem, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- euthanize people when they turn 70", nobody would be screaming at him claiming that he hates old people. The only reason this is getting any play is that his particular statement touches both race and abortion.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:15:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nationwide:
But... but.... it's just words!

I thought we are supposed to be "above" inflamatory rhetoric...

Or is that only white folks who are supposed to not use bad language?



Who you callin' white???
We're Caucasian!
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:19:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pliftkl:
.. He's talking about an extreme solution to a problem, and specifically says it is morally reprehensible...



Or, to put more fine a point on it, he was citing an example of why the ends do not always justify the means. But that doensn't matter, the single line will repeated incessantly & he will be crucified for it... and it looks like some folks here think he should be.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:21:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 7:22:45 AM EDT by Grunteled]

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
If you replace the word 'black' with 'muslim' and 'crime' with 'terrorism' and 'country' with 'world' it has the same effect.

Right or wrong, out of context or not, that guy is in deep shit for saying it.



Which is exactly why nobody can discuss anything outside of PC norms. Jesus, the mans intent couldn't be more clear if were made of air. That abortion is not a viable solution to crime control. You guys are swallowing the "firestorm" hook, line, and sinker.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:22:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By torstin:

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
I'm curious as to what the caller was asking about, I've used similar arguements against gun control. People say that we should confiscate all guns because dropping crime should be a number one priority. I say, well if it didn't start a war, confiscation of every gun in america would likely reduce crime, but at what cost? Putting a camera in everyone's house to monitor them or aborting black babies would likely have the same net effect, but these are morally reprehensible. Why isn't mass gun confiscation? I'm trying to get the point across that the end doesn't justify the means.




i strongly suspect the caller was asking about a specific chapter in the book Freakonomics, by economist steven levitt. he devotes a chapter to how dropping rates starting in the mid 90s were not the result of prosperity and cops on the street programs, but rather the result of legalizing abortion. in a sense, the people who were most unable to care for and raise responsible children and thus most likely to create future criminals were now aborting them.

its an unorthodox look at economics and statistics, but an interesting read overall.




I'm partway through Levitt's book (the audio version, narrated by his coauthor, Dubner I think, who has a crappy voice, get the hardcopy instead) and some of the conclusions are interesting, but some are reaching a bit. The readers' reviews on Amazon go into a little detail dissecting some of Levitt's "conclusions" as being tenous at best... suspect that the editors were pushing for some "wow factor" on a dry subject, and playing the race card is a sure ticket to the NYT Bestseller list.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:24:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:25:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Truth hurts. Only an idiot cries about it, though.


CJ



+1, sometimes telling the truth is a bad thing
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:28:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
But isn't Bennett technically part of the media?

That's what pisses me off about all of these AM radios talking heads bitching on and on about the media - they are the media too.

He's just saying what he thinks his target audience wants to hear.



Or else he is getting a helluva lot of free advertising for his radio show!
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:48:22 AM EDT
Did he preface the statement with "Hold mah beer an watch this?"
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:49:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VoodooChile:

Originally Posted By HardShell:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
I'm sorry but you're not gonna spin that one into blaming the media.



I'm sorry, but yes I will.

There's a big difference between quoting...


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 impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.


... and quoting...


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.


Context is everything. Guess which version the MSM will be playing ad nauseum...

ETA: IOW, what FLAL1A said above but I took longer to type...




Even the full quote doesn't pass the smell test..anybody can smell the bullshit on that. If you don't have a good idea then don't go spouting off stupid ones then disowning them.



Pretty much have to agree with you there. Sort of like a straw man argument.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:51:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:52:31 AM EDT
This thread is going down. Locked within 10 min.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:56:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
The truth always offends someone



Yep! Aint statistics a biatch, especialy when the truth hurts
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:59:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 3rdStreet:
This thread is going down. Locked within 10 min.



Why, exactly?

We are discussing the motivation behind, (mis)representation of, and (over)reaction to comments made by a public figure and being reported throughout the media. We are doing so in a civil manner, despite strongly varying opinions on the subject.

Why should it be locked?
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