Library Bitch turned me on to a story about a racist comment Dr. Bill Bennett (I had to emphasize the title there, because he seems to want it to be emphasized) made on his radio show the other day. Dr. Bennett responded to the outcry surrounding his remarks on Hannity & Colmes yesterday.
This is the same William Bennett who wrote The Book of Virtues (don't forget the Children's Book of Virtues). The same William Bennett who was Reagan's Secretary of Education. He was Bush Sr.'s drug czar. He is a staunch Republican supporter who has a syndicated radio show. He gets to tell America his opinions, and people listen to him. Hell, back in the day, I didn't think some of his ideas were that far off.
This same person, when on air with a caller, was discussing the relationship between the rising abortion rate and the declining crime rate, stated the following:
BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But 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.
OK. So he defended himself in his statement. That they were discussing bad arguments in regard to abortion. The caller said he was against abortion because if there were more babies it would raise GNP, there would be more taxpayers, etc. Bennett had this to say:
I said, arguments in which you take something that's far out, like the GNP and try to connect it up with abortion are tricky. I said make the case of abortion on the basis of life and protecting life. I said abortion is invoked in another way; you could make an argument that if you wanted to lower the crime rate, you saw the quote; you could practice abortion in very large numbers. You could do it in the black community; you could do it in other places. This is, by the way, the subject of a book for economics by a professor at Yale.
I said, however, if you were to practice that, widespread abortion in the black community or any other community, it would be ridiculous, impossible, and I appreciate you putting it on the screen, morally reprehensible. So I think morally reprehensible, when that is included in the quote makes it perfectly clear what my position is. A number of the people whom you have cited as condemning me have not made the inclusion of that remark, and so they make it seem, Alan, as if I am supporting such a monstrous idea, which of course I don't.
Sure, no self-respecting person who has a national radio show would support such an idea. But he didn't say "in the black community or other places", he said "abort every black baby in the country". It doesn't matter that he wouldn't do such a thing, or even suggest that it be done. It doesn't matter that he thinks it would be morally reprehensible. The reality is, he made a statement that shows that he believes, in short, that black people are a direct cause for most of the crime in America. He insinuated, even though he says it would be morally reprehensible, that the lives of black people are dispensible. He can defend the statement all he wants, but it was a racist statement. The Republicans and Democrats will bitch about it for awhile, and the debate will die down. Statistics about blacks and crime will get thrown about. Same old story.
In the end, you know what. I'm fucking tired of it. I'm tired of the racism, of the prejudice. I'm tired of anti-Muslims, anti-Jews, anti-gays, anti-everything. I'm tired of people thinking they are better than someone else just because of their race, nationality, gender, sexuality, religion.
I've been called an elitist before, because of the way I write and things I write about, but I sure don't feel like I am better than anyone else. I would never even pretend such a thing.
What difference does it make what race you are? What difference does it make where you are from? What difference does it make what religion you practice? What difference does your sexuality make? The answer is, genetically, none. There is no genetic proof that any race/religion/nationality/sexuality is actually any better in anything than another. But that is beside the point. How does it help the world, to be a racist? How does it help to judge someone because of their choice in partners? How does it help an individual to be against another religion?
All it does is cause unnecessary strife. The bottom line is, we are all human beings. Good and bad, rich and poor, black and white, Christian and Jewish, homosexual and heterosexual. Everyone in the world has their own story. One person's story may be more exciting than another's, it may be more tragic, more romantic, happier. If you don't understand a person, learn their story. You may find it interesting and you'll have a better understanding of who they are, where they come from, and their culture. And perhaps, just maybe, you might find out you have more in common than you think.