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Friday, September 30, 2005

BILL BENNETT: America’s apostles of racial antagonism — synonymous with a civil rights establishment dedicated to empowering and enriching themselves by fostering a permanent legacy of national guilt for past racial injustice — have stooped to a new low by deliberately distorting Bill Bennett’s comments this week about abortion, crime, and black America. Speaking on his nationally syndicated radio show "Morning in America," Bennett took issue with a caller’s hypothesis that one reason crime is down is that abortion is up. "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," said Bennett, author of "The Book of Virtues." The same demogogues who a week ago gave high fives to Charlie Rangel’s despicable likening of President Bush to Bull Connor saw their opening and ran with Bennett’s statement as proof of his supposedly racist heart. They strategically left out the part of Bennett’s response that specifically and unambiguously challenged the caller’s thesis: Aborting black fetuses as a means of reducing crime “would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.” Andrew McCarthy correctly called the attack on Bennett "shameful." Matthew Yglesias accurately describes Bennett’s full context:
"Not only is Bennett clearly not advocating a campaign of genocidal abortion against African-Americans, but the empirical claim here is unambiguously true. Similarly, if you aborted all the male fetuses, all those carried by poor women, or all those carried by Southern women, the crime rate would decline. Or, at least, in light of the fact that southern people, poor people, black people, and male people have a much greater propensity to commit crime than do non-southern, non-black, non-poor, or non-male people that would have to be our best guess."
Predictably, America’s self-appointed arbiters of racial fairness have embraced the controversy as a call to shut down viewpoints with which they disagree. John Conyers called for Bennett’s radio show to be taken off the air, and threatened to intimidate the program’s sponsors. Regrettably, the White House implicitly weighed in on the side of the character assassins by calling Bennett’s comments "not appropriate." That was as unnecessary as it is disappointing. The president is mistaken if he believes he can shore up support among the ranks of the hard left by implicitly endorsing the left’s calculated propaganda campaign against one of the most stouthearted friend of his administration’s policies.