William Bennett: Racial Slur or Clever Distraction?

???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.”

Bennett’s remark is inflammatory because we now live in a society where the worst sin one can commit is to say anything that can be interpreted as derogatory about certain groups.

The fact is that whether he meant to offend blacks is irrelevant.

Remember, Mr. Bennett said that to even consider such an action was “impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible”. His statement was based on the statistical fact that a disproportionate percentage of crimes in the United States are committed by African-Americans. The number one cause of death among African-American men aged 18-34 is homicide.

See this chart from the CDC:

In 1999, between 2% and 8.5% of African-American men in selected large urban areas could expect to be murdered before he reached the age of 45. The overall average for all American men was 0.5%.

Statistically, Bennett’s statement was accurate. But again, he characterized the idea as “morally reprehensible”. As I read it, his point was that there were no easy solutions to the problem of reducing the crime rate.

Now, I’m no defender of this administration (any longer), and Bill Bennett–who I used to believe was one of the good guys–signed the PNAC letter to Clinton advocating an attack on Iraq back in ’99, so he’s one of the neocons. Well-spoken, but still a neocon.

Which doesn’t change the fact that his words were excised from their context by left-liberals for the sole purpose of stirring up the pot.

Let’s face it–while America argues over whether or not Bill Bennett is a racist (or whether the next Supreme Court nominee will overturn Roe v. Wade–boy, I can’t wait for Hannity & Colmes next week…*sigh*), we’re completely missing the preparations for an invasion of Iran (the entire 101st Airborne shipped out this week for only the fifth time ever), loss of our property rights (Kelo v. New London has slipped into the memory hole), the death of the Posse Comitatus Act (82nd Airborne patrolling New Orleans), and so on.

And so it goes. When will the sleepers awaken?

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2 responses to “William Bennett: Racial Slur or Clever Distraction?

  1. As you have shown,

    The gentlemen may be right from the scientific point of view given the right amount of data and the employment of the correct analytical methods.

    What we ought to concern ourselves with is the general socio-economic circumstances that might have led to such a correlation being true and seek to eradicate them.

    These remarks, in themselves, are not ‘racist’ but indicative of the racism and class deprivation that might render the correlation true.

    His failure to extrapolate the abortion of fetuses is also indicative of the psychological undercurrents of american society. People are products of systems. It is the system that requires lynching.

    “When will the sleepers awaken?”

    Ans: When they realise that they are asleep.

  2. If we cannot say what may be construed as derogatory of a particular group, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to consider the underlying factors that might make it true and start to address them. This instance highlights the extent to which marginalisation might contribute to the reality of the correlation. We cannot subject our inquisitorial inclinations to the assumptions that may not serve as ammunition for the idiots in society. Doing so would only serve to perpetuate the ‘realities’ upon which they thrive.

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