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Bennett: Black Abortions Would Lower Crime

The White House has denounced Bill Bennett’s controversial statement that, even though aborting black babies would cause a decrease in the crime rate, it would be morally reprehensible.

Bennett: Black Abortions Would Lower Crime (AP)

The White House on Friday criticized former Education Secretary William Bennett for remarks linking the crime rate and the abortion of black babies. “The president believes the comments were not appropriate,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

Bennett, on his radio show, “Morning in America,” was answering a caller’s question when he took issue with the hypothesis put forth in a recent book 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.”

He went on to call that “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.”

As noted earlier, even critics like Brad DeLong recognize the context of Bennett’s remarks, so the White House’s knee-jerk defensiveness here is disappointing.

Even aside from the genocide issue, that blacks (or the young, or the poor, or white males, for that matter) commit crimes at a statistically significant higher rate than the population as a whole is incontrovertible.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Remarks by Bennett draw fire

    WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats demanded Thursday that form

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  2. DL says:

    The facts are that the liberals who vehemently support the abortion of black babies are the real racists. Is speaking offensively worst than actual murder?

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  3. Bill Bennett tells truth, Liberals call for censorship

    From the Washington Post:
    Democratic lawmakers and civil rights leaders denounced conservative commentator William J. Bennett yesterday for suggesting on his syndicated radio show that aborting black children would reduce the U.S. crime rate.
    The fo…

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  4. Bill Bennett Steps In It

    Bill Bennett, the talking head who made a career out of talking and writing on virtue, has stepped in it again — in a controversy not quite as damaging as his past gambling mini-scandal but that may further shrink the number of people who find hi…

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  5. Alan says:

    I think its both fair and reasonable for someone to point out that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is bad policy because it results in increased crime. Conversely, it is clearly repugnant for anyone to suggest the State might involuntarily terminate pregnancies in order to reduce the crime rate. To even bring this idea into the debate shows very bad judgment.

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  6. Howard Dean ain’t gonna stand for it…

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  7. Bennett’s biggest mistake was in not choosing his own ethnic group as an example. Please see my blog post at http://brelevant.blogspot.com/2005/09/context-people-context.html for more.

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  8. Jack Yoest says:

    Bill Bennett and the First Law in Public Debate

    Yoest, Yoest, Bennett, c. 1998 Bill Bennett, host of Bill Bennett’s Morning in America made a statement in his morning commentary and made a story in main stream media. He said, words to the effect, if every black child…

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  9. Eyes on the Prize

    Noted moral maven Bill Bennett has raised a bit of a stir when he claimed that a way to lower crime rates would be to abort all black children. To be fair, he quickly added that this would be “morally reprehensible.” However, he and his defenders (wh…

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  10. My trackback doesn’t seem to be working–it says it’s been received, but it isn’t showing up. Is there a reason? Haloscan was being moody before. Could that have caused it?

    The post in question is here. As you can see, it does link to this one.

    Thanks!

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  11. Wayne says:

    Yes, the statement is offensive but is it true? Of course no one really cares about the truth.

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  12. Bithead says:

    What it is, is a trickle of blood, to a bunch of Democrat sharks that haven’t eaten in eight years. If they would just think for a moment, instead of leaping at anything that moved, they might just reall that Bennett is solidly against Abortion.

    Or is THAT their malfunction?

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  13. Pug says:

    Yes, the statement is offensive but is it true? Of course no one really cares about the truth.

    I don’t think the truth of the statement is really the issue. The issue is that it is offensive, as you said. If you say something offensive, true or not, don’t be surprised if people are offended.

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  14. Wayne says:

    Just because something is offensive doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said. The truth is often ignore or buried because of Political Correctness. Where is “the freedom of speech” and “lets create dialog on the issue” people and groups. The liberals and MSM only think offensive statements should be said only if they agree with it. It’s not only O.K. for them to say offensive lies but it’s considered great. However for a conservative to say an offensive truth is just outright wrong. In addition they will cut and edit the parts of conservative statements to show their agenda even if it creates a misrepresentation of what was said.

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  15. Herb says:

    Wayne:

    You hit the target dead on with you last comment. If you are like me, I get so PO’d at the word offended, It seems that everyone today is offended at one thing or another, The word is just one more example of the Hilly Mae and Jethro Clinton Political Correctness thing that they came up with to divert attention to any improprieties that they were involved in, and there were many.
    The environmentalist get “offended” if you call them “wackos” The truth is, thats what they are. and the lefty’s get “offended” if you call them “loonies” but again, thats what they are. And of course, if these kooks say anything, thats OK and the MSM will back them up.
    Personally, I don’t give a “darn” what they think or say, if I think they deserve being told what they are like, I say it and let them “be offended” all day. In fact, it makes my day when I offend can them. I just love to see the steam come out of their hollow heads.

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  16. DL says:

    If you think about their protests and hyper-offensiveness, you will quickly realize that truth and goodness is what offends them. Evil and their deceitful untruths are what they say we must be tolerent of. The core of their souls is fundamentally diabolical in nature. Now that, is offensive as Hell, but wherever their treasure chest is where they shall reign!

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  17. garcia says:

    The liberals and MSM only think offensive statements should be said only if they agree with it. Its not only O.K. for them to say offensive lies but its considered great.

    AMEN, BROTHER, AMEN! Just check this reference as an example:

    “We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush….If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go this war.”

    Cindy Sheehan comments made at a pro-Lynne Stewart rally held on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 at San Francisco State University.

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  18. Brian says:

    First of all, do any of you really believe that it is only liberals that use statements out of context for political gain? Come on, people. All politicians, not just liberals, do that. Second, if most conservatives don’t believe that statement is offensive and want to argue that it is technically true, that is their right. However, they shouldn’t be so surprised that black people continue to vote 90% Democrat. This is why the Bush Administration denounced the comments.

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  19. Joy Graves says:

    Bennett may be ‘solidly against abortion,’ but it is painfully clear he is not solidly against racism!

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  20. McGehee says:

    It’s interesting how few people seem to be solidly against wasting their time arguing over minutiae. Did Bennett’s words make things any worse for anyone in this country (other than, maybe, himself)? Does the outrage over has words make things better for anyone (other than the outraged)?

    I wish I had a “Lives ‘R’ Us” franchise, I could get rich.

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  21. The Bill Bennett fiasco

    (Cross-posted at The Reaction, where, inter alia, I’ve written extensively about the end of conservatism a…

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  22. Bennett under fire for remarks

    A lot of crime (both black on black, and black on white) is committed by blacks so the statement is certainly true. It is insensitive, but since the very next thing he said was that he found doing it morally reprehensible I think those that jumped on…

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  23. bbbustard says:

    I have to agree wiwth Herb that only a really sick person would be offended if you called them a loonie or a wacko.
    I also know that Italians wouldn’t be upset if someone said that a way to stop organized crime is to abort all Italian babies. And who would mind if you pointed out that a way to reduce Alcoholism would be to abort Irish babies. The right is impressive in its loyalty to one of its own, but it sometimes makes for defending the indefensible.

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  24. Pug says:

    You hit the target dead on with you last comment. If you are like me, I get so PO’d at the word offended, It seems that everyone today is offended at one thing or another, The word is just one more example of the Hilly Mae and Jethro Clinton Political Correctness thing that they came up with to divert attention to any improprieties that they were involved in, and there were many.
    The environmentalist get “offended” if you call them “wackos” The truth is, thats what they are. and the lefty’s get “offended” if you call them “loonies” but again, thats what they are. And of course, if these kooks say anything, thats OK and the MSM will back them up.

    Gee, Herb, then you shouldn’t be offended if someone points out that you sound like a real moron. Because that is what you are.

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  25. Herb says:

    Pug.. You are right on, I am not offended and further I really don’t give a damn what I sound like or give it a second thought. And your name PUG, you know, that comes from the name of a dog with a PUG nose, which is just like you, One can smell your nasty words from all over. You should try some deodorant for your big smart mouth.

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  26. Dominique Walker says:

    I think this statement is most definitely by all means a stereotype because white kids as well as Hispanics and any other cultures commits crime not just African-American.

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  27. Stacey Best says:

    The sub-text of William Bennett’s comments suggesting a positive correlation between the abortion of all Blacks and the crime rate is that the contribution of Blacks to this country is so insignificant, compared to the harm, as to warrant considering the extermination of a whole race of people.

    Unfortunately, Bennett’s message of hopelessness comes from a man whose influence spans twenty years and three Republican administrations (Secretary of Education under Reagan; drug czar under Bush, I; speech writer for Bush, II).

    Bennett’s most recent self-revealing comments expose the true debate about what constitutes “qualified.” Assuming arguendo that Bennett was academically qualified to hold any of his posts, he has shown that it takes more than a cursory review of one’s academic record to determine that one is “qualified” to hold a post, particularly one of influence.

    There is an irony in allowing a person with a mindset such as Bennett’s to influence the lives of Black children who, along with Hispanic children, overwhelmingly receive public education. Under such circumstances, can these children really have an opportunity to become “qualified,” productive citizens?

    The Bill Bennetts of society should be prevented from holding positions of influence not merely because of what they say, but because of how they think about our citizens. At a time when President Bush has made his second nomination to the Supreme Court, which will have lasting influence on individual rights in this country, we don’t need politicians to hound Bennett for an apology. We need politicians to put forth a new affirmative action plan. The plan must be to affirmatively hire individuals, including appointment of individuals into this country’s most influential positions, that see the worth and contributions of all our citizens, and to affirmatively reject those who do not demonstrate a belief in the intrinsic value of every citizen.

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  28. Cobra says:

    http://www.thecobraslair.com/images/BENNETT-BLACK-BABIES.gif

    Bill Bennett isn’t the FIRST person to try to proclaim blacks as somehow inferior. From the responses on this blog, he won’t be the last.

    Eugenics is certainly not a new concept, so I wish those who clandestinely endorse it would come out and admit as such instead of hiding behind projection against liberals.

    –Cobra

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