Sunday, October 09, 2005

"Mourning" in America About Bill Bennett

This is a picture of former Education Secretary William Bennett. Mr. Bennett has a radio show called "Morning in America." He likes to write and talk about virtues.

William Bennett

Mr. Bennett loves children. He wants them to learn about virtues.

Apparently Mr. Bennett loves the virtue of Video Poker and slot machines.

So nobody's perfect.

William J. Bennett once said:
A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward.
That's a nice thought. I like kind and compassionate acts.

But Mr. Bennett said something mean and deserves to apologize. He should stick to "kind and compassionate acts."

On his radio show, Mr. Bennett stated:
Bennett's comment on his show, "Morning in America," came in response to a caller's question regarding a recent book that suggested an increase in the abortion rate has helped reduce the crime rate.

Bennett said: "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."

Bennett, who is an abortion opponent, went on to say that such abortions 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."
Maybe Mr. Bennett was thinking of this black baby with another Katrina victim:

As Bennett explained on Hannity and Colmes on Fox, some of his thinking was affected by the recent New Orleans events:
But people need to follow the argument and the argument I was making here is entirely plausible. The causes of crime are very complicated. But there is a very big literature, as you know, about single parenthood in crime, about race in crime, and about poverty in crime. And we've been talking about all these things lately in the context of New Orleans and other things.
It is a virtue to APOLOGIZE. Excuse me for shouting Mr. Bennett. But you were just wrong to make a hypothetical like that and then deny that you did anything wrong!

But Mr. Bennett can only blame the media.

As reported:
Former Education Secretary William Bennett on Saturday blamed the news media for distorting his remarks about aborting black babies, saying he had intended to make "a bad argument in order to put it down."

Bennett, making his first public speech since the comment aired on his radio show last month, said the meaning of his remark linking the crime rate with black abortions was reversed in many news reports.

"I was putting forward a bad argument in order to put it down," Bennett said, drawing sustained applause from nearly 4,500 people attending the Bakersfield Business Conference. "They reported and emphasized only the abhorrent argument, not my shooting it down."
It is a virtue to accept responsibility Mr. Bennett!

Congress John Conyers has responded to Mr. Bennett's racist remarks with this comment:
Mr. Bennett gratuitously injected racial stereotyping into a conversation with a caller about social security and abortion, stating that aborting black babies would reduce the crime rate. Regardless of whether he intended to offer serious consideration of the idea of aborting every black baby, and that he said later that it would be "impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible" to do so, Mr. Bennett stood by his contention that to do so would result in a lower crime rate, thus perpetuating the negative stereotype that African-Americans are criminals. That I find to be a great problem; and, to date, neither you nor Mr. Bennett have explained why such stereotyping was needed or even bothered to apologize for linking race with crime in such a discriminatory fashion.

You and Mr. Bennett should know African-Americans do not commit the majority of crimes in the United States. Moreover, Freakonomics, the book that Bennett cited to advance his argument, does not address race at all - that was solely Bennett's contribution. Steven Levitt, one of the book's authors, offered the following refutation of Bennett's comments immediately after they were aired:

"(A) white person and a black person who grow up next door to each other with similar incomes and the same family structure would be predicted to have the same crime involvement."
Racism is not a family value. America deserves better than these phony moralizers who hypocritically preach morality while they themselves suffer from vices like gambling habits and racism.

It is time for new leadership in America! Meanwhile, we can only be "Mourning" for America where Bill Bennett can stand at his podium, a former Secretary of Education, and promulgate "facts" about whether a hypothetical genocide of African American babies might just lower the crime rate.



Anonymous Tuli said...


As you well know, the sheets are never too far away

10:23 PM  

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