“You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” These are the words of former U.S. Education Secretary William J. Bennett on his “Morning in America” radio show late last month.
For good reason, Democrats have demanded Bennett to apologize for the insensitive remark and even President George W. Bush “believes the comments were not appropriate,” a White House press secretary said.
Yet despite the criticism of his radio conversation, Bennett issued a statement a few days later saying his “thought experiment about public policy … should not have received the condemnations it has.”
Bennett opposes abortion and acknowledged that preventing black Americans from being born would be an “impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.” Yet what is reprehensible is the fact that a man who once held the highest education post in the United States said something so ignorant.
After citing the impossibility of his theoretical solution, Bennett said, “Your crime rate would [still] go down” if the prevention of black births became government policy.
But Bennett’s solution would not only fail at reducing crime, it would cause it to escalate with thousands of displeased Americans rising up in insurrection.
If people thought the riots after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death were bad, one could only imagine the anarchy that would result if the government attempted to prevent black Americans from being born.
When Bennett discussed media influence on youth violence before a Senate committee on May 4, 1999, he said, “While we are the greatest country in the world, we are also one of its most coarse and most violent.”
Does this self-proclaimed pacifist realize that his statement condones genocide? It wasn’t his intention, but that’s the impression he is making.
Even if theoretically true, the cons of Bennett’s theory would far outweigh the pros. Black people have had a profound effect on American culture and business, which is apparent by observing the rise of hip-hop music and the growing the popularity of basketball, tennis and other sports.
Figures like Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have contributed enormously to the U.S. economy.
If the government prevented potential Oprahs or Jordans from seeing the light of day, America would be a far worse country than it was before the genocide began.
On Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, Bennett said, “A morally impossible hypothesis to show why it is morally impossible and reprehensible … is a standard way of talking about public policy and a standard way of teaching.”
Bennett apparently viewed his stance as refuting the claims asserted in Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s book Freakonomics, which links the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion with the national crime rate sharply declining under President Bill Clinton’s tenure.
Bennett staunchly defended himself and his credentials as a man of education on Fox News. Several days later, however, Bennett chose to resign as chairman at his academic-instruction company K12 Inc., the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Perhaps Bennett recognizes his comments were crass. After all, even a champion of education cannot spin unintelligent remarks as acceptable comments of wisdom.
Bennett revealed a gross display of insensitivity and lack of critical thought on his radio show and Fox News several weeks ago. Anyone who actually believes practicing abortion in large numbers would lower crime only renders them a fool.
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman can be reached at email@example.com.