WASHINGTON – 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.”
Responding later to criticism, Bennett said his comments had been mischaracterized and that his point was that the idea of supporting abortion to reduce crime was “morally reprehensible.”
Bennett was education secretary under President Reagan and director of drug control policy when Bush’s father was president.
(New York Times)
I’m not trying to be the semantics police or anything, but it seems really hard to mischaracterize the racial-implications inherent in the suggestion that aborting all the black babies in the country would reduce the crime rate. Although, I would have to hand it to Bennett that he was definitely mischaracterized if anyone on either side of the aisle suggested that Bennett wished to eat the aborted fetuses. That’s simply not what he said. Besides, he doesn’t even like soul food.
Also: I think it’s really funny that Bennett (who is a world class fucking asshole, by the way) is upset that his comments are being taken out of context when they were made in a response to a theory he was taking out of context. To point out a corollary relationship between rise in abortion rates and drops in crime rates in no way advocates abortions to reduce crime. It is what one calls “an observation,” which is somewhat different (and again, I guess we’re getting into semantics here) from the Bennettonian notion of “morally corrupt, reality-detached, ideologically motivated ranting.”