Friday, September 30, 2005


Mot of the day award to Mile Schilling

....who said on DeLong's blog regarding the Bill Bennett remarks that one could reduce the crime rate by aborting every African American fetus, the following: It's all very Monty Python, isn't it? There are no genocidal fantasies about ethnically cleansing African-Americans endorsed by the Republican party, absolutely none, and when I say "none", I do mean there is a certain amount. Posted by: Mile Schilling | Sep 30, 2005 6:39:38 PM This captures the total hypocrisy of this debate. * Did Bennett denounce aborting African American fetuses? Yes, he did. Did he do so knowing that if he did not, he would likely lose his radio show? Yes, he did. * Are African Americans justified in viewing the comment as indicating genocidal intent? Well, given the history of genocide against African Americans, which goes right up into Chapter 13 (if memory serves) of The Bell Curve, one could hardly fault them if they did. It's the sort of remark national leaders, even ex-leaders just don't make. * Was his claim that aborting fetuses would reduce the crime rate accurate? No, it was not. Even making the assumption that we can predict the behavior of an adult from a fetus, it relies on a selective definition of crime as street crime. But when one broadens the definition to include white collar crime, where whites are overrepresented, suddenly the picture looks different. We are far more likely to be victimized by a Ken Lay than by a John Allen Muhammed. Not only that, white collar crime is vastly underprosecuted, so even those figures don't give the full story. And these crimes are often deadlier than street crimes. Therefore, one might as accurately say that if we aborted all the fetuses of Republicans, the future crime rate would drop. * But of course, even that would be wrong. If Republicans were educated in issues of honesty, empathy, compassion, and the debt that each member of a society owes to all others, we could far more effectively cause the crime rate to fall than by using abortion. We don't know what is in Bill Bennett's mind, if anything. What he said was both false and, from a leader, morally wrong. He should apologize for it, as should many other pundits who have rushed in to defend the indefensible. Let's stop the hypocrisy, folks.
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