Thursday, October 6


I haven't posted on the subject of the calculated, misinformed outrage over Bill Bennett's purported "racist" remarks on his radio talk show, because I heard the sound segment that has provoked the hue and cry for his white scalp on "The O'Reilly Factor" earlier this week and thought it's just the same ol', same ol' -- i.e., take a provocative statement out of context and run with it for all it's worth Jesse Jackson-style. Bill Bennett is not the hate-monger; his enemies are. And they're demonizing him and it is shameful. Still, I thought initially that it was much ado about nothing and would fade away. I was wrong.

Now I've found this superb column by Courtland Milloy in today's print and online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) and, in the context of the purposeful crucifixion of William Bennett's character by political and media demagogues, found it to be the proverbial breath of fresh air akin to what Bill Cosby has brought to the Black Community in terms of delineating the obligations of parents in raising their children and preparing them to make their way in the real world.

Here are some selected excerpts from Mr. Milloy's column, which deserves a thorough reading:

There is a problem here. But it's not Bennett, whose comments illuminated a moral inconsistency in black America that is far more harmful than anything he said. Forget about Bennett's absurd crime cure — a proposal he acknowledged would be morally wrong — and just look at the most recent analysis of abortion data, released in July by the Alan Guttmacher Institute.

African-American women, who make up only 13 percent of the U.S. female population, accounted for 32 percent of the 1,293,000 abortions performed in the United States in 2002.

That's 413,760 abortions performed on black women in one year — or 1,133 a day. (In Washington, half of all pregnancies ended in abortion, a higher percentage than in any state.) No outcry over that because those were just disposable fetuses, right?

That is, until Bennett spoke of aborting "black babies," and suddenly those fetuses become precious pre-born black people who must be saved from the evil Dr. Bill.

It's just a different twist to the same old story. If the Ku Klux Klan were killing blacks the way blacks kill blacks, we'd be up in arms. If whites in blackface were filling the airways with degrading lyrics and minstrel shows, we'd at least shoot the TV and radio. But as along as it's just us acting a fool, who cares?

This is the consequence of our corrosive moral inconsistency: a dependence on the opposition of whites to give meaning and value to black life.

Jules P. Harrell, a professor and acting chairman of Howard's Department of Psychology, said African-Americans need to "cultivate a new sense of body," one rooted in health and self-respect and not in popular culture, such as rap music videos.

To that end, we might welcome the controversy about abortion and black babies and the long-overdue focus it brings to the black womb — home to hope unbound as well as unspeakable tragedy. Who is responsible for the protection and care of this amazing uterine environment, where the most wonderful fetal programming can occur just by having a loving husband kiss his pregnant wife?

Don't you just love the liberal Roe vs. Wade zealots -- the progressive-secularist-nihilists who cling tenaciously to the doctrine of a woman's "reproductive rights," rather than to the transcendant sanctity of the right to life of the unborn -- who have gone on the attack against Bill Bennett for setting up a hypothetical and then renouncing it as abhorrent and unconscionable. For them a black fetus is not a sentient being with rights to life until Bill Bennett calls them "black babies." Then, suddenly, as if on cue, these abortion mill apologists get religion and turn on Bennett for words expressed over the air, while still showing no shame in characterizing this wholesale genocide of Americans as legitimate "choice" grounded in a woman's right to privacy and to control her own body.

From what I have read about her, I suspect Harriet Miers would be equal to the task of defending Bill Bennett in the court of public opinion. What I don't know is if she's equal to the task (or John Roberts, for that matter) of overturning Roe vs. Wade and restoring this nation's morality and the guiding principles of its Founders -- principles built upon the bedrock of a Judeo-Christian ethos.