From the Washington Post:
Democratic lawmakers and civil rights leaders denounced conservative commentator William J. Bennett yesterday for suggesting on his syndicated radio show that aborting black children would reduce the U.S. crime rate.
The former U.S. education secretary-turned-talk show host said Wednesday 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 quickly added that such an idea would be “an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.” But, he said, “your crime rate would go down.”
Bennett’s comments, flagged by the liberal news media watchdog group Media Matters for America, were quickly condemned by Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who issued a statement demanding that Bennett apologize. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) circulated a letter, signed by 10 of his colleagues, demanding that the Salem Radio Network suspend Bennett’s show.
Wade Henderson, the executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, demanded that the show be canceled.
“Bennett’s statement is outrageous. As a former secretary of education, he should know better,” Henderson said. “His program should be pulled from the air.”
Remember how in the last few years any criticism of the most outrageous anti-American statements from the “anti-war” left are met with dries of “censorship!” and “stifling dissent”?
But here, Bill Bennett made a statement that is inarguably true, and look at the quick calls for censorship. It is a fact that blacks are disproportionately involved in criminal activity. Therefore, it is also true that if you killed off a lot of black people, the crime rate would probably go down. But Bennett wasn’t advocating doing so, he was arguing against the idea of connecting the issue of abortion to other issues, whether Social Security or crime. No reasonable person of normal intellect would misunderstand the citing of a hypothetical, then calling the hypothetical “reprehensible” as support for the premise of the hypothetical.
But race-mongering demagogues like Congressman Conyers have no interest in making an honest argument, they want to stir up racial tensions in America, because it helps them politically. It’s that simple. And stop calling these demagogues “civil rights leaders.” That is outrageous.
It’s important to note that all liberals are not knee-jerk race baiters. Here Matthew Yglesias, no fan of Bennett, defends his comments.
Andrew McCarthy defends Bennett on NRO
The White House issues a weak-kneed response (via Outside the Beltway):
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.
Howard Dean weighs in, with his typical calm and reserve.