Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bill Bennett's Racism (Enough of the GOP!)

ScumbagReally, there's no other way to preface this post, except to say: I am utterly fed up with Republicans. Utterly. Fed. Up. I'm fed up with their lies, incompetence, their corruption, their small-mindedness, their warmongering-chickenhawkery, their greed, their destructiveness, their hypocrisy, and above all, their "isms": racism, classism, sexism/genderism, misogyny, heterosexism. I'm fed up with their social pathologies which are wreaking havoc on this country and the world.

No, I'm not saying the Democrats--or the Greens, or the Democratic Socialists, or Libertarians, or Socialist Workers, etc.--or any other party is the answer, but I am saying, I'm fed with Republican rule of the United States. I'm fed up with George W. Bush, with his Cabinet, with the Republican Congress, whose leadership is now in a process of devolution, with the Republican-leaning courts in this country, with this party whose overall aims and acts make a mockery of the small-r republican system of government laid out in our federal and state constitutions. The most recent trigger for my tide of disgust was the comments by the bloated, hypocritical, lying slag Bill Bennett, who stated on his radio program (Bill Bennett's Morning in America airs on approximately 115 radio stations with an estimated weekly audience of 1.25 million listeners)--because far too many of these creeps have public broadcast platforms--that:

...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.

This self-appointed "morality" czar, who racked up millions of dollars of gambling debts a few years ago, made this statement on the air, and I thank MediaMatters.org for capturing it and the transcript, no matter how repellant it is.

Now, there are many people out there who don't like it when I and others point out how racist this society is. This society has many problems, and racism is only one of them, though it is a central and controlling one. I have most often encountered resistance to talking about racism from White people; BUT, there are many BLACK people--and other people of color--who really don't like it when people--Black, White, Latino, what have you--point out how racist this society is. They particularly don't like it when uppity Black people like Kanye West--who should be singing and rapping and counting his dollars all the way to the bank--and Julianne Malveaux and Tavis Smiley and others, who should be happy to be among the middle and upper classes and support the racially inflected class social structure as it's constituted, get on TV and the radio and call the racists and the racism out. They like to claim that we have advanced from the days of separate drinking fountains and entrances to restaurants (which still existed in my lifetime), from White police chiefs turning firehoses on masses of Black people and their supporters, from redlining and police brutality and racial profiling and...oops, well, from de jure Jim Crow (even though Tyson Foods is being sued in Alabama for allowing a racially hostile workplace in which White employees put up "Whites Only" signs--just within the last few years!).
Scag
We hear that WHOA, these people are being politically correct, they're censoring, they're too sensitive, they're beating a dead horse, blah blah blah, because racism is really not a problem. Yes, a white convict has a better chance of getting a callback or being hired than a Black person with no criminal record (cf. Pager, AJS, 2003). Yes, Blacks pay higher rates for their mortgages (Chicago Sun-Times, 9/4/05), and still encounter difficulties renting apartments (as I did in 2001 in Chicago, Illinois) and buying homes in certain areas. Yes, Blacks and Latinos are disproportionately convicted and jailed for drug violations, and disproportionately stopped for traffic violations, and receive substandard medical care even when they are equally insured and paying the same fees as their white counterparts (as my mother recently encountered while in the hospital getting a knee transplant). Yes, yes, yes. But we're told that we shouldn't talk about racism, because hey, maybe that'll make it go away. They're racist in Spain and France and Japan and everywhere else, but not here. The Germans slaughtered millions of Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals and mixed-race people and Slavs, not Americans. They mistreat Indians in South America, but here they now get to have casinos and are doing dandy, so dandy that a scag like Jack Abramoff can swindle them out of money and call them "monkeys" and other insulting names to create a slushfund for, guess who? The GOP. And then every minute of every day, someone commits a racist act, systemic racism and White supremacy occur, bearing out what the truthtellers have to--and MUST--say.

Now, you can try to excuse or "frame" Bill Bennett's hatefulness (or Barbara Bush's or Pat Buchanan's or Trent Lott's or Ann Coulter's or David Horowitz's or pick your racist scumbag Right Winger of choice), as Michael Crowley does on Joshua Michael Marshall's Talking Points Memo, when he notes the "kooky" caller who provoked the exchange, but I'm sorry, you just don't spout off about ABORTING EVERY BLACK BABY IN AMERICA as a means of REDUCING CRIME if you're not a hardcore racist scumbag. You just don't. If you're a Klansman or a Neo-Nazi or something else, this makes sense. I mean, I have known and been around White people my entire life; I was delivered into this world by a White doctor 40 years ago, and I would imagine that he, like the vast majority of White people running around this country--LIKE THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY--do not subscribe to such an overtly racist, hateful view, and would not be uttering crap like this no matter WHO provoked their thoughts, however "kooky" they are. Whether they'd been steeping in Freakonomics, which in any case does NOT RACIALIZE its argument.
Sleazepig
Yet Bill Bennett uttered it, on the radio--and yes, he qualified it, but then look at his final statement. He couldn't help himself. The truth is, here are so many people in the larger Republican constellation who cannot help themselves, who harbor such views, who are a danger to our humanity and well-being--as human beings. They do not like--they loathe and fear--Black people, or poor people, or women, or homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people, or Arabs, or Latinos, or Asians, or Native Americans, or Jews, or Buddhists, or Hindus, or Muslims, or people who are differently abled, or who do not speak English--hell, they do not like themselves! Even when they FALL UNDER ONE OF THESE VARIOUS FORMS OF IDENTITY AND IDENTIFICATION, the dislike and hate doesn't end. When they feel free to voice such feelings, they do so, even at the risk of attacking themselves. As I said, they are pathological, and I personally do not feel they should be accorded any more power in this society. Not even after extensive psychological therapy. I have a cousin who used to like to vent all his anger at the racism of White liberals; and he often made some excellent points. But even he got a wakeup call after George W. Bush was elected a SECOND TIME. Kanye West wasn't talking jack or whistling "Dixie."

In my opinion, no apology from Bill Bennett will be acceptable. I don't want to hear it. I've heard enough. Enough apologies, enough of these "slips," enough. I don't want to hear it. I don't trust anything you have to say, I haven't for years, I don't trust the corrupt scum around you, and I will urge everyone I know to boycott anything that you touch, anything that you grace, anything that you despoil, you lying, bloated sanctimonious ragball of rotted offal. Enough of you, and all the other scumbags in the self-reinforcing ideological network that is causing death and destruction across the globe, under the banner of what was once our first gay president, Abraham Lincoln's, former Republican Party. So save your words, Bill Bennett.

Or better yet, abort yourself, Bill Bennett. Immediately.

***
Update: Bennett continues to defend his comments with lies and misstatements (he claims he was basing them on Swift's A Modest Proposal--uh, nowhere in the transcript does he cite Swift, and he clearly says "I know...it's true," which is hardly hypothetical), as do his supporters, yet the White House took the tepid step of calling them "inappropriate." Well, whoopdeedo! Then Bennett actually claimed that his wife did more for Black people than the entire Black Caucus! Is he that deluded? Why not be a man and admit that your ideas are in line with Charles Murray's and the Pioneer Fund, that you harbor a racial animus that would make Putzi Hanfstangl and Joseph Goebbels blush, that, as you said, you think it's true that aborting an entire race's foetuses would cause crime to drop. And then consider the case of the utter criminality and destruction of World Wars I and II, Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, etc., and ask yourself, who's committed the most and worst crimes--including against humanity--thus far (I'm leaving the genocide against the Native Americans, slavery and colonialism out of the mix to give you a leg to stand on)? Maybe the late Susan Sontag can provide you with an answer, Dr. Bennett.

5 comments:

  1. What was the name of Michael Moore's book? "Stupid White Men." Captures it all succinctly.

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  2. Very true. I also think "hateful" should be added when dealing with so many of Bennett's ilk.

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  3. Planned Parenthood Advocates Abortion to Reduce Crime

    And the bizarre thing is that Bennett, who explicitly rejects abortion, is under attack.

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  4. Do you believe that Bennett "explicitly" rejects abortion, or are you just buying the crapola he's asserted in the past, like his morality crusade and supposed Christian beliefs, which fly in the face of his gambling problems and debts? I think he's just another fat-faced liar like so many in his party. On aborting Black fetuses, his comments were quite clear and explicit, beginning with "I know it's true that...," so that if he was so strongly against abortion and not such a racist, he never would have uttered them. Would he? I think not.

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  5. Mr. Bennett was calling abortion immoral. The liberals have also promoted abortion for its positive outcomes for society and the woman--reduce poverty, crime, eliminate disabled people early on so they won't suffer, etc. It's a bit hypocritical to pile on a conservative who calls your bluff.

    "Fertility declines for black women are three times greater than for whites (12 percent compared to 4 percent). Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions." Quarterly Journal of Economics "The impact of legalized abortion on crime" by John Donohue III and Steven D. Levitt. (2001). I think only the pro-life people objected to the data and conclusions of this article.

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