Monday, October 03, 2005

What more can I say

"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.

"That would be an impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down,"


Former Education Secretary William Bennett



Just couldn't let this one pass (still on hiatus though).

The above were comments made by former U.S Education secretary William Bennett on his radio talk show last Wednesday. You can read some more of what he says in defending himself here.

My first thoughts on reading this article on Friday was the more things change the more things remain the same. Like Kanye said "Racism still alive they just be concealing it" or in cases like this revealing it. I mean I think it was a bit shocking that this was said out loud but I'm sure deep down there are many out there who think exactly the same way. The funny thing is, as a friend pointed out, if a similar derogatory comment was made which somehow involved Jewish people myriad calls would be made by now for charging Bennett with hate crimes or something of the sort regardless of whether it was a comment he said in jest, his true beliefs or somewhere in between.

Anyway what more can be said about this comment? I guess the point of Mr Bennett is that blacks are responsible for quite a bit more than their fair share of crime. That actually cannot be denied as numerous statistics abound as to the number of blacks in jail, the number who are ex felons, the number who have been arrested etc and statistics don't lie now do they.

Mind you these stats don't let us into the inherent bias in the North American justice system where various crimes, especially those drug related or more likely to be committed by a person of color or a poor person are dealt with more harshly than those committed by those of other races or other social standing. For example the harsher penalties related to drug dealing of marijuana, months and years in prison, compared to something like the punishment for dealing exstacy for which even caught with bucket loads of the drug the offenders usually get a fine or a very short sentence. No, these stats do not show these discrepancies nor do they show the general suspicion law enforcement has of blacks and the speed with which a black man will be stopped while a similarly guilty white man may escape suspicion and be above the law while doing an analogous criminal act. Oh no these stats don't show this but then again stats never lie.

But on the real even taking these things into example we as black folks do have criminals in our midst. Full stop!

But what leads one to a life of crime? Are black folks born with a greater predilection towards criminal behavior? Is crime a disease like sickle cell anemia which affects blacks at a disproportionate level? As another friend pointed out is there a crime gene which has been detected moreso in blacks than other races? I don't know Mr Bennett is that your real point?

Maybe as a former Secretary of Education you can tell us about the state of education in the urban areas of the U.S? Do you think perhaps the failing of the education system which spends twice as much per student for most suburban schools as it does for its urban schools with a majority non-white student body has anything, anything in the slightest to do with this greater criminal behavior? Do you think that allowing the urban education infrastructure to fall apart over the years and not investing in it has anything to do with producing more criminals than scholars in certain cities? Naa, I'm probably way way off base here I shouldn't even bring that up. Crime has nothing to do with education or environment in your mind does it?

Then I thought a bit more about these comments. The fact that the man who made this comment, even if it was to illustrate a point, was a Secretary of Education just says something really scary doesn't it? Someone in charge or who used to be in charge of education is saying (to my limited black educated mind) or thinking somehow that education probably wouldn't help blacks. Downright scary. Explains a lot though doesn't it. Why bother with the black kids, they'll just become criminals.

I note also that these 'attacks' on black people have actually become a bit more prevalent lately. The justification given is that they speak out to highlight the 'truth' rather than they are racist language meant to demean an entire race. The justification given is that the black race has its head in the sand and refuses to stand up and deal with these issues within their ranks rather than if we make these types of comments often enough more and more people will believe they are the complete truth.

So why have these types of comments become so popular? What happened to the whole political correctness thing i.e lying not to offend others that was happening in the 90s? Or doesn't political correctness hold when one deals with black folks who are quite comfortable with that n word?

I think it has quite a bit to do with the rudderless-ness which has come to characterize our race over the past decade or so. In the past there was a direction. We sought equality, we sought the right to vote, we sought justice. We had purpose. We had leaders, strong leaders who sought these things along with us. Now what do we seek and who leads us? Our leaders have been killed or discredited. Who leads the way now? Jesse, Sharpton, Diddy, Jay Z?

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI find the increasing prevalence of comments such as those made by Bennett a bit disturbing. Despite the outcry against them I believe that repetition wins out and justifies them in the public mind. Not only in the minds of non-blacks but also the eyes of blacks as well. Like the kid whose parent repeatedly tells him that he will never amount to nothing these comments gives us ready made excuses to not try, to become apathetic.

Also, when the majority really believes that statements about the threat of blacks to the society are true what will happen then? Is it too much to believe that a time will come when someone will say that those blacks are a menace and were better off in chains? Will the outcry at first be strong but get muted as these comments prevail? When will the chains descend, when will our children's freedom be taken from them, when will they once again say a black is only two thirds or one half of a white man? When will they say 'what about that slavery thing. That's not such a bad idea. That kept them in check.'

From a certain perspective it seems like this is the path we are taking and its just a mater of time.

24 comments:

Lene said...

I think we should stop waiting for "leaders" to be angry and do something, and be angry ourselves. I don't want to wait to see what Jesse does. Bennett made some ignorant ass comments on a national platform, and refuses to apologize. Black people should band together and fuck him up.

A man in his position should have never made those comments in the first place, because they have the potential to harm. Nevermind the fatc that "they might be taken out of context". That is stupid too. How else are we supposed to take it? Abort black babies seems straightforward.

The first thing that popped into my head when I heard this shit was the shirt I saw on tshirthell.com that had a black baby in handcuffs with the line, "arrest black babies before they become criminals"

The Marlo Girl said...

i love how minority leader pelosi said:

"What could possibly have possessed Secretary Bennett to say those words, especially at this time?"

as if, at another time, perhaps these comments would have been more appropriate?

that was actually pretty funny... in an ignorant, bigoted, i'm-not-a-racist-i-have-black-friends kind of way.

Dr. D. said...

JDid, I caught a part of a discussion on this comment on TV last night. Did not see it from the start but got the jist of it.

Agreed, that someone in such a position could say it, is actually quite disturbing. In actual fact, I think race issues are now on the increase in North America sadly.

In the same sort of thinking, perhaps if all male cuacasian babies were to be aborted, the number of serial killers in America might fall! (Not to say that all serial killers are white males.)

The world in which we live.....

Scratchie said...

What I would like to say, I can't post here so let's just say that his comments pissed me off as it should any well thinking human being.

Brotha Buck said...

Jdid, I knew Bennetts comments would bring you outta blog hybernation! I could not believe when I heard that announced on the radio. Theres no backtracking those comments no matter how he tries.

Miz JJ said...

I believe his comments stem from the book "Freakonomics" by Steven Levitt the book contends (controversially) that legalized abortion reduced the crime rate because fewer babies were being born to families who were not cut out to raise kids. However, the author doesn't advocate killing black children.

Bennett is a racist and an uninformed, ignorant racist. I know...is there any other kind? Most crime in the United States is not committed by black people. They'd like you to believe that, but it isn't. Black people are over represented in the all facets of the criminal justice system. We are targeted. If cops targeted white people the same way you'd see way more white people in jail. We need to better, more accurate information about what is going, but that isn't gonna happen anytime soon.

Luke Cage said...

Let me tell you man. Much like Bush' mom made that ignorant ass remark a few weeks ago, much like many a political leader, or someone in the spotlight tends to do, I am no longer surprised what comes out of these fools' mouths.

What does surprise me is that being in the position that they are in, you would think that they'd take better care of what comes out of their mouths. Don't these guys hire folks who tutor them on how to talk about people and to people also?

Especially in a ultra-sensitive society as the one we live in today. EVERYONE has to be put on notice and take care of what comes out from their mouths. And if they can't say what they've got to say with tact, then off with their heads and lets be free of them.

You know when they have ease in saying things like this in public, it's because somewhere in private they are saying it rather easily. At least, in this way, we know exactly how they feel.

It's the apologies that will follow afterwards when they are put on blast about their remarks that will make them look foolish. Don't be conned. The apology is nothing more than a smoke screen man.

Sunshine said...

Hi Jdid-If you read the article it does state that he Mr. Bennett states used that quote as a hypothetical scenario. But as Starfoxx15 said-he should never have gone there cause now look at the raucous when taken out of context.

Angry Dog said...

My yute, I have to say that it's extremley disturbing, whether or not he meant it as an example. Of late, it seems as if the political leaders here are showing absolutely no love for us blacks! What next?

Count said...

I feel StarFox on gathering up and puttin' the mash on this bastard but in actuality that can't be done and would be clarifying what this fucker said. It is sad that he can go on the nationaly level and get away with this shit though. Your blog is cool man. I invite you to THE PEOPLES BLOG: www.countsworld.blogsource.com

I'll holla!!

ThandieLand said...

it was hypothetical, he was saying that it would be immoral to take such blanket action but he also said it is true that a set of ppl based solely on the colour of their skin are more likely to be criminals..He believes that that is true...

but these ppl like Bennet are good for all them black ppl who like to believe all is well...and anybody who does more than go about their life ...those blacks who "always" griping just like attention and need to learn how to let go of the past...these types of comments hit them hard... that black male news person/politcal analyst on FOX News nearly cry last night trying to explain how bad those comments were...his other news people on the panel could not understand what he was carrying on about... I laffed hard...it was so funny.

4panist said...

I am not as eloquent in my comments but I am glad you posted on this jdid. It does seem that people have lost their "filters" but in a way, I'd rather they be honest about it. How many times have politians said things and we are like...hey, that sounds like... now there is just no mistaking it. don't get it twisted, I'm not glad he said it, but what are we going to do now that he has??

Abeni said...

I gather it was hypothetical but still poor taste

brooklyn babe said...

Can we really be surprised @ such outburst from ppl lik Bennett??? Really....

Nikki said...

Bennett needs to be slapped for even uttering those words. Even if he thought that, he should have kept it to himself, but once again, God has a way of letting people hang themselves with their own rope.

summer m. said...

no comment.

Inside Man said...

I'm not suprised at all, this is how a lot of right wing conseratives feel.

Stunner said...

I say that on the news. That was a very racist statement if you ask me. How could someone think such a thing, much more say something like that? There is nothing that man can say to defend that statement.

Amadeo said...

Dragged into the street and beaten with a bag of nickels...

princessdominique said...

He's going to have the heat of this beaming down on him for years to come. Great hiatus breaker though!

GC (God's Child) said...

My Mom said she's glad he said it 'cause now she knows what he has in his mind.

But did you happen to notice how this comment was taken right out of context? What were they talking about before he came up with this gem? What happened after? No, he should have never said it but still, I wanna know.

Xquizzyt1 said...

*sigh*

This is so not shocking. Even the fact that he said it. I mean why the fuck not? What would the real retribution be? Taken out of context? In what context would this be acceptable? ROFLMAO I'm just curious to know.

But back to the shock that I'm not feeling... *sigh* I mean why should it surprise me, we live in a society where white people can adopt black children and keep them in cages... and it's okay. No jail time, just an "investigation." *shaking head* Just unreal.

John McAdams said...

Planned Parenthood Advocates Abortion to Reduce Crime

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

obifromsouthlondon said...

dude I share your sentiments completely. I read that article and was shocked and not shocked at the same time. Derogatory remarks about black people are been made all the time and PC's become the ex-status quo. As u said if this was directed elsewhere we wouldn't hear the last of it.

America can only blame their government for the urban decay that generates these statistics. The leaders need a new black crowd to follow.