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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 08:23 Thread Starter
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Bennet under fire!

Congressional Democrats blasted former Education Secretary William Bennett on Thursday for saying that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce the crime rate, and demanded their Republican counterparts do the same.

"This is precisely the kind of insensitive, hurtful and ignorant rhetoric that Americans have grown tired of," said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois.

Bennett, who held prominent posts in the administrations of former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, told a caller to his syndicated radio talk show Wednesday: "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," he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, called on President Bush to condemn the comments by Bennett, who was anti-drug chief in Bush's father's administration.

"What could possibly have possessed Secretary Bennett to say those words, especially at this time?" Pelosi asked. "What could he possibly have been thinking? This is what is so alarming about his words."

Bennett stood by his comments Thursday night.

"I was putting forward a hypothetical proposition. Put that forward. Examined it. And then said about it that it's morally reprehensible. To recommend abortion of an entire group of people in order to lower your crime rate is morally reprehensible. But this is what happens when you argue that the ends can justify the means," he told CNN.

"I'm not racist, and I'll put my record up against theirs," referring to Pelosi and other critics. "I've been a champion of the real civil rights issue of our times -- equal educational opportunities for kids."

"We've got to have candor and talk about these things while we reject wild hypotheses," Bennett said.

"I don't think people have the right to be angry, if they look at the whole thing. But if they get a selective part of my comment, I can see why they would be angry. If somebody thought I was advocating that, they ought to be angry. I would be angry."

"But that's not what I advocate."

Asked if he owed people an apology, Bennett replied, "I don't think I do. I think people who misrepresented my view owe me an apology."

Bennett served as Reagan's chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1981-1985 and secretary of education from 1985-1988. From 1989-1990, he served as "drug czar" in the administration of the elder Bush.

Rush called on "my friends, the responsible Republicans" to rebuke the former Cabinet official by backing a House resolution condemning his remarks as "outrageous racism of the most bigoted and ignorant kind."

"Where is the indignation from the GOP, as one of their prominent members talk about aborting an entire race of Americans as a way of ridding this country of crime?" asked Rush, a former Black Panther. "How ridiculous! How asinine! How insane can one be?"

He called instead for "aborting" Republican policies "which have hurt the disadvantaged, the poor, average Americans for the benefit of large corporations."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he was "appalled" by Bennett's remarks.

"The Republican Party has recently taken great pains to reach out to the African-American community, and I hope that they will be swift in condemning Mr. Bennett's comments as nothing short of callous and ignorant," said Reid, D-Nevada.

And Bruce Gordon, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded an apology from Bennett and the Salem Radio Network, which airs his radio program.

"In 2005, there is no place for the kind of racist statement made by Bennett," Gordon said in a written statement. "While the entire nation is trying to help survivors, black and white, to recover from the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it is unconscionable for Bennett to make such ignorant and insensitive comments."

A man who answered the phone at the network said no one would be available to comment until Friday.

Bennett's 1993 repackaging of traditional morality tales, "The Book of Virtues," became a bestseller, and Bennett became a popular lecturer on moral issues. But in 2003, stung by news reports that he had lost millions of dollars in Las Vegas and Atlantic City over the last decade, he publicly renounced gambling and vowed to stay away from the slots from then on.

He is a Fox News contributor and chairman of "Americans for Victory over Terrorism," which his Web site calls "a project dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public opinion as the war on terrorism moves forward."

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Last edited by Chxta; October 2nd, 2005 at 08:29.
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 12:01
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When posting a news article, can you please also post your own opinion on it?

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 13:19
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Theoretically, he is correct. If you were to abort all black children, then the crime rate would go down...

...and the same would happen if you were to abort all white children or all children in general.

So I am not sure what his point was. Did he mean to state the obvious, like I did above? Then it was not necessary, especially not in such a way. Did he mean to state that blacks are responsible for more crimes than other races? Then he still could have said it in another manner and also provided some statistics.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 13:46
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Bennett was responding to a hypothesis put forward by a caller to his show. The caller (Lewis, from Sarasota, FL, whoever he is) suggested that Roe v Wade created a population dip in the last quarter of the 20th Century, the result of which was a smaller workforce to support the ageing population. Effectively, 'Lewis' said that abortion should be illegal, on the grounds that it creates economic problems.

Remember that William Bennett is anti-abortion, and was faced with a caller presenting an argument that Bennett refuted, but one that supported his own point of view. He decided that, as a good host, he had to play the devil's advocate, and so characterised his caller's argument in a somewhat unfavourable light. His comment in full was:

BENNETT: ...I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don't know. I mean, it cuts both - you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well -

CALLER: Well, I don't think that statistic is accurate.

BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But 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. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.


He clearly states that it would be reprehensible, ridiculous, and the recourse of someone with the sole purpose of reducing crime. Those are all true. His argument is entirely justified and valid, although slightly illogical (he attempted to reduce to the absurd, but, like most people, doesn't understand the term). With the exception of some logical loose ends, there was nothing wrong with what he said.

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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 14:41
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He may have said it in that context - but what a wally to have used the example of aborting all black babies will reduce the crime rate. I mean did what kind of reaction did he expect after that? With the white-black divide currently in the news after Katrina, to have a politician come out with a sentence like that is pure stupidity.

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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 15:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalya
to have a politician come out with a sentence like that is pure stupidity.
Without checking, I believe Mr. Bennett is no longer in government and is a private citizen and entitled to discuss any topic on his radio show.

Also, I would like to mention that while you all have your knickers in a twist over his statement, meanwhile in China people are being arrested and forced to have sterilizations and abortions in order to enforce the government's one child only policies. Amazing that nobody at XT can take a minute from their America bashing to discuss a REAL PROBLEM and not just some hypothetical verbage on a radio show.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...785728,00.html

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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 15:46
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Humbird, I'm not bashing the States, I'm saying Bennet is an idiot to say something that will be splashed all over the media in the way this has. But thank you for correcting me on his status, it's been reported as "Republican Bennet said ...."

And for China, I don't think anyone here is in agreement with their enforced abortion policy

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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 15:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalya
Humbird, I'm not bashing the States, I'm saying Bennet is an idiot to say something that will be splashed all over the media in the way this has. But thank you for correcting me on his status, it's been reported as "Republican Bennet said ...."
I meant CXTA for starting the thread. Also, just because someone is a republican or democrat doesn't mean they are a politician. It's not the same thing. Otherwise, I will defer to Bastin, whose analysis of the sitation was spot on as usual.

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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 17:29
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Oh, I didn't realise that was the case, in the UK if someone is reported as being Labour, Tory or Lib Dem they are politicians.

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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 19:01
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addendum to Bastin's analysis. I believed the topice was sparked by the book "Freakonomics" which you can google yourselves or look up on Amazon. One of the theories of that book is that crime rates have declined because of abortions of unwanted children.

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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old October 2nd, 2005, 19:34 Thread Starter
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Sorry Boyo. Correction taken.

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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old October 3rd, 2005, 14:36
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When you read what he said in full context, he didn't say anything wrong. If I were to say that "It would be wrong for me to say that "racism is good"". I could be taken out of context by saying that "racism is good".

Read carefully the whole conversation and you will see that he was doing the exact same thing .... making a rediculous statement and then refutiating it to make a point.

I could make anyone here a target and take something out of context to make you look like most anything I wanted. You have to take this kind of incident in stride and use just a little bit of common sense.

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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 03:37
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agreed

but woudlnt of it been better if he used a different example

one with less shock value...and why not say white babies, something that would probably be skipped over and not noted

why use blacks....

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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 14:13
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Originally Posted by Lav
agreed

but woudlnt of it been better if he used a different example

one with less shock value...and why not say white babies, something that would probably be skipped over and not noted

why use blacks....
Because he didn't make these comments out of context and he was trying to make a very strong statement about life.
Quite frankly, it all comes down to what point you are trying to make. If you don't like the man or what he stands for, you can attempt to discredit him by quoting out of context.
If, on the other hand, you believe in fair play ....

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 15:10
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What is up with these far right lunatics?

Another one in Britain a conservative councillor said that disabled people should be killed – euthanasia, to save the state some money.

His logic is these people bring nothing to society, a bunch of parasites, leeches of you like who suck us dry :rollani:

Disgusting, these are some of the same ideas as a certain Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Why cant they just shut the **** up?
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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 15:16
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Ack, this could have been a nice thread, but it's over a bit soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chxta
Sorry Boyo. Correction taken.
You still didn't give your opinion on it though.

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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 16:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Pac
What is up with these far right lunatics?

Another one in Britain a conservative councillor said that disabled people should be killed – euthanasia, to save the state some money.

His logic is these people bring nothing to society, a bunch of parasites, leeches of you like who suck us dry :rollani:

Disgusting, these are some of the same ideas as a certain Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Why cant they just shut the **** up?
I rest my case!!

... and for every one of these you find, I can find one on the left just as idiotic. So what?

BTW ... if your going to make such outragous comments as you have here, produce the quote you cite. I can make up crap too, doesn't make it so.

To suggest what Secratary Bennet said was even remotely in line with the other story is idiotic.

As I, and even those that don't agree with the Secretary's comment, have said, you can't take his comment out of context. It's not fair to him and those the comment seemingly slanders.

So, don't just jump on a bandwagon to jump on unless you have something constructive to say ... your 3rd reich comment is out of line and has no place in this conversation.

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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 16:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Pac
What is up with these far right lunatics?

Another one in Britain a conservative councillor said that disabled people should be killed – euthanasia, to save the state some money.

His logic is these people bring nothing to society, a bunch of parasites, leeches of you like who suck us dry :rollani:

Disgusting, these are some of the same ideas as a certain Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Why cant they just shut the **** up?
Did you hear what happened in Florida with that brain dead women? The far right was begging to plug the plug on her.
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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 16:51
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Originally Posted by croatian batman
Did you hear what happened in Florida with that brain dead women? The far right was begging to plug the plug on her.

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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old October 4th, 2005, 19:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Pac
What is up with these far right lunatics?

Another one in Britain a conservative councillor said that disabled people should be killed – euthanasia, to save the state some money.

His logic is these people bring nothing to society, a bunch of parasites, leeches of you like who suck us dry :rollani:

Disgusting, these are some of the same ideas as a certain Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Why cant they just shut the **** up?
Another comment being taken completely out of context. The proposal was to remove disabled children from Swindon, and take them to special homes in Devon and Cornwall. The councillor, deputy mayor of Swindon and a retired GP objected. He said that it would be harmful to children, as it would separate them from their families, who were the only people that could truly care for them. He used the words "one might as well guillotine the children from their families", and the left-wing cries about the use of the word guillotine in relation to children. The metaphor was understood by everyone except a single Liberal Democrat colleague, who then told the media her fantasy. Every special-needs group has sided with the councillor in question, saying that, his argument was entirely correct, and the policy that he opposed were ignorant.

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