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Ed Driscoll

Riding the Eugenics Mobius Loop

August 8th, 2012 - 12:48 pm
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Ed Morrissey links to the video above which features, as the headline at Hot Air notes, an “Abortionist [who] challenges protesters to adopt ‘ugly black babies:’”

Charlotte abortionist Ashutosh Ron Virmani was caught on camera telling pro-lifers to “adopt one of those ugly black babies.” …

Virmani defended his practice of abortion as an effort to save taxpayers money and prevent crime.  “I as a taxpayer do not wish to pay for those babies to be born and brought up; and kill those people in Colorado,” he said in reference to the Colorado theatre killer.

Notably, the Colorado killer who killed 13 and injured 58 moviegoers was a physically healthy white male born to a middle-class couple.

Operation Save America representatives can be heard on the video saying, “We will adopt them.”

As Ed writes, “Virmani offered up an argument that is not at all unique, but is rarely put so baldly.” The ugly quote from Virmani shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who’s been paying attention. As Jonah Goldberg wrote of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) in Liberal Fascism, and excerpted at NRO back in 2008 in “A Dark Past: Contraception, abortion, and the eugenics movement:”

In 1939 Sanger created the above-mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The project’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes…is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s intent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

It is possible that Sanger didn’t really want to “exterminate” the Negro population so much as merely limit its growth. Still, many in the black community saw it that way and remained rightly suspicious of the Progressives’ motives. It wasn’t difficult to see that middle-class whites who consistently spoke of “race suicide” at the hands of dark, subhuman savages might not have the best interests of blacks in mind. This skepticism persisted within the black community for decades. Someone who saw the relationship between abortion and race from a less trusting perspective telegrammed Congress in 1977 to tell them that abortion amounted to “genocide against the black race.” And he added, in block letters, “AS A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE I MUST OPPOSE THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR A POLICY OF KILLING INFANTS.” This was Jesse Jackson, who changed his position when he decided to seek the Democratic nomination.

Just a few years ago, the racial eugenic “bonus” of abortion rights was something one could only admit among those fully committed to the cause, and even then in politically correct whispers. No more. Increasingly, this argument is acceptable on the left, as are arguments in favor of eugenics generally.

In 2005 the acclaimed University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt broke the taboo with his critical and commercial hit Freakonomics (co-written with Stephen Dubner). The most sensational chapter in the book updated a paper Levitt had written in 1999 which argued that abortion cuts crime. “Legalized abortion led to less unwantedness; unwantedness leads to high crime; legalized abortion, therefore, led to less crime.” Freakonomics excised all references to race and never connected the facts that because the aborted fetuses were disproportionately black and blacks disproportionately contribute to the crime rate, reducing the size of the black population reduces crime. Yet the press coverage acknowledged this and didn’t seem to mind.

In 2005 William Bennett, a committed pro-lifer, invoked the Levitt argument in order to denounce eugenic thinking. “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.” What seemed to offend liberals most was that Bennett had accidentally borrowed some conventional liberal logic to make a conservative point, and, as with the social Darwinists of yore, that makes liberals quite cross. According to the New York Times’s Bob Herbert, Bennett believed “exterminating blacks would be a most effective crime-fighting tool.” Various liberal spokesmen, including Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, said Bennett wanted to exterminate “black babies.” Juan Williams proclaimed that Bennett’s remarks speak “to a deeply racist mindset.”

Searching Google on “Juan Williams” and “Virmani” doesn’t appear come up with anything substantive regarding the above clip; we’ll let you know if that changes.

Related: Michael Coren at Catholic.org on “The Barbaric Vision of ‘Progressive’ Heroes: The voices may be different but the song, as they say, remains the same.”

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