Ed Driscoll

Politi-'fact' Tosses Margaret Sanger's Racism Down the Memory Hole

It’s always fun watching modern-day “Progressives” wrestle and explain away, Ministry of Truth-style, their ideology’s dark race-obsessed past. PolitiFact, the left-wing opinion Website site set up by Tampa Bay Times notes that “NH Rep. Bill O’Brien says Margaret Sanger was active participant in KKK.” But hey, it’s OK, because she merely gave speeches to them:

Debates about Planned Parenthood often find their way back to Margaret Sanger, the outspoken birth control advocate who founded a forerunner to the group.

Opponents of Planned Parenthood, and of abortion more generally, have seized on Sanger’s sometimes controversial beliefs as a way to discredit the organization that she helped found. Such was the case on Feb. 8, 2015, when former New Hampshire speaker of the House William O’Brien posted a lengthy online comment about a previous fact check.

O’Brien writes, in his first paragraph: “In language that would only occur to one of the liberal elite, here is what Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and an active participant in the Klu Klux Klan and the eugenics movement, had to say about the immigrants, blacks and poor people for whom that organization’s services were targeted,” going on to quote Sanger as saying they were “human beings who never should have been born.”

That’s a lot to unpack.

There is little question that Sanger supported the eugenics movement (more on that later), but one statement really stuck out. Sanger was “an active participant in the Ku Klux Klan.”

PolitiFact NH decided to check it out.

It turns out, Sanger did speak to a group connected to the KKK and wrote about it openly. In Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, published in 1938, Sanger details her work advocating birth control across the United States and emphasizes her willingness to talk to virtually anyone.

“Always to me any aroused group was a good group,” Sanger writes, “and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey, one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.”

**********It’s important to note that the Women of the Ku Klux Klan was not the KKK itself. It was a parallel, official organization, with branches in all 48 states. It supported the goals of the men’s group, and was based in Little Rock, Ark.

And that’s a far cry from being an “active participant” in the Ku Klux Klan, as O’Brien claims.

As for Sanger, she indeed supported the eugenics movement.

While the notion that the human race could be perfected by better breeding led to a horrific outcome in the Holocaust, it had been widely accepted in progressive, reformist political circles. Supporters included Winston Churchill, H. G. Wells, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, George Bernard Shaw and economist John Maynard Keynes. And while he disagreed with and worked to debunk eugenicists who insisted on black people’s inferiority, African-American activist W. E. B. Du Bois subscribed to a number of the movement’s principles.

In other words, supporting eugenics did not automatically equal racism. Jean H. Baker, who wrote the biography Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion and is the Bennett-Harwood professor of history at Goucher College in Maryland, says attempts to paint Sanger as a bigot are simply false.

This is positively Orwellian — the very definition of eugenics, an early 20th century movement embraced by self-styled “Progressives” on both sides of the Atlantic, implies breeding out races deemed “inferior” and strengthening those deemed acceptable. Or as Jonah Goldberg wrote in “A Dark Past: Contraception, abortion, and the eugenics movement:”

One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: “Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.” When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League.

* * * * * * * * *

n 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.”

And 75 years later, Politifact is still eager to play along, “Unexpectedly.”

Oh and by the way, Sanger was playing up her obsession with abortion and population control even after World War II, a battle that between eugenics and more conventional warfare, helped to reduce the population by 60 million. That”s her being interviewed by England’s Pathe News Agency in 1947, under her married name, Margaret Slee:

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“O’Brien’s claim goes far beyond the evidence. We rate the statement False,” Polti-“fact” claims, happy to hide as much evidence as possible that the religion of “Progressivism” was built on the original sin of both Eugenics and the Klan.