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Old 09-30-2005, 09:04 AM   #1
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William Bennett Speaks "Hypothetically" About Crime

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/...nts/index.html

Hypothetically speaking Bill, your words are very poorly chosen and highly inappropriate, and that's being kind

"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."
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:06 AM   #2
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I feel sick to my stomach.
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:07 AM   #3
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I feel sick to my stomach too. Why would a human being ever say something like that?
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:10 AM   #4
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I believe it is called racism.
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:18 AM   #5
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This will surely make black people such as the ones in New Orleans feel even more loved than they do now.
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:32 AM   #6
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I am so embarrassed right now.
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:04 AM   #7
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i really enjoy these slips of the tongues -- i don't think he misspoke, i think he was just being honest, inadvertantly, and i do think that every now and again we do get a sense of how rich, white, privileged, powerful, conservative, political people view the world -- we saw it with Trent Lott, with Barbara Bush, and now with "morals czar" Bill Bennett.

it's not that they hate black people; it's just that if you're black, you're not a person to them.
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i really enjoy these slips of the tongues -- i don't think he misspoke, i think he was just being honest, inadvertantly, and i do think that every now and again we do get a sense of how rich, white, privileged, powerful, conservative, political people view the world -- we saw it with Trent Lott, with Barbara Bush, and now with "morals czar" Bill Bennett.

it's not that they hate black people; it's just that if you're black, you're not a person to them.

And I think you are just jumping to conclusions becuse you don't like the guy...Has anyone ever heard of context around here? I guess not. Anyway before, jumping down my throat hear me out. I listen to Benett's show many mornings...racism is something he could never be accused of. About what he said, he was talking with a caller about justification for abortions. As everyone in here probably knows, Bennett is firmly anti-abortion. The caller was trying to make some justifications for abortion which Bennett disagreed with. He pretty much said, "ok if you wanna go down that road, here is another argument that could be made for abortion which I think is morally reprehensible. The black population does committ proportionally more crime than other races." I think he was referring to studies that have been produced that stated the effects of abortion on the crime rate. I am shocked that people in here who should know Bennett's stand regarding abortion would actually take his comments verbatim. To me it sounds like "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift.

Please, think before speaking and do a little research and background checking before flaming the guy.
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Old 09-30-2005, 11:16 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Ft. Worth Frog



And I think you are just jumping to conclusions becuse you don't like the guy...Has anyone ever heard of context around here? I guess not. Anyway before, jumping down my throat hear me out. I listen to Benett's show many mornings...racism is something he could never be accused of. About what he said, he was talking with a caller about justification for abortions. As everyone in here probably knows, Bennett is firmly anti-abortion. The caller was trying to make some justifications for abortion which Bennett disagreed with. He pretty much said, "ok if you wanna go down that road, here is another argument that could be made for abortion which I think is morally reprehensible. The black population does committ proportionally more crime than other races." I think he was referring to studies that have been produced that stated the effects of abortion on the crime rate. I am shocked that people in here who should know Bennett's stand regarding abortion would actually take his comments verbatim. To me it sounds like "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift.

Please, think before speaking and do a little research and background checking before flaming the guy.


believe it or not, i know a lot more about Bill Bennett than you'd think. he was an alumnus of my college, and he was known for calling up the Dean's Office on a regular basis to complain that the curriculum was too liberal, too concened with race and class and gender, and he was concerned as to why we were no longer reading for values only. i've read much of his writings, and i always pay attention when he's blustering on Larry King or whoever, because of this college connection.

his extreme outrage at the Clinton blowjob was utterly undermined by his massive gambling problems and debt, and i think we can argue that gambling is far more "immoral" than blowjobs, since gambling ruins lives and wrecks the savings of many elderly people.

as for the comment, i understand how it's following a chain of logic, but i also think that for such an option to occur to him is indicative of precisely the attitudes i enumerated in my post. like i said, i don't think he'd ever consider himself a racist. same with Trent Lott or even Barbara Bush. what i do think, and i think his comments are indicative of this perhaps subconscious attitude, is that black people -- especially poor black people -- aren't fully human in his eyes.

does Bennett have to say explicitly racist things or use racial slurs for us to call him a racist? i don't think so -- i think he holds racist attitudes and notions, but this is more due to his rather extreme privilege, his life in an ivory tower, his wealth, and his enormous self-absorption.
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Old 09-30-2005, 11:29 AM   #10
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So the simple fact that he mentions this option makes him a racist? It seems to me that he was pointing out the fallacies of the caller's arguments while at the same time trying to expose what he perceives as one of the problems with abortion-that it affects blacks more than others, and also that it can be used for racial purposes. I have heard him complain about that many times, that many black women are the ones getting abortions and how this is one of the tragedies of abortions. I don't think this is the thread for debating abortion, but that is his belief.
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Old 09-30-2005, 11:51 AM   #11
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Bennett's comment is an inapproapriate way to say that there is a higher crime rate among African Americans.

A broader context of the comments from the radio show would help a bit, but it seems enough to give him the Trent Lott treatment.
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Old 09-30-2005, 11:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
From the September 28 broadcast of Salem Radio Network's Bill Bennett's Morning in America:

CALLER: I noticed the national media, you know, they talk a lot about the loss of revenue, or the inability of the government to fund Social Security, and I was curious, and I've read articles in recent months here, that the abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade, the lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30-something years, could fund Social Security as we know it today. And the media just doesn't -- never touches this at all.

BENNETT: Assuming they're all productive citizens?

CALLER: Assuming that they are. Even if only a portion of them were, it would be an enormous amount of revenue.

BENNETT: Maybe, maybe, but we don't know what the costs would be, too. I think as -- abortion disproportionately occur among single women? No.

CALLER: I don't know the exact statistics, but quite a bit are, yeah.

BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don't know. 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.
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Old 09-30-2005, 11:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ft. Worth Frog
So the simple fact that he mentions this option makes him a racist? It seems to me that he was pointing out the fallacies of the caller's arguments while at the same time trying to expose what he perceives as one of the problems with abortion-that it affects blacks more than others, and also that it can be used for racial purposes. I have heard him complain about that many times, that many black women are the ones getting abortions and how this is one of the tragedies of abortions. I don't think this is the thread for debating abortion, but that is his belief.


no, it's not that it makes him a racist, it makes him the holder of a racist view of a particular segment of the population.

here's the distinction: as i understand it, Bennett's remark was apparently inspired by the claim that legalized abortion has reduced crime rates from the book _Freakonomics_.

however, the book argues that aborted fetuses would have been more likely to grow up poor and in single-parent or teenage-parent households and therefore more likely to commit crimes; they did not simply use race as the basis for their judgement, as Bennett did.
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Old 09-30-2005, 12:00 PM   #14
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But he doesn't actually HOLD that view. Isn't that the point? Or do we toss that out in favor of something that falls more in line with our political views?
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Old 09-30-2005, 12:11 PM   #15
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Originally posted by Ft. Worth Frog
But he doesn't actually HOLD that view. Isn't that the point? Or do we toss that out in favor of something that falls more in line with our political views?


to use race as the basis for lowering the crime rate is a racist notion; to use socio-economic status as a basis for lowering the crime rate (and, yes, socio-economic status is often "race-ed") isn't a racist notion because it points to quantifiable factors as reasons for higher crime rates and within that it is implicit that it isn't race that causes one to commit crimes but where one is born.

as Bennett stated it, it is race that makes one more likely to commit crimes. that is a racist notion.

did he misspeak? probably. does this indicate a lack of awareness? yes.
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