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30 September 2005 @ 12:24 pm
Racism slips out and gay rights takes a step back  
According to William Bennett, 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." Notice he didn't say, "unwanted" or "underprivileged" or "poor" babies, just "black." The context of this remark was a discussion of the theory expressed in a recent book that the crime rate has gone down since abortion was legalized as the babies who were unwanted and might have grown up in poverty or foster care, being more likely to engage in criminal activities as a result, were aborted instead. If they lived they would presumably be adult criminals now--or at least a substantial portion of them would. No one is claiming they were all destined for a life of crime. Yet apparently Bennett feels comfortable saying that all black babies are.

Of course he backed away from his statement: "Responding later to criticism, Bennett said his comments had been mischaracterized and that his point was that the idea of supporting abortion to reduce crime was 'morally reprehensible.' " Yet with these attitudes so ingrained that they slipped out in public remarks, imagine the impact he had as education secretary under President Reagan.

Senate minority leader Harry Reid was "appalled by Mr. Bennett's remarks" and called on him "to issue an immediate apology not only to African Americans but to the nation."

Yesterday Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the gay marriage bill in California citing the court case that's winding its way through the system to decide the constitutionality of the voter proposition defining marriage as between a man and a woman. "If the ban of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional this bill is not necessary," he said. "If the ban is constitutional this bill is ineffective." He must have worked hard to come up with a way to veto it that would appease his conservative voters and simultaneously try to avoid upsetting his liberal supporters too much. In the end it is just the wishy washy middle of the road position that satisfies neither side.