Friday, September 30, 2005

The Values of William Bennett

This is an early twelfth-century ivory from León in Spain. It is not a picture of William Bennett. Why? Because no matter what, I want this site to look good, and Bennett is one ugly hypocritical racist pathological gambler.

Bennett made the following remark on his radio show:

"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.”

Of course he was criticized for saying this, and he responded. His quotes were taken out of context, he says. Does this mean that he was making an observation about the racism inherent in our way of collecting and presenting statistical data? Is there any other way these words could have a context that could show them to have redeeming value? And even if there was, did Bennett apologize for saying something that could be misconstrued in an inflammatory way?

No, no, no. Bennett did not apologize. Rather, he said, “I think people who misrepresented my view owe me an apology." He didn’t really support aborting every black baby in this country, although he thinks it would work (I suppose any kind of abortion is a problem for him). His argument was against the idea that “the ends justify the means.”

What is implied here is the idea that there is an intrinsic, not merely statistical, connection between race and crime. It has nothing to do with the structure of society, but with the color of one’s skin. This is foul racism, pure and simple.

It is not surprising to find such claims coming from the right in this country. Although the Republican party PR machine has done a good job of taking advantage of the fact that the only thing the Democratic party really does for Afro-Americans is to show up at their churches every four years, the Republican party is still the party of Trent Lott, suppression of the Black vote, and a policy war against the poor in general and the Black population in particular. Bennett, however, is a great symbol of the stench that lay under the perfume of their “moral values.” I don’t care if he wants to gamble away his money, but he shouldn’t do so while hypocritically decrying the moral decay of the nation. More disturbing are his views on the origin of crime. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the following important moral values: the fight against racism, poverty, and war. You want Bible quotes, just let me know. Just don’t go asking a scumbag like Bennett for advice on values.


Anonymous said...

what do you know about the Santiago military/religious order of Leon?

Liam said...

I just noticed your comment. What do you want to know about the order?