Bill Bennett Races to Judgment

The crime rate would go down in the U.S. if blacks were aborted, former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett said during his nationally syndicated radio show yesterday:

... 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.

The belief that a particular race is more prone to criminality is often based on rates of incarceration, such as a Bureau of Justice Statistics report that blacks have an 18.6 percent lifetime chance of being incarcerated, compared to 10 percent for Hispanics and 3.4 percent for whites.

Judging this solely on the basis of current incarceration is both extremely ugly and misleading. Other contributory factors are ignored, such as a 2004 poverty rate for blacks that's 24.7 percent, three times as high as that for whites, and the fact that minorities are significantly more likely to be arrested and convicted than whites who commit the same offenses.

There's also the tragic generational consequences of a parent's incarceration, which increase the chance a child will end up in prison later in life.

Bennett could have made the same point using gender instead of race -- males are 10 times as likely to be incarcerated as women, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

By choosing to make this about race and single out blacks, Bennett engaged in one of the uglier examples of race baiting I've heard from a national radio host, even though he tried to qualify his thoughts by admitting they were "morally reprehensible." I hope he has the decency to offer a full apology.

Update: Matthew Yglesias, perhaps fishing for another Yglesias Award, defends Bennett on TPM Cafe, while Rep. John Conyers calls for his suspension.


Maybe Bill Bennett could offer some light on what would have resulted if white males of his generation had all been aborted.

Perhaps less war and war atrocities, or maybe Black Men would have made different choices had they not had to fight oppressive ideology of the white male culture for the past 50 years.

Obviously Mr. Bennett has pulled the lever and 5 different fruits have come up...A Loser

I wonder if he even realizes what he said?

Apparently he is not very serious about "Education" because if he were , he would realize it is the answer to lowering crime...

Blacks and Mexicans-get rid of them all

Hell, why not just abort every child conceived between, say, tomorrow and Christmas?

Oh, dang...that's right. The Romans tried something like that, didn't they?

I didn't hear the radio program, but it sounds like Bennett was referencing one of the issues discussed in detail in the book Freakonomics: the effect of Roe v. Wade on the crime rate 18 years after the ruling. However, it's a ridiculous statement for Bennett to make outside the context of a carefully worded explanation. Ironically, the point of the book is that such statistics are often used by people like Bennett and his opponents in ways that confuse correlations with causes and are used to reinforce stereotypes and conventional, yet wrong, wisdom.

A law that mandated the abortion of all new blacks would result in a massive race war, drastically increasing crime in the short term. A number of long-term scenarios are possible:

1) Victory: a black army takes over the American government, instituting reparations on a huge scale. National depression is inevitable due to the economic upset this would cause. Newly poor whites would fill the crime vacuum left by newly rich blacks.

2) Loss: after decisive military action by an army weakened by a loss of black soldiers, but strenghthened by a surge of white enlistment) surviving insurgents would be either jailed or returned to their devastated neighborhoods. In other words, the status quo.

Neither scenario results in a net decrease in crime.

Could it be that the black culture perpetuates behaviors and life styles that have a higher probability of leading to inappropriate behavior...perhaps you think that's a racist statement?

May be it's inverted racism to not talk about the forbidden topics of what's wrong with black cultural nroms...hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I find Bennett to be an offensive gasbag, another of an endless line of personality-disordered busybodies that we foolishly attend to. That being said, what is this business about demanding public apologies? -- it sounds very 'Mao-ish cultural revolutionary re-education process' to me. Spooky.

By the by, the offense rates (and victim rates) for blacks and homicide are wildly disproportionate when compared to whites. Nothing to do with incarceration, either. Just an unpleasant fact.

What part of "I hope he has the decency to offer a full apology" constitutes a demand?

Bennett-style Logic:1. Most serial killers are men.2. We want to eliminate serial killing.3. Aborting unborn male babies will put an end to serial killing.

When one looks at a sonogram of an unborn black baby, one does not know the future of that child. He could grow up to be a Thurgood Marshall, a Will Smith or a Colin Powell. But Bennett assumes the unborn black child will be a criminal.

Racism aside Bennett's claim doesn't hold water. During the Clinton years the number of abortions decreased and crime decreased as well. During the Bush administration the number of abortions has increased. I don't have the statistics on whether crime has increased or decreased under Bush, but Christian ethicists puzzled by the decrease in abortions under Clinton and the increase under Bush looked into this and discovered that during good economic times (especially when the poor and middle class do better as they did under Clinton) abortions decrease. Women able to have decent paying jobs with decent medical coverage are willing to continue their pregnancies believing that they will be able to provide financially and from a healthcare perspective for their children. During worse economic times (especially when the poor and middle class do worse as they have under Bush) abortions increase. Women without jobs or with lower paying jobs or no medical coverage are unwilling to continue their pregnancies believing that they will *NOT* be able to provide financially and from a healthcare perspective for their children. Similarly, historically crime has increased during bad economic times and decreased during good economic times due to the needs of those willing to enter a life of crime to make ends meet. If we can increase the outlook of poor and middle class from a jobs and healthcare standpoint abortions and crime go down. Instead of tax breaks for the wealthy we should focus on decent paying jobs creation here in the US and better healthcare options. It is a win-win solution unless you happen to be a rich person wanting more of a tax break. Like Bush and his "base."


Your Honor, the witness is being non-responsive.

The promise of the 2-way web (aka the blogosphere) has devolved into a cesspit of "Journals Of Outrage", followed by demands for apologies, worded more of less politely (eg. "I am outraged that (Bennett said this | Bush did or didn't do that | Clinton spilled this | etc) and I think the body politic won't be healed till he makes a public apology.") The apology serves the purpose of a collectivist show trial, publicly humiliates the miscreant, allows the assembled multitude a moment of triumph, re-inforces the group mores, and accomplishes...well, nothing.

Bill Bennett makes his living expressing ideas. If criticizing one of his ideas and urging an apology is a "collectivist show trial," I can only imagine what you would have called it if I urged his suspension, as Rep. Conyers did this afternoon.

Bennett should do the right thing and acknowledge a mistake, which would help reinforce the notion that what he said was outside the boundaries of reasonable discourse.

It's comparable to the rebuke the late Samuel Francis received when he used his syndicated newspaper column to criticize race mixing.

An idea doesn't become outside the mainstream on its own. It has to be pushed.

Bill Bennett is Scumbag, somebody needs to informed this racist, that crimes have been committed by the majority culture, for hundreds of years in this country. The Atlantic ocean is filled with over 90 million African skeletons from the midddle passage of slavery. Also ten's of millions of Native Americans have been slaughtered throughout this country history. So tell me Mr Bennett who are the real criminal's!! That hide behind suits and and steal money from unsuspecting employees in these fancy corporate offices ,spread accross the country setting up Good Ole Boy Networks to suppress and keep down minorities, So they cannot compete on a truly level playing field. White folks throughout history have been responsible for genocide and autrocities crimes unimaginable and unthinkable but true against unsuspecting peace loving people the world over! So tell me what's criminal.

"...which would help reinforce the notion that what he said was outside the boundaries of reasonable discourse..."

That, sir, is profoundly un-American. I am appalled that a person of obviously progressive sensibilities would embrace such a right-wing, censorious agenda. What's next, book burning? No, wait a minute. I am outraged. I must ask you for an apology.

Perhaps the entire quote should be posted. Could be not much of a story. Why do you liberals always try to decieve?

There are negative points that can be pointed out about ALL races.. I mean, what race is it exactly, that breeds the most serial killers? How about Kids building bombs in their homes? I mean, who are any of us to sit here in judgement of the other race? We ALL are HUMAN!! We ALL come from the same place! Some of the things that have been said on this board are extremely hurtful. I guess this is a good thing though, WE (blacks) have always known how most of YOU feel about US, even when it's not discussed. WE know what is said in the privacy of your home. At least NOW, we can look you in the eyes when HATE comes out of your mouths!!

Is it censorship to admit when your wrong, when the facts clearly dispute one's assertion? No one can argue that Bennett dosn't have the right to make wild unprovable claims, but it seems over the last few months that a number of rightwing figureheads have gone out of their way to reveal the depraved depths of their compassionate conservatism. From calls for political assassination to genocide these guys are the source of more contempt than any other segment of the political spectrum. All in all we can't be to surprised or offended by Bennett, Bennett has gotten to where he's at on the coat tails of the bigots of yesterday, nothing more than a lackey who other than this 5 minutes of fame has only garnered the attention of like minded extremist and old time Macarthy era ideologues. His contribution to education in America are minimal, he had an opportunity to work for a better America for all Americans but instead used his influence to maintain the status quo. He will never be remembered as being a statesman, only as a mouth piece for beligerancy and ignorance with little or no class to boot.

African Americans for the most part are not surprised at the attempts many "whites" make to hold someone else anyone else responsible for their own lack of morals and behaviors. Bill Bennett is a criminal with all sorts of virtue problems. He's not man enough to admit those unless caught red-necked...I'm sorry Red handed. So everyday he tries to focus attention of 13% of the population rather than admit he and his own children are the real gamblers, pimps and drug abusers in this country. The Bush offspring have committed more crime in the last 6 years than any of the hundreds of African Americans I know. Lets try aborting spoiled rich white children of powerful people. I'm sure the Secret Service thinks about this everyday.

i have many black friends, and mexican friends. and i am as white as it gets.

having a 4 yr. old myself.

kids of all color and background, are just like puppies.
Look at HAMMAS...
They hate, and they don't know what they hate, their folks just tell them to hate. so they do...

you can get a pit-bull or a doberman to be the nicest dog in the world.

it is all about, who brings them up in this world.

bring them up right,
most don't have a chance.

and let me guess you morons, it's BUSH's fault... Get a clue.

What Bill Bennet said is true. You come back with facts about poverty and social injustice which are also correct but if they were aborted then poverty and the social injustices would not exist. From his statement he did not advocate this but was simply making an observation. The same argumnet would apply if Bill Bennet stated that aborting all the children of high school graduates would decrease white collar crime.

I am a relative newcomer to talk radio/and current news in general.Never really took much of an interest but the uselessness of the MSM has forced me to search elsewhere for information that is not puppeteered. I've found great deals of good info and of course loads of crap as well (See Bill Bennett's comment)What has amazed me is how wrong my assumption that people in media are educated well versed individuals was. Mr. Bennett's ridiculous comments are just one more case of idiocy behind a microphone.

Bennett should do the right thing and acknowledge a mistake, which would help reinforce the notion that what he said was outside the boundaries of reasonable discourse.

Rcade, pony up some audio so that I can hear the inflection in Bennetts voice that tells me he was only qualifying his thoughts.

Bennett was taking issue with the hypothesis of a recent book that concluded that crime was down because abortion was up.

Media Matters has the audio. Listening to Bennett squirm on Hannity & Colmes last night was fun.

Media Matters has the audio.

Sorry, browser trouble accessing blue sites. :)

I can see where your overly sensitive Joe Sixpack would be offended. Had Bennett drawn out the "to do" at the end of his morally reprehensible line he might have a leg to stand on. As it is I think he chose the wrong word. I fall back to my standard line in situations such as these, does that make his statement racist? No, if people were educated they would see this is an instance of bigotry.

The problem this creates is giving race pimps such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan ammunition to stay viable in the nations eye. Plus it creates a shitstorm for him.

His context was correct. Does that make his usage correct? Probably not.

Was it a smart thing to say? No. But you are incorrect in placing ownership of the "acts" on Bennet. He stated that those actions were morally reprehensible. You make it sound as if he personally were going to abort some fetuses.

Regardless, though, these types of discussion have no validity or place in the public arena. Not only is it a morally reprehensible idea, but it does a disservice by trivializing the roots of the problem, which are ignorance and lack of education, which lead to poverty. And it is not a racial problem...apply the same variables to any race and you will get the same outcome. What makes it racial is the fact that poverty is found in greater numbers in African-American communities. If we can, as a nation, figure out why that continues to be the case, crime within the black community will decrease.

And while everyone is making outrageous statements, let me add this: No, Black Americans...Jesse Jackson is not out to help you. He is an opportunist who benefits financially from continued poverty in the community. As long as he can keep you poor and dependent, he will have power.

You say contributory factors are ignored, such as a 24.7% poverty rate among blacks.
Well, why do blacks have such a high rate of poverty.
Could it be because they spurn regular English for ebonics (sic)? Could it be because they exert such peer pressure against any other black who tries to get an education and improve themselves. Could it be because Earl Butz was right? (You explain that one, okay?)

If he said that serial killers could be eliminated if while male children were aborted, ... would that be less offensive.

Wouldn't it be true?

Bennett on Hannity & Colmes:
"Yeah. Yeah. Well, let's see, you got Kennedy. I will -- I'll not take instruction from Teddy Kennedy. A young woman likely drowned because of his negligence. I'll take no moral instruction with him. That's much worse than legal gambling what Teddy Kennedy did. He should make no judgments at all about people. He shouldn't be in the Senate. As far as racist and all this other stuff, I'll put my record up with Howard Dean, with Harry Reid."

It's going to be along century.

Wake up my fellow white people!
This controversy is merely another symptom of a lack of understanding. Here are some facts that seem to be very difficult to understand:
1. Non white people, including black people are human beings!... I know that's hard to accept, but you can handle it if you really try.
2. Just like you, all human beings, regardless, of color have intelligence and feelings. Thats right! Even black people have feelings.
3. Human beings with feelings are understandably depressed and bitter growing up and living in a society that looks down on them and their people.
4. Human beings with feelings don't deserve to hear essentially that the world would be better off if they didn't exist.
5. Whole groups of millions of people are not all crazy, imagining descrimination and feelings of hate against them for no reason.
6. Duhhh! Racism exists in American, and it's not even subtle.
7. After generations of slavery, people needed education and support, but instead they got brutal and ugly hatred, bigotry, and discrimination.
8. The super rich promotes racism to support their laissez-faire agenda by giving poor white people somebody else to blame for their problems besides the callous political agenda of conservatives.
8. The majority of black people are hard working, good Americans, and they deserve to be treated with every bit of respect you would give to a hard working, good American of any color, even white!
By the way, I don't think Bill Bennett should apologize for his statement. He meant what he said.

What he can apologize for, is for being an arrogant, racist pig like so many of his Bush loving buddies. I think that would be a very nice apology.

In regards to joes comment above i would like to present a different theory on the abortion rates under president clinton and president bush. perhaps abortion rates decreased under clinton because the y saw a president that would continue to allow free-loaders to do as they have always done, have one kid-get a little bit of welfare, but, have 10 kids and the sky is the limit. under bush such programs have no gaurantees and those people may be afraid that they may actually have to own up to the irresponsible behavious and actually, cover your eyes if you're a lib, support their family.

I knew James Taranto would have a good take on this.

I think the issue at hand is very frightening and reminds me of the Nazi regime that supported killing Jews to better Germany. Furthermore,since males of all races are more aggressive more likely to committ crime under Bennett's ideas we should about all male fetuses and we would have a more humane, society. Thats of course insane and horrible but this illustration demonstrates the absurdity of his remarks.

If Bennett wanted to stop crime, he'd stop poverty. But painful poverty is a great incentive for poor people to work hard; and well-off people to make sure they don't become poor people.
But poverty is relative. In a room of millionaires, the guy with $999,999 is poor. People in North America have it really good-- even the poorest. A friend went to Mozambique where the poor spend their day begging then roll up on the sidewalk to sleep without so much as a blanket or a cardboard box.
The American Dream is both the Pursuit of Happiness and the Pursuit from Poverty. If you got rid of the misery behind poverty, soon one would wish to be rich.
And to rebutte "old geezer": Black people are more likely to be poor because their social structure was crushed and it's taking a very long time to stitch together new social identity. Everyone who has immigrated has been able to carry a large sum of their culture: language, food, religion, etc.. Blacks lost all of that. What they have tried to restore (e.g. Quanza) actually flies in the face of the traditions of their parents and grandparents.
When you don't have a society, you're in it for yourself. That means you satisfy your own interestes before the interest of family members (the closest tier of society is family). You don't have a legacy to benefit so you don't worry about leaving a positive legacy.
That's why pop culture is so damaging. It says you're free to do what you want any old time. No one has to worry about leaving a positive legacy, so things are going downhill. That's not a Black problem: that a problem that everyone has helped to create.

This reminds me of the closing scenes of the movie "Talk Radio", when Bogosian is totally crushed by the completely unexpected realization that his audience is composed of retards and Clampetts. Hilarious.

Oh, and good flick. Worth a Netflix.

Apparently the point Bennett was making is lost on most people: that you can make a case for any crazy action by using the logic Freakonomics does about abortion and the crime rate. I wouldn't have put it that way, and an apology wouldn't be out of order, but it's hardly something to get worked up about.

If this infuriates you but 1.5 million abortions a year don't make a blip on your screen, you have interesting priorities.

Um...He made a factual coment. Big deal. Blacks talk about how wonderful America would be withour whites all the time.

Hey dumb shits. Here are the facts. Blacks are Morally Bankrupt. Period! If you do not get this then you are simply stupid.

Fact. West Virginis is 98 % white.

Fact: West Virginia is the 49th poorest state in the union.

Fact: West Virginia ranks 49th in crime!

Being poor does not equal a high crime in white America. Only in black America. This proves if anything that gee, blacks really arn't equal...No shit!
They really arn''t white!

If this infuriates you but 1.5 million abortions a year don't make a blip on your screen, you have interesting priorities.

I shouldn't help turn this into an abortion argument, but Bennett's brainfart is running out of entertainment value. I wasn't infuriated; I just wanted him to apologize or get worked over for a news cycle. Scoreboard!

The quantity of abortions is a weird way to frame the issue. Who supports or opposes abortion rights based on how many abortions there are?

I support choice because I don't think the government should be able to compel women to carry a pregnancy from conception to birth. The point at which life begins involves religious and moral judgments that differ from person to person, and Uncle Sam has no business telling someone that birth control is OK but a morning-after pill is murder.

Remember having this argument at the Daily ed board? Professor Westmoreland was indignant that a pro-choice editorial ran in the paper.

Maybe if you all would read the ENTIRE statement, instead of taking bits and pieces of it, you would understand that this was not AT ALL a racist comment. It was a comment about a theory put forth in a book that was written by a Yale professor. His comment was in response to a caller's theory on abortion and economics, and he was using this book to show how off base and wacked the theory is. This is why the liberal Democrats don't stand a chance in the national political arena right now. They always seem to jump on the BITS AND PIECES of any conversation that a conservative figure holds. Anyone can make any conversation sound reprehensible if they were so inclined by taking only what they want people to hear and publishing it. READ THE ENTIRE STATEMENT before jumping on the bandwagon. You'll look less foolish next time.

(Letter I sent Billy Boy Bennett)

Dear Mr. Bennett,

Where do I begin to respond to your ignorant, racist and extremely contradictory comments made on your morning radio program. To suggest to your listening audience that one effective way to reduce the crime rate would be to abort all black babies lets me know what value you place on human life in general and African-Americans in particular.

I have listened to your program in the past and almost fell asleep because of your inability to make even an interesting story worth listening to and I have often questioned how you were ever elevated to the position of Education Secretary as uneducated as you sound on the air. I understand that you hold a doctoral degree but you must have had a number of connections at the university.

I digress, anyway, back to your stupid comments. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Republican party consider abortion "A Crime." If they do then would you actually be reducing the crime rate by performing what you should consider to be a criminal act and to the degree you are suggesting a massive crime of genocidal proportions.

Your comments were insensitive, cruel and epitome of a racist statement. The fact that you actually had a position as important as Secretary of Education scares me. How could you make effective and progressive decisions with the views that you hold.

You have embarrassed yourself, Salem Communications and in the process have helped to
perpetuate the feeling by some that conservatives are all nothing but a bunch of closet racists. Don't try to say that you were taken out of context or that you wre speaking hypothetically, your words were very clear and saying that it is impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible didn't clean it up because you finished your sentence with, "But it would reduce the crime rate." Your message was delivered and you were too stupid to realize that it would be scrutinized in the way it has been.

As a black man I was offended and then I thought about how stupid it made you look and I felt much better. Here's to hoping you end up off the air because people like you are the ones that should have been the target of a late term abortion. Maybe the doctors are still looking for you. "Racism is not a Virtue"

I'm pro-choice too, and I don't include you in the infuriated, my sweet sassy Rogers. I was trying to say that I find the level of nastiness and misinterpretation about the Bennett thing kind of crazy, in the same way that I found the whole gambling "scandal" ridiculous. Take this "ME" character, for example. Full of rage, empty of understanding.

And I'm not saying abortion numbers should influence the debate, but that when you consider what's implied in the Freakonomics argument (which I basically agree with, actuallly), it's at least as worthy of incoherent internet rage as what Bennett said.

Bill, here is another way we can reduce crime in America: Get rid of racism by executing all white males between the ages of 30 and 90, (since they are the most racist group on earth). By so doing, oppression of the black race would go down. Thus the black family would be able to take care of itself and avoid criminal acts...Bitch!

Lets tell it like it is.If blacks do more crime then whites ,then lets get it out in the open. Whats the big deal. Lets face it,every city they move into becomes a crime ridden getto in a few years.Whats that tell you ?

Crime cannot be diminished to one race or dismissed as simply a problem of the poor. There was a time when it wasn't a crime to treat another human being as chattel, making them subject to being stripped from family, raped, being beaten and even murdered.
There are grey matter issues that lead an individual or a group of individuals down the road to criminal behavior. Take the feelings of helplessness that can sometimes cause a white suburban kid to show up at school to blow up his classmates and teachers. Consider the mental health issues associated with serial killers,"vast majority white male" that throws them into the deep shadows of mass murder and torture. Think of the opportunistic stock broker who finally gets up enough courage to get involved in illegal insider trading. Look at the fanaticism of those individuals willing to blow themselves up all in the name of Allah. There are problems in the inner city that cannot be dismissed as typical of all poverty stricken groups. The reason that some groups manage to maintain a relatively peaceful co-existence and others don't could be explained by one group's self-concept versus the others. Chris Rock once said, (yes, I'm quoting Chris Rock) "I'm rich and a poor white man with one leg wouldn't trade places with me, he said the white person would probably say, "No thanks, I think I'm going to ride this white thing on out." You see, white people for the most part can hold on to some hope and pride that they are the part of the controlling cultural group in this Country. The problem that exists in the black community is destructive in two ways, there is a sense of hopelessness and self hate that grows like a cancer and leads to some of the criminal statistics that are so predominant in the media. There is no monopoly on crime or criminals. Bill Bennett could have hypothetically stated that by eliminating all males we would reduce the crime rate since statistically males are more likely to participate in criminal behavior. The fact that he focused on one group was ignorant, vague, general, racially insensitive and unproductive particularly during the current climate of race relations after hurricane Katrina.

This is an example of the effort by the Left to dictate the content of speech. Normally whining about how the Right is attempting to limit free speech, the Left are actually the hypocrites who have established the term, "Politically Correct," by years of effort in school and public by castigating the use of certain words or phrases.

From the '60s, when their efforts to block the Civil Rights act failed, the Democrats have spun around and now are the champions of civil rights and refuse to allow *anyone* to discuss race issues; except that they coddle and patronize groups based on their racial makeup. Their efforts to "improve" the conditions of groups they, themselves, segregate by race, have failed miserably and now no one can discuss that -- or they are a racist by mentioning the racial group, directly.

Now, even using an analogy about how ridiculous it would be to consider doing something like abort the babies in that "segregated" class, in order to lower crime -- and which was a direct refutation of of how ridiculous it would be to consider that if past abortions had not been done that SS would be viable -- the Left uses it to point-the-bony-finger of "political correctness" at one of their ideological opponents.

The hypocrites use race as a weapon when they choose to do so, but woe undo anyone other than they who might attempt to race on their part!

The ultimate laugh is that the Left accuses the Right of being fascists/nazis, etc., while they are the ones limiting speech to the "level" they dictate it should be...the real "nazis" are quite obvious in who it is that militates against freedom of speech!

He is merely stating the truth, and highlighting the important issue, poverty amongst blacks which drives them into crime. He was not being racist.



Yeeeah but ole Jimmy Kanada could stand the rain

Relax everyone..We all must live together!

Is this Ames Fredrick Tiedeman

THE ABOvE VIDEO IS VERY DISTURBING. Moral decline is here...

Very, very sad...


Ames Tiedeman

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