ABORTION AND THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY
The Morning Call wonders how long abortion will be relevant
If one were to describe the contemporary progressive movement – essentially, the contemporary Democratic Party – in two phrases, two adjectives that explain the movement’s core positions, they would undoubtedly be “antiracist” and “pro-Choice.” These two “principles” are at the heart of what the Left in America purports to be today. They are the foundation of the movement’s self-proclaimed safeguarding of the otherwise defenseless, the people whom traditional society had deemed less worthy.
They are also inherently contradictory, diametrically opposed. To embrace one is to reject the other, almost inarguably.
As President Biden wages war against Texas with far more vim and vigor than he did the Taliban in Afghanistan, the contradictions between his party’s two core values are front and center. For several years, the incongruity of these two positions has been muted, with antiracism (and associated identity-politics messages) dominating public discourse. But with “choice” again on the public docket, the clash between the two is increasingly difficult to ignore.
This contradiction has both historical and contemporary manifestations.
As with most things awful and ugly in American political history, the inconsistencies in the Democratic embrace of both antiracism and choice have their roots in the ideas and accomplishments of two men, Woodrow Wilson and his mentor, Richard Ely. As I note in The Dictatorship of Woke Capital:
In 1885, Ely, along with John Bates Clark and Henry Carter Adams, founded the American Economics Association. He did so after consultation with his student, Wilson, who was also elected to the Association’s first governing council. In its statement of principles, the Association adopted a very clear and very Ely-esque approach to the field of economics. “We regard the state as an educational and ethical agency whose positive aid is an indispensable condition of human progress,” the document declared, and “[we believe that] the conflict of labour and capital has brought to the front a vast number of social problems whose solution is impossible without the united efforts of Church, State, and Science [emphasis added].”7 That last bit there is the key. The unification of faith, government, and “scientistic” methodologies would become the heart and the soul of much of the American Left for decades to come. This was Ely’s vision, and it became Wilson’s vision too—as well as his personal political mission.
What I don’t mention in the book, largely because the book takes a much different course, is that, as part of his program to harness the power of the state to perfect man’s existence, Ely embraced the “science” of eugenics. Ely became a pioneer in the eugenics movement with the publication in 1903 of his book Studies in the Evolution of Industrial Society, in which he waxed optimistic about the positive effects that could be achieved by the ongoing efforts in the various states to limit the ability of “objectionable” people to breed. Edwin Black described the widespread popularity of eugenics this way in his book War Against the Weak, Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race.
Mandatory sterilization laws were enacted in some twenty-seven states to prevent targeted individuals from reproducing more of their kind. Marriage prohibition laws proliferated throughout the country to stop race mixing … The goal was to immediately sterilize fourteen million people in the United States and millions more were coercively sterilized and the total is probably much higher. … The victims of eugenics were poor urban dwellers and rural “white trash” from New England to California, immigrants from across Europe, Blacks, Jews, Mexicans, Native Americans, epileptics, alcoholics, petty criminals, the mentally ill and anyone else who did not resemble the blond and blue-eyed Nordic ideal the eugenics movement glorified.
In eugenics, as in all ideological matters, where Ely went, Wilson followed. And as the governor of New Jersey, Wilson signed one of the nation’s first and most draconian state eugenics laws, a law that was drafted by none other than Dr. Katzen-Ellenbogen, who would later turn against his fellow Jewish prisoners and become a notorious killer-doctor in Hitler’s Buchenwald death camp. Among other things, Wilson’s law created a special three-man “Board of Examiners of Feebleminded, Epileptics, and Other Defectives,” which Black describes as follows:
The Board would systematically identify when “procreation is advisable” for prisoners and children residing in poor houses and other charitable institutions. The law included not only the “feebleminded, epileptics [and] certain criminals,” but also a class ambiguously referred to as “other defectives.”
There are those who try to separate Ely and Wilson the “Progressives” from Ely and Wilson the “inveterate racists and eugenicists,” but that is easier said than done, mostly because it CANNOT be done. Their entire careers are defined by racism BECAUSE RACISM WAS INTEGRAL TO THEIR IDEOLOGY. One cannot separate “Wilson the Progressive” from “Wilson the racist,” because the racism and the Progressivism have the same progenitor: a belief in the white protestant’s superiority to all other races and classes of men.
This is even more evident if one looks beyond Wilson. Margaret Sanger, the Progressive feminist icon and founder of Planned Parenthood, was a fervent racist and a dedicated eugenicist. Among other things, Sanger advocated abortion as a means for eliminating those “inferior races,” which she considered “human weeds” and a “menace to civilization.” Indeed, she made the biologist and polymath Herbert Spencer, who coined the term “survival of the fittest” look like a humanitarian in her enthusiasm for the murder of the babies of the “unfit.” She put it this way:
As an advocate of birth control I wish . . . to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the “unfit” and the “fit,” admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feebleminded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation.
We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out 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.
Wilson’s Secretary of the Navy was a man named Josephus Daniels. He was not merely a racist, but an avowed white supremacist – and, of course, a Progressive. Daniels’ Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the man who oversaw the American invasion and blatantly racist occupation of Haiti, as well as the drafting of Haiti’s racist constitution, was the Secretary’s best friend, a man who would, several years later, hire Daniels to be his Ambassador to Mexico. That man, of course, was Franklin Roosevelt.
Like his cousin and the rest of the Progressives, FDR was also obsessed with the “science” of the “purity” of the white race.
We could continue, but we suppose you get the point. Progressivism, eugenics, birth control, and abortion are all tied up together in one enormous mess of white purity, white supremacy, and racism.
The present-day record of “choice” is not much better. Indeed, it is very much the realization of Sanger’s hopes and dreams. Just over a year ago, Walt Blackman, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives (who happens to be black), summed this record up quite nicely:
In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an Abortion Surveillance Report. According to that report, black women make up 14 percent of the childbearing population. Yet, 36 percent of all abortions were obtained by black women. At a ratio of 474 abortions per 1,000 live births, black women have the highest ratio of any group in the country.
When you use those percentages, it indicates that of the over 44 million abortions since the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling, 19 million black babies were aborted. African Americans are just under 13 percent of the United States population.
White women are five times less likely to have an abortion than black women. Perhaps it is a matter of availability. A study by Protecting Black Lives, in 2012, found that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of minority communities….
The impacts on our black communities are hard to fathom. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which generally supports abortion, in 2011 360,000 black babies were aborted. CDC statistics for 2011 show that 287,072 black deaths occurred from all other causes excluding abortion. By these numbers, abortion is the leading cause of death among blacks.
That last bit there is shocking, to say the least. Significantly more blacks die in this country every year from abortion than from all other causes combined. Why, it’s almost as if that’s the way the whole “choice” movement was created, as a means by which to destroy the black population and to preserve white “purity” and supremacy.
When you see people like Hillary Clinton launching into spittle-flecked rants about the “sanctity” of their “right” to defend “women’s health,” and flat-out lying about what is or is not taking place in the country, know that they are doing so out of desperation. They prattle on continuously about being on the wrong or the right side of history, yet never quite grasp that this is a distinction that history itself determines, not tired old idealogues. And history, it would seem, is catching up with those who value “choice” above all else.
We do not expect that the new, antiracist-obsessed progressive movement will vocally or publicly rebuke the defenders of this nation’s most racist present-day institution, but we do think that, over time, the inherent contractions between a movement that espouses the mantra that “Black Lives Matter” and the practice that destroys more black lives than all others combined will force a reckoning of sorts. And when that happens, the old, largely white Democratic establishment – which includes not just the former first lady and two-time presidential loser but the current president as well – will find itself on the outside of the movement looking in.
The revolution, as we are wont to repeat, always eats its own. And to be fair, it’s always justified in doing so.