Wm. Bennett, Aborted Black Babies, and Crime Rates

Bennett, on his radio show, “Morning in America,” was answering a caller’s question when he took issue with the hypothesis put forth in a recent book that one reason crime is down is that abortion is up.

“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,” said Bennett, author of “The Book of Virtues.”

He went on to call that “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.”

From the Washington Post.

I’m glad that the defender of Virtue realizes genocide is immoral. Kudos to him. Rock on. Always good to see that in a right-wing moralizing pundit and Republican heavyweight.

Disappointing that he thinks that genocide of blacks in America would be an effective, if morally reprehensible and ridiclous and impossible, way to reduce crime.

(UPDATE: Most excellent summary of the incident, the spin and backpedaling and outright lies Bennett’s defenders have come up with, and other stuff, in Slate.)

4 thoughts on “Wm. Bennett, Aborted Black Babies, and Crime Rates”

  1. Of course, if you aborted every white baby, your crime rate would also go down because crime rates result from your population. The higher the population of males in a certain age range (18-30, I think), the higher the crime rate.

    While the baby boomers were within that age range, there was a surge in the crime rate in the US. When they moved out of it, the crime rate went lower. Police and politicians try to claim this was due to better police techniques. I’m sure that they help, but mostly it’s just demographics.

    Not that I think that that’s what Bennett was thinking of.

  2. Bennet saying this was last night’s “Moment of Zen” on the Daily Show. I would have responded with: “Of course, if you legalized gambling in every state and built legal casinos in every city, that might also reduce crime just a wee smidge. Oh, I’m sorry — you’re a compulsive gambler, aren’t you Bill?”

  3. Well, he’s under attack because of the racist assumptions that underlay his thought experiment, not because he suggested that abortion *as such* would reduce crime.

    Which is an assumption shared, as the rather shrill article you linked to points out, by one of the sources cited by Planned Parenthood. I’m not sure that from that you can necessarily assume that Planned Parenthood shares those assumptions.

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