This excerpt is what the hooplah is all about concerning Mr. William Bennett. I have emphasized the part which has been taken out of context and blown-up out of all proportion.
CALLER: I noticed the national media, you know, they talk a lot about the loss of revenue, or the inability of the government to fund Social Security, and I was curious, and I've read articles in recent months here, that the abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade, the lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30-something years, could fund Social Security as we know it today. And the media just doesn't -- never touches this at all.
BENNETT: Assuming they're all productive citizens?
CALLER: Assuming that they are. Even if only a portion of them were, it would be an enormous amount of revenue.
BENNETT: Maybe, maybe, but we don't know what the costs would be, too. I think as -- abortion disproportionately occur among single women? No.
CALLER: I don't know the exact statistics, but quite a bit are, yeah.
BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don't know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don't know. I mean, it cuts both -- you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well --
CALLER: Well, I don't think that statistic is accurate.
BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. 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. That would be 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. (emphasis added)
I understand that what Bennett said (and I deeply respect Bennett, BTW) seemed insensitive in our highly charged, politically correct climate, but it was a true statement. Statistically, blacks make up the highest percentage in America's crime rate, though they are obviously not the only race with crime issues. However, not allowing people to speak candidly about the cause and effect of our social ills has exacerbated the problem, especially in the black community. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we should be doing whatever it takes to resolve the issues which serve to destroy us from the inside out. Sometimes the truth hurts.
A good start would be to allow open and honest dialogue. Identifying and addressing the issues which plague our society head-on is the only way we will ever be able to overcome our obstacles.
Bennett merely stated a truth within a hypothetical, and admittedly "reprehensible", so-called solution to the crime rate. The sad fact is that Bennett truly believes this practice to be reprehensible while some who hold to a liberal mindset are actually DOING IT! Thanks to Rush Limbaugh for the link.
Statement By Bill Bennett, Sep. 30, 2005
From the Desk of William J. Bennett September 30, 2005
"On Wednesday, a caller to my radio show proposed the idea that one good argument for the pro-life position would be that if we didn't have abortions, Social Security would be solvent. I stated my doubts about such a thesis, as well as my opposition to such a form of argument (the audio of the call is available at my Website: bennettmornings.com).
"I then stated that such extrapolations of this argument can cut both ways, and cited the current bestseller, Freakonomics, which discusses the authors' thesis that abortion reduces crime.
"Then, putting my philosophy professor's hat on, I went on to reveal the limitations of such arguments by showing the absurdity in another such argument, along the same lines. I entertained what law school professors call 'the Socratic method' and what I would hope good social science professors still use in their seminars. In so doing, I suggested a hypothetical analogy while at the same time saying the proposition I was using about blacks and abortion was 'impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible,' just to ensure those who would have any doubt about what they were hearing, or for those who tuned in to the middle of the conversation.
"The issues of crime and race have been on many people's minds, and tongues, for the past month or so--in light of the situation in New Orleans; and the issues of race, crime, and abortion are well aired and ventilated in articles, the academy, the think tank community, and public policy. Indeed the whole issue of crime and race is not new in social science, nor popular literature. One of the authors of Freakonomics, himself, had an extended exchange on the discussion of these issues on the Internet some years back--which was also much debated in the think tank community in Washington.
"A thought experiment about public policy, on national radio, should not have received the condemnations it has. Anyone paying attention to this debate should be offended by those who have selectively quoted me, distorted my meaning, and taken out of context the dialogue I engaged in this week. Such distortions from 'leaders' of organizations and parties is a disgrace not only to the organizations and institutions they serve, but to the First Amendment.
"In sum, let me reiterate what I had hoped my long career had already established: that I renounce all forms of bigotry--and that my record in trying to provide opportunities for, as well as save the lives of, minorities in this country stands up just fine."
Bennett's record DOES speak for itself. I don't believe that Bill Bennett has a racist bone in his body. The truth is that liberals are not really concerned with "racism", rather they are mostly concerned with demonizing conservatives in any way they can by twisting their words and/or pulling them out of context. Some of the headlines about Bennett's comments read, "Media Matters exposes Bennett: "[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down""; "Bennett: Black Abortions Would Lower Crime"; "Bennett's remarks are the real crime"; etc.
Where was the outrage when Senator Charles Rangel compared president Bush to Bull Connor. An absurd comparison. Or where is the outrage when blacks make racist statements about whites? There is none. But when a good and decent man, whose record speaks for itself, makes a hypothetical, but true, statement he is unduly lynched by the liberal mob mentality. The double standard is sickening.
Did Bennett blunder? Only if you've got problems with your reasoning, critical thinking, and comprehension skills.