July 7th’s front page story in the New York Times not only made my head explode, it has me considering whether to chuck it all and become a bottle cap collector or something else more useful than trying to promote ethics awareness in a society where its most respected newspaper publishes something like this. Or maybe I should just give up entirely and flush myself down the commode.
The headline online is “When ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Invoked in the Abortion Debate.” It just as well might have been: “TWSXQ@$#7mm.”
I’ll just post and comment on some of the gems in the piece, then you read the whole thing and meet me at the top of the ROLAIDS tower in Baltimore and we’ll jump together, holding hands and singing the Pina Colada Song.
“As a pastor, Clinton Stancil counsels his black congregants that abortion is akin to the taking of innocent life. But as a civil rights activist, Mr. Stancil urges them to understand the social forces that prompt black women to have abortions at disproportionately high rates.”
If the good pastor believes that abortion is the taking of innocent life, the “social forces” don’t excuse the act at all. This is like saying that we should “understand” what makes serial killers kill. Murder—taking of innocent life–is an absolute wrong; nothing can excuse it. This is equivocation.
- “But to many African-Americans like Mr. Stancil, who is the pastor of Wayman A.M.E. Church in St. Louis, abortion cannot be debated without considering the quality of urban schools. Or the disproportionately high unemployment rate in black communities. Or the significant racial disparities in health care.”
Then many urban schools are graduating African-Americans like Pastor Stancil who have the reasoning ability of household appliances and believe that taking innocent lives can be justified or rationalized by irrelevant matters.
- “As much as I believe with all my heart about the killing, the taking of innocent lives, I also believe that I will never support giving white legislators who have no interest in our community the ability to tell our women what they can do with their bodies,” Mr. Stancil said of sweeping abortion restrictions recently approved in Missouri.”
Rev. Stancil is a racist then. He also believes that it isn’t the ethical and moral principles embodied in a law, but the race of the legislators who pass a law that matters.
- “In many black communities, the abortion debate is inextricably tied to race in ways that white communities seldom confront. Social and economic disparities that are particularly challenging to African-Americans, from mass incarceration to maternal and infant mortality, are crucial parts of that discussion.”
A classic. I especially like how mass incarceration is used as if some force of nature is sweeping up innocent African Americans and locking them up in prison for no reason whatsoever. The cause of mass incarceration is that too many African Americans break laws and commit felonies, and their community continues to do a incompetent job ofdiscouraging the conduct or being accountable for it. Getting pregnant without a husband or sufficient financial stability to support a child is the immediate cause of abortions in the black community, and the obvious remedy is not getting pregnant.
Black women commit what Pastor Stancil considers the taking innocent life to avoid infant mortality?
- “Those who are most vocal about abortion and abortion laws are my white brothers and sisters, and yet many of them don’t care about the plight of the poor, the plight of the immigrant, the plight of African-Americans,” said the Rev. Dr. Luke Bobo, a minister from Kansas City, Mo., who is vehemently opposed to abortion. “My argument here is, let’s think about the entire life span of the person.”
Now there’s a powerful, coherent argument backed up with facts rather than flagrant bias, supposition, and rationalizations!
- “Religious teachings may have convinced some African-Americans that life begins in the womb. But having seen firsthand how their communities have been hurt by high incarceration rates, economic disinvestment and a lack of educational opportunities, some have a hard time embracing what they see as one-size-fits-all abortion bans.”
Let’s see: the thinking being attributed to the African-American community is “Heck, too many of our community members are being convicted of crimes and sent to jail, and we’re getting fewer hand-outs, and our high school drop-out rates are high and affirmative action for college is on the way out—so i guess we need to abort more fetuses, even though we believe with all our hearts that they are all innocent human life.”
Does that make sense to the writer? He doesn’t hint that it doesn’t. Does it make sense to anyone else?
- “Mr. Stancil of the Wayman A.M.E. Church said his view that abortion amounted to ending a life was compatible with his belief in a woman’s choice because God was the ultimate judge.”
No, those beliefs are not compatible, and “God is the ultimate judge” is the ultimate cop-out.
Enough. What the Times article seems to be telling us is that not only are the persistent problems in the black community the fault of “uncaring whites,” the high abortion rate in the African-American community is , by extension, the fault of white America as well, and the Mobius-strip pretzeling of logic and ethics required to reach that comforting conclusion is uncritically accepted by the New York Times.