Virtuous Bill Bennett dreams of genocide:
"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 was Bennett, Reaganite moral scold and gambling junkie, holding forth on his radio talk show this week. (Via Media Matters.) To be sure, Wild Bill then pulled a classic Nixonian maneuver: divulging an evil intent, then qualifying it, for public consumption, with pious contextualizing. Nixon, as we all recall so fondly, once rounded off a discussion on procuring a million dollars in political slush fund money with a stirring aside -- aimed squarely at the secret microphone he knew was recording the entire conversation: "We could do that -- but it would be wrong." Of course, his minions were in on the scam -- and the slush money duly flowed.
In like manner, Bennett followed up his astonishing disclosure of the secret dreams of a vast swathe of Bush Faction faithful with some quick butt-covering for his 'abort 'em all' remark: "That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do...." So far, so hypocritically good; but even at this point, even though he obviously realized that he'd given away too much of the game (hence the backpedaling), he still couldn't let go of the idea. Instead, he finished the sentence by going right back to the "justification" for -- and let's be clear about this -- the destruction of the black race in America, by saying: "But your crime rate would go down."
The crime rate among African-Americans was not even
the topic of the exchange that gave rise to this outburst; it was a
discussion about Social Security and the purported effects that 30
years of legal abortion has had on reducing the tax base to support the
program -- typical right-wing, rag-chewing arcana. That's what makes
Bennett's genocidal image even more remarkable: it just sprang into his
head as the perfect illustration of an abstract point he was trying to
make on an entirely different subject. It was just there, in his mind, as a template, a thought pattern, a mental connection -- an idea he had already envisioned.
And of course, Bennett's idea of eliminating
African-Americans entirely is directly tied to the widespread -- and
largely open -- right-wing belief in the inherent
criminality of black people: a belief that was on naked
display during the destruction of New Orleans, when the wildest rumors
of "savagery" among the flood survivors were taken as gospel truth and
amplified throughout the media (and not just the openly right-wing
media). We now know that almost all of these horror stories -- child
rape and wanton murder in the Superdome, vast armed gangs seizing
control of whole quadrants of the city, etc. -- were completely false. But this racist meme -- which obviously lies behind Bennett's gruesome fantasy -- is impervious to reality.
All in all, a most revealing emission from the
primordial ooze of the Bushist mind. Or as Shakespeare once said:
"Murder, though it hath no tongue, will speak with most miraculous
(This is an updated version of the earlier post.)