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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:32 AM
Original message
White House criticizes Bennett for comments on blacks and crime

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=10...

White House criticizes Bennett for comments on blacks and crime

The White House on Friday criticized former Education Secretary William Bennett for remarks linking the crime rate and the abortion of black babies.

"The president believes the comments were not appropriate," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

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."

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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wow, a half-assed response 2 days late...
He's getting faster... he beat his Katrina response by 3 days!
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
35. bush had a
a killer hangover..couldn't respond sooner.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. Whaaa???
Wholly flirking schnit! Some conservative blowhard said something so off-the-wall, so offensive, so totally gonzo that the White House has to distance itself from the comment? The world has turned upside down!

Think back to all the times Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, or someone else has used hyperbole to make a point, and every Democrat from here to Timbuktu is button-holed and forced to denounce whatever clipped portion of the comment served the questioner's purpose to divide progressives and marginalize dissent. In spite of the looney tunes pronouncements of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ann Coulter, Brit Hume, and others that could fill a library, leading Republicans are NEVER asked to denounce them in any way, or to badmouth fellow troglodytes.

The fact that the question was even asked is good news. The fact that Snottie answered the question and mildly criticized Bennett is just unheard of!
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TheCowsCameHome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wink, wink, nod, nod
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wallwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. If you aborted all white babies,
Crime would go down even more. But didn't we decide sometime around Hitler that eugenics was sick?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. But would the crime rate go down?
The context makes it clear that it wasn't the absolute number of crimes, but the per capita crime rate, that would decrease.

To say it wouldn't is to claim that there's no difference in crime rates between the various ethnic subgroups in the US. Given the correlation and probably causality between poverty (and other conditions) and crime, it would also imply little difference between the poverty rate in different groups.

But of course, what Bennett said is "impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible."
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wallwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
23. Let's see, because poverty and crime rates are different
among different groups, suddenly it's ok to speak hypothetically about eugenics and genocide? Sorry, not to me.

There is a certain point at which people of any group have to take responsibility for their own behavior. But there is an even more palpable point at which people talking about crime and poverty need to look at entrenched commercialized and institutionalized discrimination in this country in its long history before they go making idiotic statements about which group is the problem.

Go ahead and toss around correlation and causality all you want, but if you looked very much at the history of things like urban planning and housing policy in this country just as isolated examples, you might just come away thinking that in terms of crime rates, to a large degree, we reap what we sow.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. The research that ultimately he was alluding to
was sound. The business with abortion was a simple implication of prior research; it was a pro-choice argument, if you must know, without a hint of genocide or racism in it. People complain about poverty and I've seen some DUers claim it as justification for some kinds of crimes, but poverty by itself isn't really correlated with high crime rates.

In fact, I think we should start the meme that people that have the following traits are actually happier, with a lower crime rate, than average: high unemployment/poverty rate, high single-parent family rate, high drop-out rate, high rate of segregation. And we should encourage any policies that produce these wonderful, uplifting traits. Of course, my list isn't of independent variables; the researcher did a more rigorous job than I can.

The research--obviously racist--shows that these, when bundled, and regardless of race, are highly correlated with high crime rates, and that these should be addressed in tandem, not in isolation. Research also shows that blacks disproportionately live in communities with these traits, part of the legacy of racism in America. In fact, the research was done to motivate policies to tackle all those preconditions at once. Anything done to reduce the population in those communities would simultaneously reduce the size of the high-crime communities, and help alleviate some of the poverty (reducing one of the predisposing factors), a simple implication that an undergrad should be able to spot.

One could easily extrapolate such an implication to the entire superset of people involved. People do so all the time. But to do so is almost always a silly idea. In this case, it would also be reprehensible and immoral.

But apparently that last paragraph of mine calls for genocide. Who knew?

So, tell me: is it spotting the implication that amounts to calling for genocide? Calling it reprehensible or silly? Addressing the idea of 'dense' poverty at all, or saying that part of racism's legacy is to curse some black communities with these problems? Maybe saying that the problems should be addressed?

I'm confused. It seems like a perfect opening to discuss policies to remedy in a principled way the problems besetting the most persistent pockets of poverty in this country has be re-channelled into an all-purpose political tirade. And it runs the risk that anybody actually reads Bennett's comments in context will notice that it's all spin and no mass. But this isn't the first time such an opportunity's been missed, so I'm not surprised in the least. Mostly disappointed; more short-term gain, long-term loss.
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geckosfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. Frankly, his comment was repugnant regardless of the research
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 09:04 AM by geckosfeet
that it was derived from.

When one summarizes the conclusions of others research, the ideas should be clearly and succinctly stated. Meaning should not be buried in complex, coded, and obfuscated language.

<on edit>
Authors should make it damn clear that they are stating their own conclusions based on the research of others. Of course, authors must provide references for the research results that they cite.
</on edit>

To use the distastefully racist combination of words that Mr.Bennet cobbled together was poor poor decision. A public figure is used to watching his words.

When someone in Bennett's position makes that kind of statement, it is intended to be inflammatory in some way. He was not speaking in a idealogical vacuum. Whether he intended to pander to idealogical miscreants or openly offend everyone else, we will probably never know.

The simple fact is he uttered a statement that when taken in context or out, is at its core disgusting and offensive.
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wallwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
34. If Bennett were measured and articulate...
in the way that you are being, maybe we would have had the opportunity. Unfortunately, instead he said one of the dumbest statements in the public forum in recent memory, an incredible and very destructive achievement that you analyze accurately.
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. If Bill Bennett had been aborted...
the average rate of problem gambling in this country would be 50% lower.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
31. And we would still have a public education system...wasn't that his job
under Raygun, to destroy the public educational system?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. Do you suppose a pre-Katrina White House would have chimed in?
Somehow, I doubt it. :eyes:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. Was just gonna post the same...eom
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
36. That is so Freakin'
True! The ARROGANT ASSHOLES never reigned in any of their Poison tongued lackys before.
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
38. So our lesson here is--hit them in the balls hard and often
and they'll maybe kinda-sorta behave themselves.

Yeah, I was glad to hear the official rebuke, half-assed as it was. Certainly made things easier when dealing with the wingnuts in my midst who were defending this radio prick.
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. Bennett only talked about it
pResident Fucko actually killed thousands of black people...
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Rainscents Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
8. Right wingers sure are making lots of new black friends! Keep it up!
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 11:14 AM by Rainscents
:sarcasm:

There's more fucking crimes done by white people than, blacks! Look at all the white criminal people at the Whitehouse, congress and Senates?


I am so sick of all these psycho racists basters! :banghead:
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
9. George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
George Bush don't like Black people
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. LMBAO!...n/t
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
10. The what color House?
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
11. i'm still having nightmares about a Black Baby With A Gun...!!!
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justjones Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
14. Their criticism is weak.
Criticism is not what is needed in this case, especially from an Administration that purports to be pro-life....I guess only if the mother is white. Oh, and of course, if the father is too.

This motherfucker Bennett should be denounced and taken off the fucking air. As a black American woman, for him to say something like this is beyond contempt...I have no words to describe how appalled I am...
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
15. Only did so after having their arms twisted behind their backs.
Repudiation SO grudgingly given...these people are despicable.
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Child_Of_Isis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. Black babies cause crime?
How many black babies have maimed, murdered and stolen today? Well none, of course! It's the republican's job. This is too stupid. :banghead:
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zara Donating Member (470 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. Let's Educate all Black, White, Yellow, Red, Pink, Brown, etc. Children
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:25 PM by zara
and watch crime reduce. Let's see that they get jobs and see what happens to crime.
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tainowarrior Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. aborting white children and Hispanic children
TECHNICALLY would also reduce the crime rate, but you don't see anyone suggesting that.

he's trying to cover himself with his caveat of "morally reprehensible" afterwards. But, what he did was advance his true beliefs under the cover of "hypothetically speaking".

Not only is it simplistic to think just getting rid of black people would get rid of crime (some other group will suffer the "underclass" status), it's just racist.

He's an asshole, plain and simple.
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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
19. DAMN
I'm surprised they criticized the comment AT ALL.

I guess they were afraid of Helen Thomas grilling them over it and decided to head it off at the pass.

Any comment from Princess Ferragamo about the statement?
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
20. "Not appropriate"?
How about dreadfully offensive & batshit crazy?
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Evergreen Emerald Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #20
30. That's what I thought
"Not appropriate" is not a condemnation.
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. But it's the best you're going to get from any loyal Reep
when speaking of a former Reagan cabinet member.

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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #20
40. They mean the COMMENTS were not appropriate
Of course, nothing was aid about WHAT he was saying.

How about, "What he is advocating is not appropriate"?
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
21. Fuck the WH....they have said worse!...fucking hypocrites,,,n/t
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
24. Well, of course they're upset:
they think that he was advocating abortion. ;)
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. They're upset because they got CAUGHT!
And bennett enunciated what all repukes believe in their heart of hearts.

Not supposed to let the masses see the true nature of the repuke party, ya know!
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ignatius 2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
25. Has the devil himself sucked the brains out of these blowhards?
Evil comments flow like shit through a goose from their vile mouths.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #25
33. You Are Supposing They Had Brains To Begin With
personally, I am not convinced of prior intelligence.
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
27. kick
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bos1 Donating Member (997 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
28. White House Condemns Bennett; Sponsors Pulling Out
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=1175028

WASHINGTON Oct 1, 2005 The White House on Friday criticized former Education Secretary William Bennett for remarks linking the crime rate and the abortion of black babies.

"The president believes the comments were not appropriate," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

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."

----------------------------------

Also, Verbal Advantage has announced they are pulling their ads from Bennett's show. Their email message:

Dear customers and consumers of Verbal Advantage:
Please understand that we do not agree nor adhere to any beliefs or opinions of above said person. As a way of not standing behind the comments made by Bill Bennett we have detracted all association from him. We are neither longer sponsoring nor advertising on his radio show.
Sincerely,
Verbal Advantage


Please contact Verbal Advantage to thank them for not supporting extremists! email sales@vdmi.com

For more activist resources and updates, see http://firebennett.cjb.net

Please nominate and get this going! We have a chance to nail another right wing extremist spewing filth on the airwaves. Let's do it!
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #28
43. why did ABC use the word "condemns" when the WH limp-wristedly said
"inappropriate"?
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bos1 Donating Member (997 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
32. kick and get active .....
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Robeson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. Done. Thanks!
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
42. But the WH just lets its evil minions do the dirty work
After all, they have O'Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, Robertson and all the others to defend Bennett. They are such hypocrites.
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