The Secret Lives of Liberals

This is what William Bennett said abortion and black crime.

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.

It’s not that the statement is not true. Obviously, given the huge race differential in violent crimes such as rape, murder, and armed robbery, if there were no blacks in America, there would be far fewer such crimes. The issue is, rather, Bennett’s surprising lack of tact in suggesting that aborting all black babies might be socially beneficial. Some have excused Bennett by saying he was only responding to an argument made by a caller, but, in fact, as Andrew McCarthy points out, the caller had been talking about the affect of abortion on the ability of society to pay for social security. It was Bennett who brought up the black abortion and crime issue as an illustration of his point, which was that just because a certain solution (aborting all black babies) to a social problem (crime) would work, that doesn’t mean it would be right to do it. It’s not his logic which is at issue here, but the way he framed it.

Here’s my theory of why he fell into this trap. On racial matters, Bennett, a member of the neocon camp, is a strict liberal, constantly invoking Martin Luther King, and also expressing withering contempt for immigration reformers as un-American. Now one thing that is true about liberals is that they ruthlessly suppress in themselves all rational thought about racial realities and race differences. Because they refuse to let the rational part of their mind deal with race, the only part of their mind that can deal with race is the irrational part. And that, to a certain extent, is what happened here. Bennett had suppressed his true thoughts about race differences in crime, and, I suspect, about the larger negative impact on this country of black functional deficiencies and pathologies as a whole. He had these ideas, but was not accustomed to thinking or talking about them discursively, because they are forbidden. And so, without his having put his thoughts through proper channels to to speak, his logical point about aborting all black babies just popped out, in an unnecessarily offensive form that got him in trouble.

While I am not saying this about Bennett personally, the incident reminds us of the frequently made observation that it is liberals who are the real racists, by which I mean people with irrational negative views about other races. By contrast, traditionalists and race realists deal with race issues with the rational part of their brain. They have assimilated and integrated these matters into their conscious thought processes and can talk intelligently and morally about them. Traditionalists are not inwardly divided between an anti-racist Superego and a racist Id, as liberals are.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 30, 2005 11:09 AM | Send

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