Recently on his radio talk show, William Bennett made this comment in a discussion about the crime rate:
“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.”
Because he called the idea of aborting every black baby “morally reprehensible,” he does not understand why his statement is still offensive to some people.
He does not get it!
Mr. Bennett, what you have done is singled out one particular race and essentially said that this race is solely responsible for crime, or at least the majority of crime, in our country. Further more, you seem to have forgotten the many African American citizens of this country who are not involved in criminal activity but rather are morally good standing people who contribute a worth of value to the betterment of community, both on the local and national level.
As we all know, crime seems to breed where poverty exists. And ANYONE who has ever spent time with any person, regardless of race, who lives in poverty, knows that some of the circumstances which contribute to their lifestyle of poverty were never in their control. Circumstances like where the community they were born into, the family they were born into (healthy vs. dysfunctional), the educational opportunities that were available to them (and anyone who is connected to the Memphis City Schools know that not every educational system is equally as good as another), and might we say that because racism is still a factor in the United States that being born a different race than white into a different environment than middle to upper class is a factor as well.
So Mr. Bennett, and to all the others who share your ridiculous opinion. Listen up: I spent two years, which is not much, working in a jail ministry. Most of the prisoners I spoke with were in jail for some reason that was related to drug addictions. Now I certainly believe that each one of those prisoners had committed a certain act(s) that justified their presence in the county jail. But how interesting it is to know how quickly society responds, and how much money the tax payers will pay in support of, when these adult men and women commit an illegal act and one that infringes on the rights of other. But where was society when these adult prisoners were children having no choice but to grow up in environments where abuse, neglect, negative influences (often drugs and alcohol), etc… were a normal way of life for them, teaching them such dysfunctional lifestyles?
So, if you want to curb the crime rate… Try investing yourself in the life of the children who are forced to grow up in these environments.
People often ask my wife why she continues to teach in an inner city school. She does so because she knows that often, though not always the case, she is possibly the one positive role model who will have an opportunity for influence on these children. She does so because she knows as a Christian, that God has blessed her so that she can bless the least of these.