Kick William Bennett Off The Airwaves

September 30, 2005

By Ken Schram

SEATTLE - Funny thing about Republicans.

Sometimes they actually say what they think.

Take William Bennett for example.

The 'esteemed' former Secretary of Education was thinking that if every pregnant black woman in America had an abortion, the nation's crime rate would plummet.

And then, Bennett actually blurted those thoughts out on his nationally syndicated radio show, adding that, of course, he was thinking hypothetically.

Well, that got me to thinking hypothetically: If only Bennett's mother had had an abortion, the world would be without one more detestable bigot.

But Bennett insist he's not a racist; says his point was misrepresented.

He's kidding right? Or is he being "hypothetical" again?

I mean when someone says that aborting every black baby in America would reduce the crime rate, how the hell can that be misrepresented?

In the wake of Bennett's mouth and thoughts, we're now left to wonder how much of Bennett's "non-racist" attitude was imbedded in national school policy during his time as Secretary of Education?

Thinking along those hypothetical lines some more, I wonder if tar and feathering someone could be brought back into vogue?

Realistically, I'll settle for Bennett's butt being kicked off the radio airwaves.


Statement By Bill Bennett, Sep. 30, 2005
From the Desk of William J. Bennett September 30, 2005

"On Wednesday, a caller to my radio show proposed the idea that one good argument for the pro-life position would be that if we didn't have abortions, Social Security would be solvent. I stated my doubts about such a thesis, as well as my opposition to such a form of argument (the audio of the call is available at my Website:

"I then stated that such extrapolations of this argument can cut both ways, and cited the current bestseller, Freakonomics, which discusses the authors' thesis that abortion reduces crime.

"Then, putting my philosophy professor's hat on, I went on to reveal the limitations of such arguments by showing the absurdity in another such argument, along the same lines. I entertained what law school professors call 'the Socratic method' and what I would hope good social science professors still use in their seminars. In so doing, I suggested a hypothetical analogy while at the same time saying the proposition I was using about blacks and abortion was 'impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible,' just to ensure those who would have any doubt about what they were hearing, or for those who tuned in to the middle of the conversation.

"The issues of crime and race have been on many people's minds, and tongues, for the past month or so--in light of the situation in New Orleans; and the issues of race, crime, and abortion are well aired and ventilated in articles, the academy, the think tank community, and public policy. Indeed the whole issue of crime and race is not new in social science, nor popular literature. One of the authors of Freakonomics, himself, had an extended exchange on the discussion of these issues on the Internet some years back--which was also much debated in the think tank community in Washington.

"A thought experiment about public policy, on national radio, should not have received the condemnations it has. Anyone paying attention to this debate should be offended by those who have selectively quoted me, distorted my meaning, and taken out of context the dialogue I engaged in this week. Such distortions from 'leaders' of organizations and parties is a disgrace not only to the organizations and institutions they serve, but to the First Amendment.

"In sum, let me reiterate what I had hoped my long career had already established: that I renounce all forms of bigotry--and that my record in trying to provide opportunities for, as well as save the lives of, minorities in this country stands up just fine."