Let’s talk about race in a specific area of politics. As more states create “pro-life” legislation I think that we will need to consider the unintended consequences of such legislation.
There is a new abortion ban known as the “heartbeat bill” that just became law in Ohio. The law allows no abortions except in cases of danger to the life of the mother. Six states have such laws.
In response to the new ban, an Ohio Democratic state representative proposed an amendment that seeks an exemption specifically and only for African-American women. Here are some of her words.
“I consider the slave trade…” she said Tuesday. “… I consider how many masters forced their slaves to have abortions, and I consider how many pregnant slaves self-induced abortions so that they would not contribute children they had to this slave system…”
These words are untruthful and racist. Slave masters wanted more slaves. They did not promote abortion. And self-induced abortions were almost unheard of during the history of slavery. Something else is happening here.
These words are political marketing with black women as the target.
In this amendment, the representative did not ask for all women who fit the federal guidelines of poverty to be granted exemption. She did not ask for disabled or developmentally delayed women to be granted exemption. She did not ask for rape or incest victims to be granted exemption. Those groups of women are represented as the women who need abortion the most. Our society sympathizes with these groups of women and their hardships.
But this influential black leader asked that only black babies be aborted in the state of Ohio.
Wanting to prevent the birth of African American babies is not a new trend among liberal or Democrat black leaders. Consider these words, ““The mass of ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.” This was said by W.E.B. Dubois – founder of the NAACP.
This influential black leader and many others in history including Mary McCleod Bethune and Representative Adam Clayton Powell were tricked into supporting eugenics. Eugenics — a now debunked school of science – has a goal of improving future generations by making sure certain groups are never born.
One of the main targets of eugenics is African-Americans. Eugenics demands support for the delusion of white supremacy. However, eugenic leaders use dark skinned leaders to reach dark skinned masses.
African American leaders or organizations supporting eugenics are only interested lining their pockets. Some within the black political elite see abortion as a path to economic empowerment. They believe that they are elevating the race by killing off the most vulnerable in it. They are convinced that black women are incapable of raising the children that they carry. This is their internalized racism – belief in white supremacy — manifesting as hatred of blackness.
This representative is promoting eugenics. She is presenting black people as “notoriously underprivileged and handicapped to a large measure by a ‘caste’ system that operates as an added weight upon their efforts to get a fair share of the better things in life.” The representative wants to convince us that abortion “brought to this group, is the most direct, constructive aid that can be given them to improve their immediate situation.”
The quotes I just included are from The Negro Project — a campaign that helped to bring forced sterilization as well as other birth control into communities of color all over the country back in the 20th century. This originator of the quote was Margaret Sanger. Today, we know that movement as Planned Parenthood.
Unfortunately, this is a familiar stereotype about black people spread in liberal politics. Leaders like this one in Ohio, picture only black people as being so poor and helpless that abortion (of us only) will improve communities.
Coloradans must reject this idea as evil and racist. To promote equality and civil rights we must never allow any form of this amendment in our state.
Rachel Stovall is a longtime community advocate and organizer. Also a fundraising, media and marketing consultant, Stovall is most known for singing with her dance band Phat Daddy and the Phat Horn Doctors.