Jewish World Review August 13, 1999 /1 Elul, 5759
That would include Jesse Jackson and a lot of other people who were born in poverty but overcame it. Steven Levitt, a University of Chicago economist, and John Donohue III, a Stanford University law professor, are responsible for the study. Are they doing for modern-day eugenicists what Margaret Sanger did for the Third Reich -- declaring some categories of humans unfit to live and laying down guidelines for the master race?
In the early '70s, as abortion laws were liberalized, some black leaders grimly suspected that whites viewed the procedure as the solution to the welfare problem. The then pro-life Jesse Jackson was quoted in the January 1977 Right to Life News as saying: "Politicians argue for abortion largely because they do not want to spend the necessary money to feed, clothe and educate more people. Here arguments for inconvenience and economic savings take precedence over arguments for human value and human life.''
Jackson sounded prophetic, given the current study, when he added, "I read recently where a politician from New York was justifying abortions because they have prevented 10,000 welfare babies from being born and saved the state $15 million. In my mind, serious moral questions arise when politicians are willing to pay welfare mothers between $800 to $1,000 to have an abortion, but will not pay $30 for a hot school-lunch program to the already-born children of these same mothers.''
The arguments made in the study by Levitt and Donohue were dealt with by Jackson 22 years ago: "Psychiatrists, social workers and doctors often argue for abortion on the basis that the child will grow up mentally and emotionally scarred. But who of us is complete? If incompleteness were the criteri(on) for taking life, we would all be dead. If you can justify abortion on the basis of emotional incompleteness, then your logic could also lead you to killing for other forms of incompleteness -- blindness, crippleness, old age.'' Or potential criminality?
Blacks have long seen themselves as targets of white power because, in many cases, they have been. Exploited by slavemasters who wanted their labor for nothing, and now by politicians who want their votes for next to nothing, blacks should be concerned about the implications of anyone linking the economic conditions of those who are poor to antisocial behavior.
Throughout our history, blacks have often been categorized as subhuman. In a 1741 New York City trial, blacks condemned to death for allegedly starting a series of fires were described as "degenerated and debased below the Dignity of Humane Species.'' As recalled by St. Louis University Prof. William Brennan in his book, "Dehumanizing the Vulnerable,'' naturalist Louis Agassiz -- a leading 19th-century scientist, professor of zoology and geology at Harvard and founder of the Museum of Natural History -- gave a tremendous boost to the process of dehumanizing African-Americans: "When Agassiz first saw black people in 1846, he wrote to his mother: `The more pity I felt at the sight of this degraded and degenerate race, the more ... impossible it becomes for me to repress the feeling that they are not of the same blood as we are.' ''
The slave narrative of William Wells Brown (1847), notes Brennan, includes an account of how the perception of blacks as "trash'' was translated into practice. A black man who had been drowned by a gang of whites was left on the shore. A trash cart picked up the man's body and tossed it in with the refuse.
What's the difference between such occurrences and what the unpublished study suggests? If blacks are trash and a disproportionate number commit crimes, then kill them early so that white folks feel safer and don't have to spend tax dollars on an "inferior'' people.
This is where the abortion culture has brought