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02/16/2010

Comments

Ethan Epstein

Sooo....you're saying that if the Right To Lifers *really* cared about black people, than they would embrace the left wing agenda that you happen to support? How convenient!

Laurie Essig

Hmm- I don't think equal access to a good education is a left/right issue; nor do I think that an organization that only supports conservative, white men is probably really representing the interests of "everyone." That's not left/right. That's about smart citizens being well represented. What's that word I"m looking for? Oh yeah, democracy.

kellyrichards

Sooo ... you're saying that if Right to Lifers really cared about racism, they would focus their efforts not on abortion, which is why such groups were founded, but on education and poverty? Then who would focus on abortion? I suppose educators, if they really cared about children, would focus their efforts on abortion instead of education? And, abortion does affect blacks too - would it not be racist to simply leave them out?

Perhaps you are saying that Right to Lifers should branch out and include in their objectives education and poverty - if they really cared, that is. Of course, by diluting their efforts in such a manner, they would be guaranteed only mediocre success in the pursuit of any objective.

But that seems to be consistent with your agenda. Your complaints are not focused on abortion, education or poverty, but instead on whites, republicans, and capitalists; especially male, white, republican, capitalists. Why so bitter Laurie? You do realize that by viewing the world through such a prism and passing it on to students, you are not so much observing as you are tainting?

k.r.

shandean

Ick. This is super-irritating. In, like, so many ways I'm not sure where to start. The use of the word "species" is probably an okay place, since it's a move that totally grosses me out, casting black babies and black mothers as the objects of study for interested, ostensibly sympathetic white pro-lifers.

So that's icky. But ickier still is the statistic they use to back the whole thing up. By invoking the KKK, they accomplish a number of vile things, the most hateful and irritating of which is making the analogy in the first place, as if the racialized violence that the Klan continues to perpetrate and inspire in the American South and beyond were somehow on the same plane as the choices black mothers make about what happens to their bodies.

It also, though, casts the whole thing - the whole history of KKK murder - in the past tense, imagining a 144-year-long period of violent activity that for some reason is now conceived of as closed. Which it is not. To wit, this gem, from a KKK website: "The Ku Klux Klan, LLC. has been around a good long while, it was legally incorporated as a Limited Liability Corporation in the State of Arkansas in 2003. This historic accomplishment was made possible by deciding to stop following the lead of so many others who were accomplishing little if anything for White Christian America."

So by now I'm utterly grossed out. Because so far the GRTLC has not only denied continued influence of a group that prides itself on becoming an increasingly legitimized member of the establishment, but it has also incorporated (beware: puns to follow) the decisions made about pregnant black bodies into the larger body of racialized violence that has menaced, disfigured, destroyed, enslaved, violated, impoverished, and disenfranchised those same figures for several centuries.

To top it off, the comparison then works as an apologia. Which is the most bile-producing of all of this group's gestures. If you paraphrase for, like, half a second, you get something like this: "Compared with the violence this species is doing to itself, the now completed history of KKK hatespeech and the long tradition of destruction of black bodies on the part of white Christian nationalists is more or less insignificant."

What the GRTLC has failed to grasp, here, is that the entire KKK analogy is misplaced. It is not the activities of black mothers that deserves the comparison to the KKK and the history of racialized violence that girds it; it is their own public gesture, their own warning to the "species" of black mothers that the decisions they're making are somehow even more extravagantly destructive that those of a group who takes as its primary mission the intimidation and frequent destruction of non-white U.S. citizens.

What this anti-abortion group has fail to realize, though, is that this gesture is itself precisely in keeping with the spectre of the KKK that they themselves have invoked, pretending to know what's best for a "species" that can't manage itself, policing black female bodies and determining what steps to take to ensure their proper use. It's the ads themselves that take part in the genealogy of violence that ties together spectacle lynching (which has everything to do, actually, with white anxiety over black sexuality and reproductive activity), domestic terror and racialized eugenics.

erica

Why is it that black women are expected to continue the cycle of poverty, abuse and abandonment by black men? Will we be bullied into having even more children with men who are misogynist, gay, bisexual, incarcerated, uneducated and irresponsible. (Black women continue to have a higher birth rate than white women.) Why are 70% of black households headed by single black women? Why wasn't more thought put into this entire approach regarding black womens' lives and bodies? With everything else that is going on--I just don't think this is a wise move right now....

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