Bill Bennett: Fewer black babies = less crime in America

The "Book of Virtues" author says it would be a bad idea to abort every African-American fetus -- but that it would work if you did.

Published September 29, 2005 4:26PM (EDT)

If Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman is serious about wooing African-American voters, he can throw all his energy into speaking to African-American groups and recruiting African-American candidates. Either that, or he could just ask Bill Bennett to shut up.

Bennett, who served as secretary of education under Ronald Reagan before writing the beloved-by-the-right "Book of Virtues," explained on his radio show yesterday that America could reduce its crime rate by eliminating African-Americans.

Media Matters has the audio. The gist of it: A caller to Bennett's radio show suggested that the Social Security system would have money to spare if the nation hadn't aborted so many wage earners over the years. In the course of raising questions about that theory, Bennett said you can't make too many assumptions about the kind of adults aborted fetuses might grow up to be.

There is "just too much that you don't know," Bennett said. "But 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."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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