Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bill Bennett: I Have to Weigh in on This...

By now I am sure that you have all read/heard about the Bill Bennett fiasco that's brewing. Bennett's morning show, "Morning in America" is one of my favorites (in the interest of full disclosure).

Here is the statement in question (the one that is being quoted/printed everywhere out of context):
"Dr. Bennett was quoted as saying. I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you cold 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. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky." (source)

The whole point of Bennett's discussion was to say that those offering solutions to problems that could never be carried out is not facilitating a solution.
You can read about that day's show here.

How did we come to a point in society where people can't speak the truth even if it's painful to hear? I am guilty of it too. I was the Mommy-helper in Mason's class yesterday and there was a kid in the class so horrible that I was actually mean to him. That was the first time I have ever been tough with someone else's kid, but I was not about to lose a battle of wills with an uppity five year old. I was so bothered by it that I seriously considered pulling his mother aside and telling him that her son was the most horrible child that I had ever encountered (and that's saying a lot --my family took in emotionally/physically abused foster kids for years). I wanted to tell her that unless she found a way to change his attitude I could see no way that he could make it in "real" school (as this is just a three day a week pre-school program). I said nothing. I know that truth would have hurt, even though it may have shamed her into action that would have benefited the horrid child in the long run... We live in a world were we can't be honest.

Was Bill's statement hard to hear? Of course. Was it a racist statement? No. Was it factually erroneous? No. But this argument wasn't about Black crime. This was only an example used and a very poignant one at that.

Nancy Pelosi wasted no time whining on the Senate floor and the White House (in an asinine knee-jerk reaction) said that Secretary Bennett's statement was "inappropriate". How is exercising free speech inappropriate Bushy? This was neither a libelous, slanderous or factually erroneous statement. Shame on the White House for issuing that statement. I expected the grand-standing from Pelosi and Rangle...but I didn't expect the hasty rebuttal from the President of the Land of the Free.

"In April 2002, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported that in year 2000, minority citizens had a disproportionately high victimization rate for violent crime. The rate for black crime victims was 35/1000.
According to that report, blacks comprised 70 percent of the defendants charged with a robbery offense and 65 percent of those charged with a drug offense. According to a December 1999 US Department of Justice Juvenile Justice Bulletin, minorities accounted for 7 in 10 youth held in custody for a violent offense. In 1997, two-thirds of all juveniles in custody in public facilities were minorities. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates the lifetime chances of a person going to prison are 2.5 percent for whites, 9.4 percent for Hispanics and 16.2 percent for blacks. The BJS also estimates that, based upon current rates of first incarceration, an estimated 4.4 percent of white males will enter prison during their lifetime compared to 16 percent of Hispanic males and 28 percent of black males." (source)

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