The Charleston Murders and the Confederate Flag
During the evening of June 17, a man shot and killed nine people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. One witness describes the killing as racially motivated, describing how the shooter said he was there “to shoot black people.” Authorities arrested the man the next day and charged him with murder.
The shooting has prompted the usual reactions from the political Left and Right. President Obama suggested the need for further gun control. A cartoonist at a well known newspaper suggested that “code” speech from talk radio caused the shooting. Some on the Right claim that a law preventing concealed carry of firearms in Churches left the victims vulnerable to the shooter, who did not follow the law. These reactions are the same that have been made in the past.
In a new target of blame, some media outlets and politicians, including Mitt Romney, have called on the State of South Carolina to remove the Confederate Flag from all government buildings. The rationale appears to be that the Confederate Flag is a symbol of anti-black racism, the victims were black, and thus to appear not anti-black, the state must remove the flag. Romney summed up his rationale as: “Too many, it [the flag] is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor Charleston victims.” [Twitter hashtag removed.]
Abortions and the New York State Flag
Which brings me to the point of this post – namely, if a policy of a state offends someone, must the state remove their state flag. How many people must be thus offended to reach a sufficiently offended mass of citizens? If other people view a certain flag as symbolizing other negative things, should the state honor them by removing the flag?
The New York state flag and abortion is an example.
In the 1910s and 1920s, New York was the basis of operation for the infamous Margaret Sanger. Sanger organized the construction of the first “birth control” clinic in Brooklyn, New York, in 1916. Several years later, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League (later becoming Planned Parenthood of America) and America’s first abortion clinic in New York (see page 225). The American Birth Control League (“ABCL”), operating out of New York, published The Birth Control Review up until the 1940s, with Sanger often acting as the editor.
This Review highlights the attitudes of the birth control movement towards black people. For example, in the June, 1932, edition of the Review, which was titled A Negro Number, explored the question of “to what extent birth control has had a eugenic effect upon the Negro race.” See p. 163. The ABCL believed that the “Negro problem [was] one of the most complicated and important confronting America.” Id. The ABCL further believed that:
Whatever the ultimate answer may be [to this Negro problem], such an attitude brings to light the function of birth control as a necessary agency in its solution. The present submerged condition of the Negro is due in large part to the high fertility of the race under disastrously adverse circumstances.
Id. Later in this edition of the Review a guest author laments that “there are only two [birth control clinics] serving the great Negro communities of Harlem, and the South Side in Chicago.” Id. p. 170.
With black eugenics obviously in mind, Sanger and the ABCL’s advocacy led to ending abortion laws. In 1970, the State of New York was the second state to enact a law allowing abortion on demand, as long as the unborn baby was less than 24 weeks old (see page 5, footnote 2). Even before then, abortion rings were commonplace if underground.
Since legalizing abortion, New York, especially New York City, as the New York magazine put it, has become the abortion capital of the United States. In 2011, for example, over 10 percent of all abortions in the United States occurred in New York state. The Margaret Sanger Center is the epicenter of New York’s abortion industry, performing about 11,000 abortions per year.
Abortion in New York has disparate racist effect. In 2012, government statistics gathered showed that many more black babies were aborted (31,328) in New York City than birthed (24,758). Killing of black babies amounted to 41 percent of all babies pre-birth killed in New York City. Id. No other racial group in New York has numbers nearly this skewed towards abortion. Clearly, whether intentional or not, the New York’s abortion industry has hurt the black race more than any others.
With New York at the forefront, abortion has killed more many black babies than there were slaves transported to the United States. At least one source estimates that approximately 450,000 black Africans were transported to the United States in slave trade. As for abortion, the CDC estimates that 13 million black babies have been killed via abortion since 1973. Thus, by a factor of more than 10, more black babies were aborted in the United States, with New York at the forefront, than there were black slaves brought to the United States.
Therefore, if the Confederate Flag is the symbol of slavery, then the New York state flag is the symbol of killing black babies. Thus, if the Confederate Flag must be removed from government buildings, as to not celebrate racism, then the New York state flag must be removed for the same reason. The New York state flag is a symbol of racism and killing that we can no longer tolerate. Just as the South was the focal point of black slavery, New York is the focal point of abortion of black babies.
However, I will not hold my breath. Some are just too afraid of change to remove the flag.