Published February 8, 2023
The corner of Connecticut Avenue and M Street in downtown Washington is occasionally patrolled by young men and women seeking signatures on petitions for one cause or another. I usually pay them no mind except to say, “Good morning.” A few years ago, however, I did stop and talk with a young African American woman collecting signatures on a Planned Parenthood petition.
“Do you know,” I asked after an initial exchange of pleasantries, “why African Americans are no longer the largest minority group in the United States?” “Is that right?” she responded. “Yes,” I said, “that’s right. And it has a lot to do with Planned Parenthood.” I then explained that Planned Parenthood’s foundress, Margaret Sanger, was a eugenicist with no fondness for racial minorities, and that, thanks to Planned Parenthood clinics and other abortuaries in our inner-city areas, millions of black babies had been killed since 1973, when Roe v. Wade imposed a libertine regime of abortion law on the United States. My young interlocutor looked confused, even a little dismayed, so I assured her that the numbers were available online if she wanted to look them up—as she ought to look up “Margaret Sanger” and check out her views on race and genetics.
As to the numbers: A study by the Center for Urban Renewal and Education determined that some 19 million black children had been aborted between 1973 and 2015. Add to that carnage the children not conceived and later borne by aborted African American girls and the black population deficit in the United States looks even grimmer. And what has that slaughter of the innocents done in macro-demographic terms? Well, the 2020 census counted 62.5 million Latinos in the United States—our largest minority group—and 41.6 million African Americans. Add to that 41.6 million the 19 million aborted black children previously noted, add the children that aborted black baby girls didn’t have, adjust for normal death rates, and African Americans would still be the nation’s largest minority in this third decade of the twenty-first century.
My street corner conversation and those chilling figures came to mind when I read a January 23 screed by the Washington Post’s Kevin B. Blackistone, who also teaches journalism at the University of Maryland. If there is a more race-obsessed sports columnist in America than Mr. Blackistone, I don’t know who that might be. So did Blackistone write about the slaughter of the black innocents? Did he take aim at the fact that over three-quarters of Planned Parenthood abortuaries are in minority neighborhoods, which sure seems like racial targeting? Did he lament the acquiescence of black political leaders in the literal decimation (and worse) of their population, as when every African American Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted against a bill that would provide legal protection for babies who survived a botched abortion?
What had Kevin Blackistone seething on January 23 was former NFL star and Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy’s participation in this year’s March for Life in Washington: an appearance that had provided “deodorant for . . . intolerance” on a “podium frequented by white supremacists and zealots.” To make matters even worse, from Blackistone’s warped point of view, Tony Dungy, the first black coach inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is “an evangelical Christian who has been an outspoken opponent not just of abortion but same-sex marriage, which he campaigned against in Indiana when he was coach of the Colts.”
Who’s the bigot here? Who’s promoting intolerance? Tony Dungy is a very intelligent man who surely knows what the abortion license and the institutional heirs of Margaret Sanger have done, not only to the demographics of black America but to the fabric of the African American family and to the moral culture of black American men. Doesn’t Kevin Blackistone know these things? Don’t the African American legislators who take Planned Parenthood money for their campaigns and then vote the Planned Parenthood line know? At what point does willful ignorance elide into complicity with the decimation of one’s own community?
A few years ago, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued a statement denouncing Margaret Sanger’s “belief in eugenics . . . a racist and ableist ideology.” Fine. But what of Planned Parenthood’s ongoing activities in our inner-urban areas? When will Kevin Blackistone and (to take one prominent political example) new House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries break with, and perhaps even denounce in the incendiary terms Blackistone used on Tony Dungy, the lethal enterprise that has done more than any other to reduce African Americans to the second-largest minority group in the country?
George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian and one of America’s leading public intellectuals. He holds EPPC’s William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.