An Ivy League professor gets it wrong on abortion

Keith Riler
Because stupid is an ugly word, we try not to use it as an explanation of liberal behavior.  Direct, but less harsh, descriptors like misguided, nanny state, meddling, arrogant, libertine and power-seeking are often used instead.

But this is one of those rare situations where only stupidity will suffice. On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC, University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor Salamisha Tillet  made comments that leave only question unanswered:  Do all liberals think this way or just professor Tillet?

Professor Tillet attempted to explain Republican (white, in her terms) support of a ban on 20+ week abortions as a racially motivated effort to increase the relative proportion of white births:

Well, I think, the Census just released data, so part of it is the changing racial demographics in the United States. For the first time in American history, children born under the age of five are racial, the majority of them are racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S.

So I think that there's a kind of moral panic, a fear of the end of whiteness that we've been seeing a long time in that I think, you know, Obama's ascension as President kind of symbolizes to a certain degree. And so I think this is one response to that sense that there's a decreasing white majority in the country and that women's bodies and white women's bodies in particular are obviously a crucial way of reproducing whiteness, white supremacy, white privilege. And so I think it's just a kind of clamping down on women's bodies, in particular white women's bodies, even though women of color are really caught in the fray.

There is a very problematic fact barricading the path down which Professor Tillet's unbounded logic tumbles.  That is, far more black Americans are having abortions than white Americans.  Minority babies have been disproportionately affected because most abortion facilities target lower-income mothers. Eighty percent of Planned Parenthood locations are in minority neighborhoods.  Since Roe v. Wade, it is estimated that one-third of the black population has been eliminated, killing more than 13 million black babies totaling 40+% of all abortions despite the fact that only 6% of all U.S. women are black.  That's real disparate impact and racial profiling. 

If one were to craft a white supremacist plot, the reverse of Tillet's suggestion is the only plot that makes sense.  That is, because abortion disproportionately eliminates black children, white supremacists would seek to remove all barriers to abortion and place Planned Parenthood abortuaries exactly where they are already located.  Picture the Nazis locating their death camps ("medical research facilities") inside Jewish neighborhoods (and charging admission), and you get the picture.

But the story here is not white supremacy.  It is Tillet, who is so unthinkingly bound by her ideology; she refuses to look at the facts of abortion, even as she crafts her public explanation for the 20 week abortion ban (and this assumes her comments were made in good faith). 

Can you imagine what shape this country would be in if a liberal Ivy League professor were in a position of power?  Really scary stuff.

Because stupid is an ugly word, we try not to use it as an explanation of liberal behavior.  Direct, but less harsh, descriptors like misguided, nanny state, meddling, arrogant, libertine and power-seeking are often used instead.

But this is one of those rare situations where only stupidity will suffice. On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC, University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor Salamisha Tillet  made comments that leave only question unanswered:  Do all liberals think this way or just professor Tillet?

Professor Tillet attempted to explain Republican (white, in her terms) support of a ban on 20+ week abortions as a racially motivated effort to increase the relative proportion of white births:

Well, I think, the Census just released data, so part of it is the changing racial demographics in the United States. For the first time in American history, children born under the age of five are racial, the majority of them are racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S.

So I think that there's a kind of moral panic, a fear of the end of whiteness that we've been seeing a long time in that I think, you know, Obama's ascension as President kind of symbolizes to a certain degree. And so I think this is one response to that sense that there's a decreasing white majority in the country and that women's bodies and white women's bodies in particular are obviously a crucial way of reproducing whiteness, white supremacy, white privilege. And so I think it's just a kind of clamping down on women's bodies, in particular white women's bodies, even though women of color are really caught in the fray.

There is a very problematic fact barricading the path down which Professor Tillet's unbounded logic tumbles.  That is, far more black Americans are having abortions than white Americans.  Minority babies have been disproportionately affected because most abortion facilities target lower-income mothers. Eighty percent of Planned Parenthood locations are in minority neighborhoods.  Since Roe v. Wade, it is estimated that one-third of the black population has been eliminated, killing more than 13 million black babies totaling 40+% of all abortions despite the fact that only 6% of all U.S. women are black.  That's real disparate impact and racial profiling. 

If one were to craft a white supremacist plot, the reverse of Tillet's suggestion is the only plot that makes sense.  That is, because abortion disproportionately eliminates black children, white supremacists would seek to remove all barriers to abortion and place Planned Parenthood abortuaries exactly where they are already located.  Picture the Nazis locating their death camps ("medical research facilities") inside Jewish neighborhoods (and charging admission), and you get the picture.

But the story here is not white supremacy.  It is Tillet, who is so unthinkingly bound by her ideology; she refuses to look at the facts of abortion, even as she crafts her public explanation for the 20 week abortion ban (and this assumes her comments were made in good faith). 

Can you imagine what shape this country would be in if a liberal Ivy League professor were in a position of power?  Really scary stuff.