Thursday, July 9, 2009

Justice Ginsburg Said That Out Loud?

Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana picks up on an unbelievably bigoted statement uttered by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in support of abortion rights. Welsh begins his observation:
Abortion opponents often claim that Planned Parenthood has racist origins as a plan by wealthy, well-educated white Americans to prevent poor women and, in particular, poor African-American women, from bringing more children into this
world. In an interview with New York Times' magazine, Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes a stunning admission about her view of abortion at the time Roe v. Wade was decided legalizing abortion, which essentially confirms anti-abortionist suspicions of liberals' rationale for legalizing abortions and making them accessible on demand:

"Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong."
See the rest of the Welsh's observation by clicking here.

The highlighted comment of Ginsburg is exactly the sort of sentiment that led Indiana to be one of the leading states in adopting the ideas of later discredited eugenics movement during the first part of the 20th century. Along those same lines, Adolph Hitler hauled off to concentration camps millions of Jews, handicapped, homosexual, physically and mentally disabled and others that Hitler deemed to be "inferior" to the "Ayran race." Now 64 years after uncovering the tragedy in those concentration camps, we have a sitting Supreme Court justice spouting the same elitist, bigoted ideas. Ginsburg, who is Jewish, should know better.

That there are abortion supporters whose opinion on the subject are driven by racism and classism is not exactly surprising. However, even the least media-savvy abortion proponents have learned to keep those views to themselves. Here we have the a Supreme Court justice saying out loud a bigoted statement that Archie Bunker would applaud.

I like Welsh do not believe the media will pick up on the story. This is one area where there definitely is a double standard. If Justice Antonio Scalia or Justice Clarence Thomas would have uttered such a statement, there would be a media firestorm and demands that the justice resign. But the bigoted statement came from a white liberal. Let's see if the mainstream media even picks up on it.

3 comments:

Shorebreak said...

No surprises.

For decades, one of the policy goals of the private groups who control the US government has been to reduce population (globally), specifically focusing on non-whites. Whenever you see an appointment to high office, regardless of party or Administration, prudence dictates that we must assume that the appointees hold these same values - all the way up to the President, which I also consider to be an appointed position under our current circumstances.

With regards to Indiana, much of the eugenics program that was instituted was based upon the vision of Margaret Sanger, who believed that people with darker skin were inferior and that society could be formed by culling the genetic make-up of populations. You mentioned Adolf Hitler, but did you know that his programs were modeled after US programs, like the one in Indiana? Most people who are unaware of the circumstances tend to reject that as even a possibility. And those few who actually research it tend to come away with their jaw dropped as they realize that it happened here as well.

Here's something interesting that these mental and moral anthills will never understand: I know several people who are absulutely brilliant, incredible, and intelligent people who come from parents who may have easily fallen into the category of folks who deserve to have their genetic lines terminated. And I could probably come up with volumes of names from the so-called "upper classes" whose character, intelligence, and intellect is questionable among even the most average people in society, whom I proudly identify with.

Paul K. Ogden said...

You're exactly right about Margaret Sanger. People don't realize that what ultimately culminated in Roe v. Wade was very deeply rooted in concerns about overpopulation, and in particular, overpopulation of certain undesirable groups.

Ginsburg is from the an older generation that well remembers the background of the movement. She probably had no clue that saying what she did in today's climate is unacceptable.

Ineresting point about Hitler. I'm not at all surprised.

Anonymous said...

You are correct, I most likely will not be picked up by the media, because it is not newsworthy.

Our perception of things people say and do is colored by our own viewpoints, beliefs and desires. If there had been mounting evidence over the years to indicate that Justice Ginsburg was harboring some deep-seeded racist beliefs, we would know by now. However, there is no indication that this is the case.

We have nothing to gain by continually casting the worst possible light upon everything that people who's politics do not directly align with ours have to say. Justice Ginsburg could have been referring to populations where the parents do not have the ability to care for, feed, clothe or otherwise provide basic necessities for their children. I'm not a mind reader, I do not know what she was saying, but I think that it would be a leap to attempt to claim she is of the same ilk as Hitler. And yes, there have been successful people who come from less-privileged backgrounds, but it is important to note the difference between a household where it is difficult to put food on the table and one where it does not occur to drug-addicted mom to spend money on food instead of drugs, or any other number of horrific scenarios.

I have no intention of going off topic far enough to get into a debate on abortion, but there are many legitimate reasons for a woman to have one (rape, incest, abuse, health, etc) that have nothing to do with eugenics. Fundamentally, abortion is a womens' rights issue, plain and simple. Margaret Sanger did have some warped theories, but part of the reason she created and advocated for abortion was because of the number of women she saw in her Catholic community who had far too many children and were attempting to "remedy" the situation themselves. (It is also important to note that in spite of some of her appalling beliefs, she did eventually earn the respect of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

And if Justices Thomas or Scalia had said something stupid, we may or may not have heard about it-- quite frankly we see very little reporting on Supreme Court matters in the main stream media. (Also noteworthy, we probably won't hear anything from Justice Thomas considering he hasn't spoken from the bench in years). I'm sure you can find "fair and balanced" reporting on the issue somewhere...