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Do #UnbornLivesMatter to InterVarsity?

At its recent missions conference, the big Evangelical ministry InterVarsity Christian Fellowship hosted Michelle Higgins, a speaker from the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Why? According to a press release from InterVarsity: [1]

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA has a 75-year dedication to the gospel, orthodox doctrine, and missions while also sharing the message in a way that resonates with the current student generation. Scripture and the gospel are non-negotiables for us. Some of our chapters have been denied access to campuses because of our dedication to core, orthodox Christian doctrines.

We chose to address #BlackLivesMatter at Urbana 15, InterVarsity’s Student Missions Conference, because it is a language and experience of many college students. Many Black InterVarsity staff and students report that they are physically and emotionally at risk in their communities and on campus. About one-half of those at Urbana 15 are people of color, including more than 1,200 Black participants. InterVarsity chose to participate in this conversation because we believe that Christians have something distinctive to contribute in order to advance the gospel.

InterVarsity does not endorse everything attributed to #BlackLivesMatter. For instance, we reject any call to attack or dehumanize police. But – using the language of Francis Schaeffer and Chuck Colson – we are co-belligerents with a movement with which we sometimes disagree because we believe it is important to affirm that God created our Black brothers and sisters. They bear his image. They deserve safety, dignity and respect. InterVarsity believes all lives are sacred – born and unborn. Interim president Jim Lundgren says, “Scripture is clear about the sanctity of life. That is why I’m both pro-life and committed to the dignity of my Black brothers and sisters.”

We see racial reconciliation as an expression of the gospel (e.g., Ephesians 2:14-18), and as an important practice in preparation for global missions. The need for reconciliation is obvious in the Middle East and other global mission fields. It is just as obvious in the United States. InterVarsity has been involved in this conversation for decades. We believe it is important to stand alongside our Black brothers and sisters.

That same #BlackLivesMatter activist, addressing the 16,000 students present, said that the pro-life movement is “a big spectacle.” At about the 13:30 mark in her presentation [2], she began denouncing pro-life Evangelicals as hypocrites:

“We could end the adoption crisis tomorrow. But we’re too busy arguing to have abortion banned. We’re too busy arguing to defund Planned Parenthood,” charged Higgins. “We are too busy withholding mercy from the living so that we might display a big spectacle of how much we want mercy to be shown to the unborn. Where is your mercy? What is your goal and only doing activism that is comfortable?”

Her entire talk was more or less progressive boilerplate, some of it worthwhile, some of it absurd (e.g., praising pro-Soviet radical Angela Davis [3] as an apostle of “hope,” accusing white Evangelical churches of being racist if they don’t embrace exuberant African-American worship styles), some of it bizarre coming from a confessing Evangelical (e.g., blaming missionaries to North America for “proselytizing” Native Americans), all of it intended to convince her audience to be ashamed of themselves if they have not joined #BlackLivesMatter.

Here’s something especially interesting: Students for Life, a college pro-life organization, was refused permission to exhibit at that same event because, according to Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America: [4]

Students for Life and Rock for Life were denied the chance to exhibit at the conference because, according to an email from the Exhibits Manager, “… Students for Life does not align with Urbana’s exhibitor criteria. One of our key criteria for exhibitors is to have advancing God’s global mission as the vision and purpose of their organization.”

Chelsen Vicari of the Institute for Religion and Democracy contacted the events manager for an explanation: [5]


To be fair, I reached out to the Urbana15 team for greater context. And I will say that the Urbana15 team responded quickly and obligingly. They pointed me towards their exhibitor’s criteria page [6].

But from the list of seven prerequisites, including being a reputable agency registered with the IRS, I found no cause to deny SFL while highlighting #BlackLivesMatter. SFL promotes diversity, provides training, builds coalitions with parachurch ministries, works with Christian college campuses, and advances key components of God’s mission: every life is precious. SFL does all those things, just not in the typical churchy way. That’s a good thing.

So why then did Urbana15 deny SFL a booth in the lobby yet devote an entire evening to #BlackLivesMatters, whose keynote never once addressed abortion’s innate racism? This, I believe, is because among faithful student ministries we have a Millennial generation moving into leadership positions who prioritize leftist political policies over traditional teaching to make themselves feel more compassionate.

Millennial readers, does Vicari have a point?

Remember, the interim president of InterVarsity said that Scripture is clear about the sanctity of life, and “that is why I’m both pro-life and committed to the dignity of my Black brothers and sisters.” That’s what he says. But it seems that some lives are more sacred than others, and the cause of defending them is no longer part of God’s mission, according to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Why does one negate the other? It doesn’t make sense to me. If you want to have Black Lives Matter, fine, do it — but why not pro-lifers?

And look, I’m all for racial reconciliation, but I fail to see how a half-hour harangue by a left-wing church lady who tells white Evangelicals in the audience that they ought to be ashamed of their pro-life activism, and of their ancestors for evangelizing Native Americans, is going to build bridges. But that’s me. I just don’t get what’s so reconciling about the message, “Here are a hundred ways you people suck, but you will be absolved of your suckiness if you join my movement.”

UPDATE: Thought of Michelle Higgins’s diatribe when I read Damon Linker’s latest column [7], which is about the pathologies of identity politics. Specifically this:

And there you have it: the identity-politics-addled mind at work. Its first thought is always an ethnic, racial, gender, or ideological category, like “white privilege,” which it uses to size-up the world in an instant. Next comes judgment, usually quick and severe, using a single measure: relative power among the various ethnic, racial, gender, or ideological groups. And then there is the final ingredient: the moralistic edge tinged with grievance that makes the American style of identity politics so potent and distinctive, an obsessive fixation on justice understood as equality.

Put it all together and we’re left with the only form of moral evaluation that identity politics can manage: the indignant denunciation of double standards [8].

That’s very good — and it describes the Higgins speech perfectly. There is nothing in the talk to invite others in. It’s all about rage and public shaming, along with some manipulative self-praise, along the lines of, “I know this is going to make a lot of you uncomfortable, but I have to tell the truth.” If you’re the kind of Evangelical who masochistically likes this kind of identity politics display, then this is the kind of thing you like.

Seriously, though, I don’t know why people think this kind of rhetoric is successful. I mean, it is plainly successful, to a point. But then you run into people who aren’t swayed by moral harangue (as opposed to moral suasion), and eventually, they will push back. If you’re lucky — if we’re lucky — they will not rely on the same tactics. I wouldn’t count on it. One legitimizes the other. But #BLMers and progressives are so caught up in the rapture of their own righteousness that they don’t see the risk.

(And by the way, if I heard a pro-life speech using the same rhetoric, I would find it very off-putting and counterproductive, even if I agreed with the point being made.)

UPDATE: A reader writes:

I went to (a conservative Reformed) college with Michelle (though I knew her sister better while we were there), worshipped at the church that her father pastored at the time (New City, Chattanooga), and am a member of the (theologically and, generally speaking, socially conservative denomination) that Michelle is currently working in (she’s with South City Church, St. Louis; the denomination is the PCA).

That shared context means that I’ve been a part of many of the same conversations within our denomination and circles in the Reformed church that Michelle has. For instance, when she is speaking about “civilizing and proselytizing” Native Americans, the critique is of a missionary method that didn’t distinguish between culture and gospel. This is true, and it is a critique that is now widely shared among the missionary community in evangelicalism (which, again, I know well; I grew up in a church that was basically attached to a missions base). It is not a critique of sharing the gospel.

I can tell you that her talk about the adoption crisis is not empty rhetoric or mere point-scoring; rather, it is born out of the lived practice of New City, where the church’s commitment to a pro-life stance was backed up by a church-wide commitment to adoption (and economic development; you can look at the nonprofit started by New City, “Hope for the Inner City”, to get a better sense of the full breadth of the church’s commitment to the lives of people trapped in poverty). That’s where the critique of “only doing activism that makes you comfortable” comes from: from a church that ran in the opposite direction, into the deeply uncomfortable place of living among and with the poor of its city.

I can also tell you that racial reconciliation is not a minor part of her family’s lives; it is at the center. There are very, very few churches in our denomination like New City, churches which are genuinely multiracial. (At least at the time that I was there, New City was roughly 40% black and 40% white.) When I say “genuinely multiracial”, I don’t mean that both black and white people attended. I certainly don’t mean that white people listened to haranguing messages and assuaged their guilt by assuring themselves that they aren’t like those bad racist white people who can’t accept the racist history of our country. I mean that deep relationships were formed across both race and class boundaries, to the degree that those relationships were reflected in the mixed ethnicity of many of the third-generation children born in the church. This character took work, and the church understood it as a primary component of their ministry (alongside preaching the gospel and ministering to the poor in the neighborhood and city). Sermons frequently addressed the racial history of the city directly. (Chattanooga is a city in the deep south; I’ll trust most people can fill in the details of that history for themselves.) I’d love to think that “teach[ing] children that it is evil to judge others on the basis of their skin color or ethnicity, that people must be judged as individuals, by the content of their character” is sufficient to achieve racial reconciliation, as you suggested in a previous post (on Oregon State). But in a country marked both by a legacy of racism and on-going racial discrimination, that’s sadly insufficient. Neutrality is insufficient when we begin in place that is tainted by the past.

Michelle’s family has lived a way that is sufficient. I doubt it is the only way that is sufficient, but their ministry and testimonies deserve more respect than your post offered. By that, I don’t mean that what she says is above critique. I mean that she deserves to be extended the grace of assuming she is arguing in good faith, not “all about rage and public shaming” or “manipulative self-praise”. I mean that any summary of her talk should acknowledge how deeply it was inflected with the gospel. Her comments from about 13:10 to 13:30, for instance, right before the part about adoption and abortion:

“This is our dirty wretched affair that we’ve been hiding. This is our time to craft our narrative into one of repentance. To say, God, I don’t want to bear this burden, of being in control. I don’t want to define justice, because I already know the man who does.”

Reducing that to “progressive boilerplate” is deeply unfair. I hope you’ll listen again.

Thanks for the interesting background. I genuinely appreciate it.

UPDATE.2: I’m closing off comments and moving the discussion to this new post. [9]

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Comments Disabled To "Do #UnbornLivesMatter to InterVarsity?"

#1 Comment By Julia Duin On January 9, 2016 @ 10:57 pm

Whoever said that blacks are offended by the abortion-is-black-genocide mantra needs to have their head examined. Check out [10], for starters. Their next event: an “All Black Lives Matter” happening at Ohio State on the 12th. As one black pro-life protester once told me, “Abortion’s killed more black lives than the Ku Klux Klan ever thought of doing.”

#2 Comment By Eamus Catuli On January 9, 2016 @ 11:59 pm


Count me as one of those who enthusiastically dissents from the modern ‘ethical’ stance against proselytization.

I dissent as well. I think Jews are fine as they are, but there are certain values — equal rights and dignity for women, for instance, including their right to be educated — that I believe other cultures are wrong not to adopt. I would have no problem seeing that changed, as long as it wasn’t done by force.

#3 Comment By EngineerScotty On January 10, 2016 @ 12:49 am

[NFR: So, if you are against abortion but don’t support the welfare state, you are not really pro-life? — RD]

I would not go that far. I certainly wouldn’t assert that being consistently “pro-life” requires supporting every jot and tittle of the Democratic platform (as far as the economy is concerned).

After all, one can, in good conscience, dispute the effectiveness of such programs; many Republicans vote the way they do because they think Democratic policies don’t work, rather than because one is a cross between John Galt and Ebenezer Scrooge, whose primary public desire is a lower tax bill.

OTOH, when someone routinely engages in behaviors like a) the only advice offered for women facing an unplanned pregnancy is “shoulda kept your legs crossed”, or other forms of slut-shaming, b) consistently embraces various flavors of social Darwinism (including proposing things that ought to scandalize any Christian, such as mandatory sterilization for recipients of public assistance) c) regularly glorifies death and violence in other contexts (belligerent foreign policy, a harsh penal state, a love of vigilantism, and/or a strong firearm fetish, d) routinely opposes policy initiatives designed to lessen the chance that a sexual encounter leads to an unplanned pregnancy in the first place–despite solid evidence that these things lessen the occurrence of abortion (though not of sex), or e) routinely complains about women’s equality in other contexts–then I start to wonder.

Embracing only one of the above, I’ll give you a pass. Many Christians oppose birth control on theological grounds more solid than “it might enable dem sluts to screw around”. But there are plenty of folks out there, unfortunately, who only seem to be concerned about unborn babies, but who won’t lift a finger to help those who are outside the womb. And there are quite a few prominent examples, particularly among the political set, who meet 4 or all 5 of the above criteria.

Obviously, if you do not meet the above description, than my comments don’t apply to you.

#4 Comment By cka2nd On January 10, 2016 @ 1:52 am

Clint says: “The ‘Black Lives Matter’ Slogan Ignores Self-Destructive Behavior


The article to which Clint linked is itself an example of “More Destructive Counterproductive Lecturing,” in this case of the “Black people should be more concerned about black-on-black violence than white- or cop-on-black violence” variety. Mr. Green appears to be yet another conservative, this time a black conservative, utterly unaware of all of the organizing within black communities around black-on-black crime, especially when it involves gangs or guns. If one follows your local news on a regular basis, I can’t really see how you would miss the regular drumbeat of stories involving the churches, black women and survivors of the victims of violence within the black community in organizing to “increase the peace” within the community and “get guns off the street.”

#5 Comment By Kurt Gayle On January 10, 2016 @ 3:23 am

@ Frances Bell, who wrote:

”I’m so sick of people going on about abortion being racist and totally ignoring the fact that these ladies are making the choice to end an unwanted pregnancy…they are doing what they WANT to do.”

You don’t think, Frances, that there’s any racism involved in the 3-5 times higher abortion rate of black women? You don’t think, for example, the fact that the largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has located 62% of its 165 surgical abortion facilities within 2 miles of African-American neighborhoods in 131 US cities is racially targeting those African-American neighborhoods?


#6 Comment By Clint On January 10, 2016 @ 8:19 am

(Which is NOT to say that there are also plenty of pro-life advocates who put their money where their mouth is)

The Lazy Slander of the Pro-Life Cause


#7 Comment By panda On January 10, 2016 @ 10:45 am

“[NFR: Serious question: How do you know that “much of the pro-life movement is only interested in sticks”? — RD]

Movement might be the wrong word here, as its quite plausible that pro-life activists, especially catholic ones, are not hostile to the social safety net. But, c’mon: you know as well as we do that there is a very high correlatino between hostility to the welfare state and pro-life attitudes, both among pro-life rank and file and especially among rank and file politicians. See under: the Medicaid expansion saga..

#8 Comment By panda On January 10, 2016 @ 10:49 am

“Arguing abortions are racist because more black people get them is like arguing nose jobs are sexist because more women get them. It’s ridiculous.

Well its a bit more complicatd than that. There are feminists who would argue that nose jobs are sexist, because society imposes an ideal of physical beauty on women that is unrealistic, and is judging them on their inability to measure to it.
In a similar way, I can see a left-wing pro-life argument that says that African American poverty is product of structural racism ,and that heightened abortion rates among African-Americans (the destruction of black bodies, to borrow TNC’s term) is a response to that reality.

However, for obvious reasons, it would be flatly ridicilous for conservatives to use that logic..

#9 Comment By panda On January 10, 2016 @ 10:52 am

“[NFR: So, if you are against abortion but don’t support the welfare state, you are not really pro-life? — RD]

No, you are really pro-life, but you want to attain that goal by using the stick of poverty and/or legal sanction- exactly Scotty’s original point.

#10 Comment By Ken On January 10, 2016 @ 10:57 am

Whoever said that blacks are offended by the abortion-is-black-genocide mantra needs to have their head examined.

Genocide: “the deliberate killing of a large group of people…” Who – what individual or outside group – is deliberately killing a large group of African-American kids? The rhetoric is nonsensical.

#11 Comment By grumpy realist On January 10, 2016 @ 12:36 pm

Rod–if women end up getting abortions because of economic reasons, and the pro-life side doesn’t address that need, then yes, being against the welfare state is in fact not pro-life. These women-with-babies need support from SOMEWHERE and just throwing a Bible at them and a few packs of Pampers isn’t going to do it.

#12 Comment By Casimir On January 10, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

SFL, like most other pro-life organizations, use the “abortion as black genocide” idea in their attacks on providers. Black people find this offensive.

[NFR: All black people do? You know this how? — RD]

He didn’t say anything about “all black people.” NFR stands for Non-sequitur From Rod, right?

The theory that abortion rates are higher in black communities (or that PP clinics are mostly located in black communities, which isn’t even true) because liberals are trying to trick black people into decimating themselves is pretty much insane. If you can’t see that, you probably can’t understand why it’s offensive in the ears of others.

But if you can see that it’s an insane theory (as most can), you’ll pretty quickly see why it’s offensive. It implies that black people are puppets rather than rational actors. It implies that entire black communities are too stupid to see they’re being doublecrossed. And any person pushing this insane theory isn’t just implying these two things, he’s admitting that he finds these things EASIER to believe than an absurd conspiracy theory.

It’s not just offensive, it’s a shibboleth – something that gives away your identity and lets people know who you really are. That’s the real, and only, utility of this theory.

#13 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 10, 2016 @ 1:51 pm

Julia has a point, but its not half the point she seems to think it is. The truth is, if you could poll, or better read minds of, the entire African-descended population of the United States, you would find that they actually have a whole range of opinions on almost any subject. Thus, of course you will find some who are offended by the abortion-is-black-genocide mantra, and others who embrace and actively promote it, as well as many degrees if ignorance or indifference about it. Why is that surprising?

To many of us, the Ku Klux Klan burning a black mother of five to death is of far more concern than a doctor removing a 10 week fetus from a black mother of five who doesn’t want to bring a sixth to term.

I think the real issue is that the availability of abortion as a choice for millions of women, often black, lessens the pressure on society to provide an economic structure that enables black women to envision an practical alternative to abortion.

Valid point, but, there are a tremendous number of children growing up in very hazardous circumstances already, and society doesn’t seem motivated to provide practical alternatives to them as it is.

Similarly, the legalization of “death with dignity”, aka assisted suicide, is going to lessen the pressure on society to provide real healthcare to the dying.

I’m very skeptical of assisted suicide, although I sympathize in situations where a patient is enduring extreme pain likely to continue for as long as they live, and they could live for weeks or months in extreme pain. I also sympathize when the patient is brain dead and its a matter of pulling a feeding tube or turning off a heart-lung machine.

We do need to think seriously about what “real health care to the dying” means, and what “society” is obligated to provide. We are close to the level of technology when all manner of conditions can be prolonged almost indefinitely, at huge expense. It is not morally wrong for an individual patient to say, as Joy Gresham said in the end to C.S. Lewis, “you have to let me go.”

If it is conservative to preserve life, it is also conservative to be thrifty in allocating funds and getting the most out of the allocation. Neither is a sina qua non, and neither is entirely wrong. I do think the more we can leave up to the option of the individual patient, and the less we set mandatory regulatory guidelines, the better.

#14 Comment By EngineerScotty On January 10, 2016 @ 2:07 pm

Regarding prosletyzation, I have no problem with ethical prosletyzation. Interestingly enough, in terms of when missionary work becomes ethically fraught–in many cases, there are useful parallels with dating and sexual harassment.

* No coercion permitted, ever–if someone finds Jesus (or decides that there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His prophet) at the point of a sword–have they really?

* Even though it’s a far less problematic source of coercion–I’d avoid proselytizing to anyone you are in a position of authority over (excluding explicitly religious contexts where proselytizing is the point or is expected–teachers in Catholic schools, for example, witness to non-Catholic students without violating this rule): tenants, employees, students, patients. If it would be unethical for you to date someone (assuming they are adults and your relationship with them is mainly professional), it’s probably ethically problematic to attempt to convert them to your faith, for much the same reason.

* If someone expresses a wishes to not be proselytized to, stop. Otherwise, it can turn into harassment.

* (Secular) employers should be cautious of anything that might create a hostile work environment, even if no explicit prosletyzing occurs.

* Be very careful proselytizing to children who are not your own (again, excluding contexts where this is expected, like religious schools or daycares). In general, unless you have the parents’ permission to do so, you shouldn’t. Religious parents whose kids have irreligious friends (or friends of another religion) should exhibit their values at home, but shouldn’t attempt to convert their children’s peers.

* If you are a public employee discharging your public duties, do not proselytize at all in any job-related contexts. Establishment of religion and all that.

* Don’t lead with hellfire and brimstone. For one thing, it’s generally offensive in any context to tell someone that they’re going to Hell; for another, someone who does not accept Christian doctrine on sin and judgment will likely regard the observation as an insult, not as a warning.

* If someone turns the tables and proselytizes to you, extend them the same courtesy you would expect from those you minister to. The Golden Rule applies.

* This advice applies mainly to interpersonal attempts at prosletyzing, where an established relationship with another person is used as a vehicle for witness. Door-to-door missionaries, televangelists, and guys on the streetcorner (who are witnessing to strangers, and often to nobody in particular), have different principles to abide by.

* All of this applies equally to the irreligious seeking to “unconvert” the religious.

* Other than that, feel free to ask.

#15 Comment By Ken On January 10, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

You don’t think, Frances, that there’s any racism involved in the 3-5 times higher abortion rate of black women? You don’t think, for example, the fact that the largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has located 62% of its 165 surgical abortion facilities within 2 miles of African-American neighborhoods in 131 US cities is racially targeting those African-American neighborhoods?

How could black women be racist for aborting their own children? As for Planned Parenthood, if it’s racist, why are those 131 clinics not IN black neighborhoods instead of neighborhoods with other racial makeups? And if they are actually targeting black neighborhoods, then given how many black neighborhoods are poor, and given that the poor can ill afford kids, doesn’t that make sense? Aren’t they just going where the (perceived) need is? These are obvious questions.

#16 Comment By Rob G On January 10, 2016 @ 4:43 pm

“It implies that black people are puppets rather than rational actors. It implies that entire black communities are too stupid to see they’re being doublecrossed.”

People, even large groups of them, often unknowingly act against their own interests. Doesn’t mean they’re puppets or morons. Hell, the left has long said that the workingman votes against his own interests if he votes Republican (which I happen to believe is true in many ways). If a segment of the group “workers” can act against their own interests, why can’t a segment of the group “blacks”?

#17 Comment By Rob G On January 10, 2016 @ 4:49 pm

“If we could snap our fingers and set up a star trek utopian-level cradle to grave welfare system not a single Pro-abortion advocate would change their stance.”

Precisely. Because the support has got far more to do with sexual “freedom” than with any economic liabilities that may inadvertently result from that “freedom.”

#18 Comment By Hibernian On January 10, 2016 @ 5:34 pm

@ Ken: It is very common for stores, gas stations, etc, with a predominantly black clientele, to be located near, but not in, predominantly black communities.

#19 Comment By JonF On January 10, 2016 @ 6:54 pm

Re: Abortion’s killed more black lives than the Ku Klux Klan ever thought of doing.”

And every last one of those lives was ended by the decision of a black woman.

#20 Comment By aaron On January 10, 2016 @ 7:54 pm

This is the problem with do-it-yourself, American evangelical Christianity. Do these people ever connect the dots that following Christ requires a commitment to living a chaste, responsible life before you attempt to convince others of the truth of the gospel? Or is it all just about feeling sorry for everyone and endless demands for more tax money funding of the sacrament of “choice”?

Young American evangelicals are to Christianity what Michelob Ultra is to beer: so watered down and tasteless, you can’t really drink it. You just want to spit it out.

#21 Comment By Ken On January 10, 2016 @ 8:08 pm

Hibernian: So those clinics are also located to near communities of other ethnicities. Why presume they’re primarily there for blacks? And why presume they’re there for any ethnicity as opposed to there for people who would use them?

#22 Comment By Intelliwriter On January 10, 2016 @ 8:33 pm

This is where I get stuck when it comes to the anti-abortion argument: It means forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term. Having carried two children, I can tell you unequivocally that it’s not easy. I was sick through my entire second pregnancy. It is very hard on your body and changes it forever.

And that’s why I can never, ever tell any other woman what to do with an unplanned pregnancy. It must be her decision– not the state’s and certainly not some group of religiously motivated indivividuals.

#23 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 10, 2016 @ 8:52 pm

“If we could snap our fingers and set up a star trek utopian-level cradle to grave welfare system not a single Pro-abortion advocate would change their stance.”

Perhaps not, but the number of individual women seeking abortions would drop substantially.

#24 Comment By Clint On January 10, 2016 @ 11:33 pm

cka2nd says,
I can’t really see how you would miss the regular drumbeat of stories involving the churches, black women and survivors of the victims of violence within the black community in organizing to “increase the peace” within the community and “get guns off the street.”

And I can’t see how you would miss the fact that their efforts appear to be unproductive and falling on deaf ears.

In a black-white comparison, black homicide victimization rates were around six times higher than for whites. Furthermore:

* Blacks were 47.4 percent of all homicide victims and 52.5 percent of offenders.

* Blacks accounted for 62.1 percent of all drug-related homicide victims compared to 36.9 percent for whites. Over 65.6 percent — almost two-thirds — of all drug-related homicide offenders were black as compared to 33.2 percent being white.


Blacks were 44.1 percent of felony murder victims and almost 59.9 percent of the offenders.

It’s not like things improved under Obama’s leadership. According to FBI statistics for 2012, 2,412 of 2,648 cases of black homicide had a black perpetrator.

#25 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On January 11, 2016 @ 3:41 am

Gee, if we had those sixteen million extra Blacks, the left wouldn’t have to import illegals to steal elections!

I’m pro-life, but this is a really dumb conclusion about ‘sixteen million extra Black people’. In the context of industrialized or even semi-industrialized countries, the experience of the last half-century or so suggests that banning abortion has very little effect on fertility rates in the medium term, and usually very little in the short term either. Of the five countries in the world today which ban abortion completely, the CIA Factbook estimates that Nicaragua, Malta, El Salvador and Chile are below replacement fertility, and the Dominican Republic is only a bit above. (The CIA estimates of fertility are for some reason consistently low, across the board, compared to other estimates, but they’re not *that* much lower, so in any case you get the general idea).

Pro-choice liberals like to make much of the abortion bans in Ceaucescu’s Roumania, which was somewhat more successful (probably because it was coupled with a police state and a contraception ban), but even there, the effect was extremely short lived. Within ten years after the abortion ban, birth rates had dropped to around what they were before it. People are really, really resistant to having more children than they want, even if abortion is made illegal.

#26 Comment By Frances On January 11, 2016 @ 7:34 am

@ Kurt Gayle,

What about the words PRO CHOICE do you not understand? Anti choicers are trying to take that choice away and quite frankly this would just be another version of slavery where women are forced to have the fetus against their will. We aren’t so stupid that we believe all of this ‘concern’ about black abortions is really about ‘babies’. When you don’t even attempt to legislate men and it’s always about the ‘slut shaming’, it’s clearly about control. It’d be nice to see so much outrage and ‘concern’ for actual babies and children.

#27 Comment By Frances On January 11, 2016 @ 7:38 am

@ Casimir,

Perfectly stated and thank you. Your response is brilliant and what you say is why we roll our eyes when this ‘argument’ is used.

#28 Comment By Kurt Gayle On January 11, 2016 @ 9:00 am

@ Ken, who wrote:

“As for Planned Parenthood, if it’s racist, why are those 131 clinics not IN black neighborhoods instead of neighborhoods with other racial makeups?”

The Protecting Black Life link that I posted answers your question with the map on this page:


Figure 1 (in the center of the page) shows a map of 2010 U.S. “Census Tracts Surround Planned Parenthood Surgical Abortion Facility in Cincinnati, OH.”

Looking at the blue-shaded Census Tracts, Ken, you can see that — in addition to the Census Tract in which the Cincinnati Planned Parenthood surgical abortion facility is located, which is a 74% black Census Tract neighborhood — there more than 20 other Census Tracts within a 2-mile radius that are also black “targeted neighborhoods.”

“The 2 mile radius around the abortion facility (labeled ‘PP’) is indicated by a large circle and each census tract is marked with the percentage of African Americans who live there. This approach was used to analyze the Black populations surrounding each of 165 Planned Parenthood surgical abortion facilities. Our analysis shows that 102 out of 165, or 62% of the Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are located in areas with relatively high African American populations, or in ‘targeted neighborhoods.’ An abortion facility is considered to be in a targeted neighborhood if at least one census tract within walking distance has an African American population that is at least 50%, or 1.5 times the percentage of the surrounding county. The majority of targeted neighborhoods are composed of several census tracts with relatively high African American populations. In Figure 1, the targeted neighborhood of African Americans is represented by the blue census tracts, each of which have an African American population which is at least 1.5 times higher than the Hamilton County average of 25.7%. When the 4 census tracts with the highest Black percentages in all of the 102 targeted neighborhoods were taken together, their average Black population was 44.8%, nearly 3 times higher than the 15.6% average Black population of the 102 counties where they were located, and 3.5 times higher than the national black population of 12.6%. These census results reveal the extent of Planned Parenthood’s purposeful presence near African American neighborhoods.”

#29 Comment By Kurt Gayle On January 11, 2016 @ 10:25 am

@ Ken, who wrote:

“…If they [Planned Parenthood] are actually targeting black neighborhoods, then given how many black neighborhoods are poor, and given that the poor can ill afford kids, doesn’t that make sense? Aren’t they just going where the (perceived) need is?”

Correct me if I misunderstand your position, Ken: You seem to be saying that – whereas we should rightly object to targeting pregnant black women for abortion — we (and Planned Parenthood) would be justified in targeting pregnant poor women (no race specified) for abortion, because “the poor can ill afford kids” and Planned Parenthood are “just going where the (perceived) need is.”

What you seem to be saying SHOULD be happening, Ken, is certainly happening. Planned Parenthood’s Alan Guttmacher Institute admits that, “Women with family incomes below the federal poverty level ($18,530 for a family of three) account for more than 40% of all abortions. They also have one of the country’s highest abortion rates (52 per 1,000 women). In contrast, higher-income women (with family incomes at or above 200% of the poverty line) have a rate of nine abortions per 1,000, which is about half the national rate.”

On the other hand, because poor women find abortion to be “morally wrong” as opposed to “morally acceptable” by an even greater margin (5-1) than women in higher income groups, I don’t either you, Ken, or Planned Parenthood are likely to be offering poor pregnant women they want.


Ken: Poor pregnant women need our support — not our “targeting” to abort their unborn children.

#30 Comment By EngineerScotty On January 11, 2016 @ 10:46 am

For those flogging the “PP locates its clinics near black neighborhoods, thus is racist” canard–

keep in mind, that 99% or so of what PP does, does not involve abortion. Most of what PP does involves things like basic women’s healthcare (gynecological exams, pap smears, etc; which nobody should object to) and contraception (which many conservatives do object to, but is in a different moral plane than object).

And being an organization that focuses its services on the poor–women who don’t have (or haven’t had in the past) access to good healthcare, who aren’t accepted as patients at the suburban OB/GYN clinic because they don’t have the right insurance, nor can afford to pay cash, it stands to reason that it often locates its clinics in places where the poor are more likely to be found.