Trent Franks steps in Doo Doo

via Think Progress

Yesterday Mike Stark interviewed Republican CongressPeeps about their reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s mockery of the woman Louise Slaughter talked about during the health summit.  Trent Franks, being a one-note anti-abortion pony, immediately shifted the conversation to, duh, how abortion is ruining the country.  Then, along about the 6:20 mark, he steps in it.

As Eli described it over at firedoglake:

Trent Franks has really outdone himself this time.  Not only does he manage to offend both African-Americans and women in one compact soundbite, but he does it by combining two of the right’s most disgusting canards

What Franks said was:

FRANK: In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

Say what?

His statistics with respect to African American women having abortions are not correct although they are higher than other ethnic groups, a fact that the Gutmacher Institute attributes to higher rates of unintended pregnancies among blacks.  And this they attribute to a number of societal causes including lack of access to high quality affordable health care.  Sound familiar?  However Franks and other abortion opponents are trying to frame this as a conspiracy to eradicate African Americans in this country.

But as appalling as that is, Franks’ attempt to frame the ability of African American women to legally receive safe abortions when faced with an unwanted pregnancy is more devastating to them than the policies of slavery is simply atrocious.

Yes, because getting an abortion is just like being literally owned by someone else, being beaten, starved, raped and forced to bear your master’s child, forcefully separated from your family, stripped of all your dignity and everything else that slavery meant.  100% of enslaved people were devastated by the policies of slavery as were, in other ways, 100% of non-enslaved people who participated in this institution.  I honestly can’t decide if Franks’ off the cuff comments were representative of racism, pig ignorance, inheritent stupidity and/or all of the above.

Posted by marindenver on 02/27/10 at 12:20 PM • Permalink

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All of the above.

All of the above with a dollop of “inarticulate” to top it off. I say that because I don’t think he could possibly have meant it the way it came out.

I say that because I don’t think he could possibly have meant it the way it came out.

Well, I haven’t seen anything as of yet indicating that he is saying “no, no, that wasn’t what I meant to say” and this video is being picked up by a lot of sources.

His comments seem to be part of a general meme being pushed by the anti-abortion activists that abortion is a tactic to eradicate the black population and making comparisons to eugenics, Nazis, slavery, etc.  (That NYT column is an interesting read and has a lot of good links.)  The point being to activate the black community into supporting making abortion illegal.

So while it seems hard to believe he could have meant it the way it came out I’m inclined to believe he did mean it.

From Weigel’s WIndy site:

...“I don’t believe for one second that he intends to insult anyone,” says Stark. “I don’t think he sees the racism (or paternalism) in what he’s saying.” I agree. Franks has been a huge proponent of this argument, going so far as to show the documentary “Mafaa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America” to his House colleagues. That film argues, as some black conservatives argue, that legal abortion came about as a plot by white eugenicists to destroy black America. So that’s where Franks is coming from.

Comment by meepmeep09 on 02/27/10 at 01:52 PM

Concern Troll’s concern would be more convincing if A) He weren’t less articulate than Sarah Palin; B) He wasn’t a member of the party that is chock full of Kloset Klan members.

Christ, how fucking stupid do these stupid fuckers think we are?

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