Thursday, February 24, 2011

An Attack On African-American Mothers

by Dick Mac

The billboard pictured to the left states: "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb," and a child of about 4-years-old is pictured.

Excuse me?

Once a child is a child, it is no longer in the womb. The people who created this billboard think either (a) a four-year-old child is carried in a mother's womb (maybe like a marsupial carries her young), or (b) a 4-year-old black child is not being nurtured properly.

I would hope that people this powerful are not so stupid as to believe the former (that we are marsupials); so the latter is likely the case. This billboard says that black mothers are bad mothers, unwilling to take care of their children, unwilling to give them the nurturing and love a child needs to grow into an adult.

That is offensive. Why would an organization make such a blanket statement about black mothers? It's unconscionable.

Then you find out that this billboard is published by Life Always, a corporation formed by a group of conservatives to limit access to health care. They oppose abortion. I guess in their neck of the woods, black women abort four-year-old children.

I know a lot of mothers, even black mothers, and I've never heard of a single African-American four-year-old being aborted.

My experience is that people who oppose abortion, also oppose the poor. They consider the poor to be lazy, stupid, and criminal. They don't want the government to pay for abortions, nor do they want the government to maintain a social safety net. Conservatives generally treat poverty like a hairstyle: you chose it, now you live with it.

They generally tend to promote private charity as a means of helping the poor and eliminating poverty, which is admirable. One needn't dig too far into the past of Western Civilization to see how well that went. Orphanages were basically slave labor camps providing boys and girls to industry, pimps, and the rich, to work in the trades we all find the least desirable.

As poverty levels sky-rocket in America (yes, in America!), conservatives find millions of dollars to rent billboards promoting their opposition to a medical procedure, while millions of American children go without medical care, and sometimes food and heat. And these are the children of people who are working!

That's America's conservatives. They are compassionate. They want all the fetuses of unwed teenagers, battered women, and sex slaves to be born as babies; to be born into God's beautiful world, where they will live in poverty, have no nutritional, housing, or medical safety net, and create an even greater divide between those who have and those who have not.

Abortion is a terrible thing. All the people I know who have had abortions have been deeply affected by it. I've yet to meet the person who greets the procedure gleefully, or is simply using it because a child would be a momentary inconvenience. Those people might exist, but I have yet to meet them.

I have heard people say that they would choose differently if they could do it again. I have heard people say that without the procedure their life, and the life of the child, would have been a living hell. No matter the after-effects of the procedure on a person's psyche, that person needs understanding, acceptance, and comfort during that time, not judgment and attack.

Those who object to abortion do not have abortions. Those who choose abortion should be allowed to do so in peace, just as those who choose to have children should be allowed to do so in peace.

Billboards like this, that distort reality by tugging at our heart strings, and are offensive. Conservatives have politicized medicine to the point that many Americans can't get health care, and they have lowered the national discourse to this: black mothers are bad mothers.

Those who oppose abortion should not have one. They should also get out of the lives of those who so choose.

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