Dear Editor,As a confrere of Fr. Gheddo from the United States, I would like to respond to his recent article “I am happy with the victory of Barack Obama.”
I can understand Fr. Gheddo’s happiness about the election of an Afro American as President, given the disgraceful history of racism in the United States. I vividly remember how painful it was for me, as a patriotic American, to learn, during my high school years, about the history of slavery and racism in the U.S. The nadir of the story was the case Dred Scott vs. Sanford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856). It is bad enough when an evil as great as slavery is tolerated. In this case, however, the Supreme Court of the United States, the supreme judicial authority of the country, declared that slavery was justified by the Constitution, and so was part of the fundamental order of the land. The Court quoted the words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence ('We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among them is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’) and then ruled that these words were never meant to apply to blacks, who were only regarded as property.
Tragically, Mr. Obama’s stand on abortion contradicts the historical significance of his election.
In the cases Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and its companion Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973), the Supreme Court declared that the performance of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, right up to the moment of birth, was legal. Any restriction, the Court ruled, had to include a health exception, but since this exception had to include emotional and psychological aspects, the distress of a pregnant woman at having to bear a child was sufficient reason for an abortion at any stage. The Court explicitly declared that “the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense,” thus excluding them from that community of persons enjoying the inalienable right to life in the same way that the Dred Scott Court had excluded blacks from the inalienable right to liberty.Mr. Obama is strongly dedicated to not only preserving, but actually extending, the present abortion regime in the United States. While he was a Senator in the Illinois State Legislature, he opposed a measure that would have mandated medical treatment for babies who survived an abortion procedure and were born alive. His reasoning was that such a law might, by implication, call into question the exclusion of the unborn from the protection of the law. His uncompromising stand in favour of treating the unborn as “legal nonpersons” is tragically ironic given the fact that he belongs to a race that was treated in exactly the same way in the past.
What compounds the tragedy as well as the irony is that Afro Americans are disproportionately targeted in abortion. Blacks make up 12% of the U.S. population, but 35% of all abortions are performed on black women. Afro Americans are the only minority in the U.S. which is declining in population. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S. has 78% of all their clinics in minority neighborhoods. This distribution is consistent with the thinking of its founder Margaret Sander, an enthusiastic eugenicist, who wrote that “colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” Afro Americans understandably voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama, embracing a historic chance to affirm their place in U.S. society. Tragically, all too few of them realize that the candidate they think will bring them much more political prominence strongly supports Planned Parenthood and its abortion policies which, if present trends continue, will reduce the black vote to insignificance by 2038. This, too, falls in line with the strategy of Margaret Sanger. She realized that whites trying to eliminate the “human weeds” would be met with suspicion. She laid great emphasis on recruiting black leaders who would convince their people to cooperate in their own destruction.
It is beyond tragic that the first Afro American elected as President of the United States is a man that Margaret Sanger would have approved of, rather than one that Martin Luther King would have approved of.
Fr. Mark Tardiff