I happened to catch wind of this article the other day, courtesy of Phil LaMarr’s facebook status. I’m linking to it here, but to summarize: the people of Georgia Right to Life, who are staunch anti-abortionists, have taken a look around the Elks Lodge where they meet and realized that not only is their decor straight out of 1961 but their members are almost exclusively old white Republicans. They realized that if they were going to maintain any sort of anti-abortion momentum in the 21st century they were going to have to appeal to a broader audience.
If you detect a note of snark-icism in this blog then you are paying attention. This article got my goat and I’m writing about it today to bring awareness to what I think is a very disturbing way of doing business in America: fear-mongering as a means of control.
So the Georgia Right to Life did what many politicians do in America when they want to send a message: They chose an audience and mongered up some fear (yes, I did just coin the term ‘mongered’ as a past tense verb. Feel free to use it at will). In their case it was the African American community. The African American population in America apparently has a disproportionately high number of abortions compared to the other races. If I had to guess off the top of my head why that might be I’d say it might have something to do with the hundreds of years of oppression resulting in lower levels of self esteem among the members of the community, especially the women. On top of that, there’s the lower levels of education, the lack of access to resources like family planning and the poverty-ridden living conditions, all of which are on the list of ingredients for unwanted pregnancies.
I’m not going to say that the old, white Republicans had anything to do with causing those conditions in the African American community. The OWR’s (as we’ll call them) certainly aren’t trifling with the details of what caused the situation or how to change the living conditions of the African American community. They only want to talk about how to stop the baby killing amongst those people.
And the best way to do this appears to be by shoving the fear of genocide into them. That’s right – they are telling the fine black citizens of Georgia that abortion is a conspiracy to wipe out the black race. If you’re black you better be afraid that The Man is coming to get you for a “womb lynching”, as they call them.
And the thing is, apparently it’s working to a large degree. One of the reasons people use fear to control others is because it’s extremely effective. Just look how quickly we all turned over our right to privacy so that big scary terrorists wouldn’t attack us anymore. And while I’m not knocking the hard work of thousands of law enforcement officials, I am completely against a government who uses fear to control the population. In a world where you’re too afraid to look under the bed because you just know the boogie man is waiting there for you you are unlikely to question the mandate that you must stay in bed no matter what, even if you need to get up in the middle of the night to pee. As opposed to a situation where you’re told that everyone will get a better night’s sleep if you’re not up wandering around making noise, but if you have to pee, well, that’s okay. By using fear to control you time is saved on explanations and blind acceptance is all but guaranteed. That might work for whomever is in power but what about the person confined to their bed? Is it right? Is it fair? Shouldn’t they be treated as if they are intelligent enough to understand that we all need a good night’s sleep and it’s respectful not to walk around making noise? That’s how I want to be treated.
And I’m sure that’s how the African American community in Georgia wants to be treated. Maybe if those anti-abortionists in Georgia want to lower the high number of African American abortions they should help the people out with resources and education and if there are unwanted babies born those anti-abortionists should be ready to take good care of them for the next 18 years.
No matter where you stand on the abortion issue I think we should all be appalled by fear-mongering tactics. We all have the right to make decisions based on logic and reason and free of fear. If you’re peddling fear to reach your goal then it’s my firm belief your argument most likely doesn’t hold water. And if you are anti-abortion you should be able to distinguish the abortion debate from the targeted fear-mongering going on in Georgia (I am using the term ‘anti-abortion’ instead of ‘pro-life’ because there have been too many murders of abortion doctors to make that term anything but hypocritical. Life can’t be sacred before it’s born and then subject to anyone’s opinion of it’s right to continue after birth. Life also refers to quality of life and I’ve never heard or seen any so-called right-to-life group protest for the quality of life of an unwanted child).
I’m not sure if anyone is standing up and saying this is wrong or not. The New York Times wrote an article about it but that’s only good for getting the word out. What we do with the information is what matters. So what do you think about this?
If you think what the Georgia Right to Life group is doing is wrong, write a letter, post one of the above links on facebook, do something. The internet makes it easy to bring horrible situations to light and do something about them. So… do something.
I’m off to write a letter…