Another day, another pro-lifer smeared as a racist. In August, it was Catholic author J.D. Vance, whom a Washington Post writer tried to tar with the r-word, only to fall flat when it was revealed that she misrepresented what Vance said and failed to note that his wife and son are Indian American. This time around, it is Episcopalian Tucker Carlson, accused by Farhad Manjoo in Sunday’s New York Times of “advancing ethnonationalist populism” and worse.
Like some falsehoods, this latest has a kernel of truth: The Fox News host is a “populist.” But the magical-thinking leap from populism to racism, which is now de rigueur in such hit pieces, crashes and burns. Manjoo’s charge is drawn mostly from a staffer at uber-woke Media Matters, whose job, apparently, is to watch Fox News and follow social media. White nationalists, reports Manjoo ominously, quoting the Media Matters researcher, “look at [Tucker] as a thought leader and an influential thinker.”
So? Whatever else you make of him, that’s what Carlson is. Anyone within reach of a television could say the same, from Antifa members to fans of “Stranger Things.” If we’re really going to talk about racism, let’s ask a more interesting question than any in the New York Times piece: Who, exactly, thinks that adding more brown and black people to the world is a good thing — and who doesn’t?
‘Family Planning’ Means Reducing Minorities
Whether it means to or not, team left amounts to keeping the world a whiter place. Recall Bernie Sanders’ recent open fretting about “overpopulation” and the need for more birth control in the “poor countries.” On any short list of those nations — say, the poorest 20 — almost all lie in Africa. To well-off, aging, lefty Westerners, more young Africans amounts to a problem.
On the global, liberal left, that same preoccupation with Africans and their fertility is endemic. In July 2017, childless French President Emmanuel Macron worried at an appearance in Germany over the “civilizational” challenges facing Africa, singling out the fact that women in some countries still have “seven or eight children.” Elsewhere that same summer, Canada’s minister of international development, Marie-Claude Bibeau, called abortion “a tool to end poverty.” En route to a “family planning” meeting in Rwanda, she was not speaking of Canadians.
The forward-looking Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is another powerful institution, the resources of which, whatever the intentions behind them, will have the effect of bringing fewer African babies into the world. Which, exactly, are the families that apparently need to be “planned” — a euphemism for “reduced,” since “family planning” never includes family expansion? Check the faces on the relevant section of the website. They do not resemble Icelanders or Finns.
It isn’t only the prospect of more Africans that summons anxiety in some places. In 2009, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a slip akin to Macron’s, when she said in an interview with New York Times Magazine that “at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” She didn’t mean descendants of those who sailed on the Mayflower.
Pro-Lifers Would Bless the World with Brown Babies
So returning to our original question: Who, exactly, doesn’t think bringing more brown and black humans into the world is a problem?
One contender is the Catholic Church. Pope Francis just concluded a tour of several countries on the continent, tacitly affirming what everyone who can count already knows: The future of Christianity lies in Africa. It’s in tradition-minded Africa that Christianity has grown explosively during these last decades. African priests and ministers are now routinely being exported to the United States, to re-evangelize the descendants of the people who first evangelized them.
The pro-life movement isn’t for keeping down the numbers of brown and black people, either. In such circles — and only in such circles — the fact that the abortion rate among American blacks is far higher than the rate for whites is routinely chronicled and mourned. The pro-life Lozier Institute, among others, keeps steady track of disparities such as these: “In 2016, as in previous years, more African American babies were aborted than were born alive in New York City.” Outside the pro-life movement, this racial disparity garners not a peep, including from people who accuse others of promoting “whiteness.”
Say what you like about pro-lifers, including Carlson, but they don’t think whitening up the country is a good thing. That’s why white nationalists, who are enthusiasts for the abortion of black and brown people, despise pro-lifers, as anyone reporting in good faith should know. It’s also why attempts to portray pro-lifers as racists smack of disingenuousness.
Here’s an irony: Thanks to Roe, America is a whiter place than it would otherwise have become. If pro-lifers had had their way, on the other hand, America would be considerably blacker and browner than it is today. So do the thought experiment: Which result might a real supremacist like more?