Wisconsin is a wonderful state. Politically, it’s rated deeply purple, but common sense seems to be in the genes up there, and it eventually prevails in political matters.
For instance: Milwaukee is the only city in the country to have elected three openly Socialist mayors* and today the nephew of the third is an international pro-life leader.
Gaylord Nelson, who represented Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1981, was about as leftwing as could be in the 60s and 70s. But he had common sense: In 1970, he held Congressional hearings on the adverse health effects of the oral contraceptive, which led to the first mandatory side-effect disclosures on drug packaging inserts.
So when Congressman Sean Duffy, of the 7th District, recently joined his colleagues on the floor of the House of Representatives for a Special Order to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, he took a commonsense approach to the facts—and he spoke them.
He explained how he hears his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus complain about how police target African-Americans. In the Financial Services Committee, he hears about how big financial corporations target African-Americans and minorities.
But, he said, he doesn’t hear his colleagues talk about how African-Americans are targeted for abortion.
“Black lives matter, they do,” he said, “and Indian, and Asian, Hispanic and White. All those lives matter. We should fight for all life, including the life of the unborn.”
He went on to point out that while blacks are 15% of the country’s population, they account for 40% of the abortions, and that in New York City, black women have more abortions than live births.
Oops. Duffy had just spoken a very unpopular truth to a very loud power. He had courageously, with both hands, grabbed hold of a third rail of today’s politics.
What he said was true: According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, non-Hispanic black women had both the highest abortion rate (29.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) and ratio (459 abortions per 1,000 live births).
But truth is the first casualty of politics.
Duffy had the unmitigated gall, as a white man, to say that black lives matter—and then he added that other lives matter as well. Even Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley got booed for trying to say the same thing!
In the age of Political Correctness, some facts are allowed to be more true than others. It was Duffy’s bad luck that a fellow Wisconsinite didn’t want to hear facts from him.
Under the regime of Political Correctness, when you don’t like the facts you indulge in hurt feelings and you make the truth-teller pay. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, who represents the State’s 4th District (inner-city Milwaukee), took offense. She immediately drummed up a campaign to shoot the messenger. Soon, the Congressional Black Caucus threatened to file a privileged resolution to censure Duffy. Such a measure might yet be introduced upon Congress’ return in February (it was supposed to return this week, but Jonas the Blizzard changed the plans).
As a black woman who has survived rape, Rep. Moore overcame the targeting of her life by a rapist; one might hope that she would take offense at the targeting of other innocent lives—especially black ones—by the perpetrator of another kind of violence.
But to do that, it seems, would require an ability to distinguish between objective reality (facts) and an emotional/ideological reflex (identity politics).
I’ve been trying to find some logic in all this. Syllogisms sometimes help figure difficult things out. So herewith are my efforts. Maybe you can help me.
All abortions take lives.
Some abortions are done on black women.
Therefore some abortions take black lives.
But all black lives matter.
Some abortions take black lives.
Therefore some abortions take lives that matter.
Everyone who thinks black lives matter should deplore abortions done on blacks.
Some abortions are done on blacks.
Therefore everyone who thinks black lives matter should deplore those abortions.
If Duffy thinks black lives matter, he deplores those abortions.
He does deplore them.
Therefore Duffy thinks black lives matter.
Whoever thinks black lives matter is free to say so.
But only blacks are free to say that black lives matter.
Therefore either Duffy is black or he is not free to say what he thinks.
Duffy is not black (though his wife is Latina). Gwen Moore’s political correctness (which is not in the Constitution) supposes her colleagues’ free speech (which is in the Constitution).
So can somebody show me where my syllogism went wrong?
And while you’re at it, thank Congressman Sean Duffy for his courage! Click here to visit his website. Or send him a Tweet here. It’ll only take a moment to give a good man some thanks for being a voice for truth and for the unborn in the halls of Congress.
* Emil Seidel, 1910-1912; Daniel Webster Hoan, 1916-1940; Frank P. Zeidler, 1948-1960.
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Connie Marshner is a commentator and researcher on life and family issues in the Washington, D.C., area.