We’ve heard the protest chant, “No justice, no peace.” We’ve watched as a myriad of statues and monuments that have nothing to do with slavery or racism are either vandalized or destroyed. Yet others, that are steeped in racism, are left unscathed.
If the goal is to root out the systemic racism that is at the foundation of our nation and tear down all of the monuments to white supremacy, then why hasn’t Black Lives Matter demanded the removal of Margaret Sanger’s bronze bust that is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.?
Yes, the same Margaret Sanger who founded Planned Parenthood and is lauded by the left as a champion of sex education and women’s productive rights. While I am unapologetically pro-life, this article has very little to do with abortion.
In reality, Margaret Sanger was racist and an eugenicist. She believed in and advocated for eugenics, the “controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to improve the population's genetic composition.” If there ever was an anti-Black Lives Matter movement, it was Margaret Sanger.
Margaret Sanger is credited with popularizing the term “birth control” however, Sanger’s definition of “birth control” meant ending the reproduction of human beings who she, and others like her, deemed “less fit.”
In 1918 in “Morality and Birth Control” she wrote, “Knowledge of birth control is essentially moral. Its general, though prudent, practice must lead to a higher individuality and ultimately to a cleaner race.”
Later in 1920 she wrote in Birth Control and the New Race, “Birth control is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defective.”
In October of 1923 she wrote High Lights in the History of Birth Control explaining “... these two words [birth control] sum up our whole philosophy... It means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks -- those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization."
If we are to follow the current social justice grammar rules, shouldn’t the term “birth control” be considered racist given its original definition which literally meant the birth control of the African-American population? Just asking for a friend.
In a 1939 letter from Margaret Sanger to Dr. C.J. Gamble, Sanger revealed her organization’s true goal and the strategy they chose to employ in order to commit genocide, “The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
Remember the last time someone wanted to make a cleaner race? A purer race? The world fought against one eugenicist but Planned Parenthood celebrates another. The Margaret Sanger Award, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s highest honor, was created to honor the legacy of Margaret Sanger and was bestowed to individuals “to recognize leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement” between 1966 – 2015.
Why haven’t past recipients of the prestigious Margaret Sanger Award, an award created to celebrate the legacy of a racist eugenicist, denounced it and apologized? That is where we are at, right? Anything that is even perceived as being racist is quickly removed and the apologies, or demands for apologies, commence. There is no room for discussion or compromise.
So, if slave owners cannot and will not be tolerated, then why is someone who actively sought to exterminate the black population allowed to fly under the radar?
Which brings us to what I like to call, the Cancel Culture Paradox. This is the reason Sanger’s sculpture is still on display in Washington, D.C., or why there’s Margaret Sanger Square in New York City, a Margaret Sanger Lane in Plattsburgh, New York; it’s why a room in Wellesley College's library is named in her honor, a residential building on the Stony Brook University campus is dedicated in her name and even a crater in the northern hemisphere of Venus is named after her.
In 2015 a group of African-American pastors had asked the Smithsonian to remove the statue of Sanger claiming that a “champion of justice she definitely was not.”
The letter continued,
“Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies, an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at a rally of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers.
Also, the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild. Despite these well- documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice. The obvious incongruity is staggering!”
In the end, the request to remove the bust was a bust. In response, Smithsonian director Kim Sajet, said,
“There is no ‘moral test’ for people to be accepted into the National Portrait Gallery. Instead, we try to draw attention to those who have made a significant impact on American history and culture, and that includes both the accomplished and reprehensible. We recognize Sanger’s advocacy on behalf of women’s health and education whilst acknowledging her sometimes deplorable beliefs.
The most admirable aspects of American culture are that we attempt to acknowledge the past mistakes, engage in open civilized discourse, and set a path towards a better future. Removing those people from the portrait gallery who have been less than perfect would deprive future generations of valuable lessons concerning personal ambition and achievement on one hand, and human imperfection and fallibility on the other.”
Wait a minute… Are you saying that people are capable of doing both good and bad things??? Humph, who knew?
So, what will it be? Will we as a nation embrace our history, all of it or will we erase it. We have already forgotten even the truths of the recent past. How can we truly measure our progress when our past is twisted and distorted as such it is where some historical figures are vilified while others, who are guilty of equally heinous actions, are venerated?
If the purity tests are to be enforced, then enforce them because it’s only a matter of time before the cancel culture itself is cancelled. Right now, there are two things that have never been truer.
1) Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
2) People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
I suggest taking those two tidbits to heart before administering any more purity tests. In reality, Margaret Sanger’s vision of exterminating the black population is alive and well seeing how the leading cause of death in the African-American community is abortion.
Allan Giberti is the host of RI Red Radio on 990WBOB.com. You can listen to Allan live on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7pm Eastern.
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