My friend Tom Sundaram, an American Catholic of Indian (as in India) descent makes everybody uncomfortable with some nasty truths about Margaret Sanger. She was not shy about the racist views that the new Messiah of the GOP is also partial to, as he tells us here:
Quite a few people I know criticize pro-life people for seemingly quoting Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, “out of context.”
Things Margaret Sanger wanted to have happen:
That we should “keep the doors of Immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feeble-minded, idiots, morons, insane, syphiletic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred from entrance by the Immigration Laws of 1924.“
That we should “apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization, and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.“
That “to insure the country against future burdens of maintenance for numerous offspring as may be born of feeble-minded parents, the government would pension all persons with transmissible disease who voluntarily consent to sterilization.“
That “the whole dysgenic population would have its choice of segregation or sterilization.“
That “there would be farm lands and homesteads where these segregated persons would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.“
This “first step would thus be to control the intake and output on morons, mental defectives, epileptics.“
“The second step would be to take an inventory of the secondary group such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection and segregate on farms and open spaces as long as necessary for the strengthening and development of moral conduct.“
There’s a lot of objectionable stuff further, but, importantly,
“Immigration: Open the gates of the U.S.A. to those countries whose inhabitants have the inherent talents and national characteristics desirable, eliminating entirely those countries whose subjects have already been difficult to assimilate…This plan to be in operation for ten years. In the meantime we shall organize and join an International League of Low Birth Rate Nations to secure and maintain WORLD PEACE.“
In other words, Margaret Sanger was bigoted, racist, against “prostitution” or otherwise described sex work, and generally pro-eugenics against anyone her audience considered unfit.
Given that her audience was a bunch of people that we are now finally acknowledging were racist themselves, this means that she was, further, racist as hell.
Without lending myself to use by movements on the right, I want my left friends to realize that many of their own major figures deserve the same unrelenting criticism.
I am all for the cleansing of memory that is taking place with Confederate statuary. I think it is vital, for this reason, to confront the thoroughly racist legacy of Sanger for two reasons.
First, the Left needs to confront instead of bury it because, as an advocate of a consistent life ethic, I think that, whatever our arguments about abortion are (and, by the way, Sanger opposed abortion), the veneration of this deeply racist woman is, ‘ow you say, problematic for the Left.
At the same time, I also think that the Left’s veneration of her is less of a problem than the MAGA antichrist “prolife” Cult’s active and ongoing promotion of the racism for which she stood. If the Left are hypocrite’s for downplaying her racism, the Right is far more repellent for brandishing the unborn as human shields while advocating racist rhetoric and policies that would have made Sanger blush.
Jesus tells this story:
A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” (Mt 21:28–31).
On the whole, if forced to choose, I will take the Lefty people who talk favorably of a racist like Sanger while living their lives in opposition to the racism she advocated over the Righties who fake having the vapors about her racism while doggedly supporting the white supremacy she advocated. Deeds, not words, are what matter most.
I know, I know. “But abortion!” Here’s the thing, O “prolife” MAGA racist: you’ve burned your credibility to ashes by your support of your racist MAGA Cult leader. Had you embraced the Church’s consistent ethic of life (as Tom does), you could credibly make the case Tom does that Planned Parenthood supporters need to back away from an embarrassing figure like Sanger.
But since the Number One advocates of Sanger’s racist rhetoric are now the “prolife” cultists in Trump’s white antichrist base, they have no room to lecture Planned Parenthood. It’s the same stupid pet trick as when they try the threadbare lie that the Dems are the “real” party of the KKK since the KKK was started by Southern Dems in the 1870s.
Racist Dixiecrats all joined the GOP after the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That’s why the GOP is teeming with KKK and Nazis today and the Dems elected the first black Prez in US History. Don’t BS me that you care about racism while defending the thugs marching under the Stars and Bars or the Swastika as “very fine people.”
Sanger is a repellent figure. But though PP owes her a debt, it is the GOP and the Cult of Trump who believe, embody, and live her racist rhetoric now.