The matter of Senator Elizabeth Warren invoking the persona of a civil rights icon to make a point is just the most recently noticed form of tricky political ploys. It’s bad enough that Senator Warren’s voice was silenced while her male counterparts were allowed to speak; apparently by a collaborative approach across the isles.
That sexist moment in and of itself is questionable, invoking shades of duplicity over the ongoing battle to define women’s rights. Then there’s the nasty sting of both Bible-baiting and race baiting.
Race baiting according to Merriam-Webster, is “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people.” Race bating, using the vantage point of skin color or ethnicity as an emotional trigger to stir up the public and distract people from reasonably understanding and responding to pertinent issues at hand is a deceptive and counterproductive political practice.
Another equally dangerous distraction that is used to distract the American people is “Bible-baiting.” Similar to race baiting, Bible bating takes scriptural context and twists it around to fit a particular political message. Both are deadly traps, enemies to civil rights and human rights.
In the meantime, it’s important to resist shutting down honest conversations about racism, sexism, and religion while confronting the problem of using such conversations for manipulation of questionable agendas. At the end of the day, we want to use nonviolent conflict resolution strategies to combat the triple evils, not feed them.
For at least the last four decades or so, race baiting, Bible baiting, and sexism have been used to distract the American people from the plague that has had the greatest negative impact on human life – abortion. Below are race related quotes from several politicians. Those quoted below espouse either pro-abortion or pro-life platforms. Each has intentionally or unintentionally played “the race card” in using their chosen emotionally charged words to make a point in the conversations below.
Some of these quotes are from Democrats, some are from Republicans. Most of these cited have apologized for their words once they were published. The quotes are cited simply as examples from just a handful among thousands of political remarks that have resulted in racial tension and disharmony.
- “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” – Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) to a largely African-American audience during a campaign stop in 2012
- “…so it’s been obvious that they’re doing everything they can to make him fail. And I hope, I hope and I say this seriously I hope that’s based on substance and not the fact that he is an African-American.” – Former Senator Harry Reid (D) in 2013 on Congressional Republicans’ opposition to President Obama’s agenda
- “Loretta Lynch is asked to sit at the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar.” – Senator Dick Durbin (D) speaking in 2015 on the delay of Loretta Lynch’s confirmation to be Attorney General
- “There isn’t enough racism in America to Justify the Voting Rights Act.” – Chief Justice John Roberts speaking from SCOTUS chair in 2013
- “I used to own – my father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes.” – U.S. Representative Don Young (R) in a 2013 radio interview
- “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.” – Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) in 2007
- “[Obama has a] light-skinned appearance and speaking patters with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” – Senator Harry Reid (D) 2010 comments
Each of these quotes, in their own way, caused political firestorms. Enough is enough! Today we are calling on a “cease fire” of using race, sexism, and religion as emotional fodder to adversely stir the hearts and distract the minds of the people of America from the issues at hand.
Across the congressional isles, race baiting, Bible-baiting, and sexism have clouded one of the major civil rights issues of our times – the right to be born. People become so distracted by the racial, gender and religious posturing that they forget just how many Americans are dying from abortion, sickness, poverty, violence and other forms of genocide and eugenics in our nation.
For years liberals and progressives have skillfully appealed to the Black communities, vying for the African-American vote while maintaining that abortion is good for blacks and, conversely, that those who are pro-life are somehow anti-African American. They have alleged that the Hyde Amendment, for instance, is inherently racist and that those who support it must be the same. It’s one of those race-baiting charges that makes no sense.
For example: When Congress held a hearing last year on the Hyde Amendment and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen couldn’t resist playing the race card. He started by saying, “Controlling women’s reproductive processes has been something that men have done for years, or tried to do,” then moved on to add, ”And women since the days of slavery were very much encouraged to have children, because that was good, because you needed lots of more property to bring the crops to make the money.”
So, as the Congressman not so subtly inferred, if you don’t want your tax dollars to pay for the dismemberment of low-income mothers’ unborn children – or any unborn children for that matter – you must be like 19th-century slave owners. In short, you must be a racist. Really? Twisted attempt to pervert justice.
Think about it. Why would Congressman Cohen’s imagined “racist” want more people of color to be born? Wouldn’t a racist want there to be fewer African-Americans and Latinos?
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood decades ago, certainly would want fewer poor people around. Sanger, who happily spoke to a women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan and received invitations to speak to a dozen more, said,
“Birth control… means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks – those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.” Clearly a big government fan, she proposed, “No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit….”
Mrs. Sanger was a progressive in her era and she would be a progressive today, supporting the race baiters and calling for an end to the Hyde Amendment. She wanted fewer of those she called “unfit.” She wanted what she called “a cleaner race.”
However, God’s Word teaches us that there is no “cleaner” or more “fit” race, only one human race. “He made from one blood every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…. (Acts 17:26)”
It’s time that we stop allowing ourselves to be divided. Those who use ethnicity, skin color, political preference, religion, income, gender, physical ability or lack of such, or any other classification to divide our communities for their own political gain ultimately do not care for us. They care for themselves and their power.
The next time a self-proclaimed progressive from any political party uses sexism, Bible-baiting or race baiting to say that abortion benefits the African-American community ask how the termination of 17 million black babies since 1973 helps anyone. You might be called a devil and a racist for asking, but those 17 million saints in heaven will call you friend.
Finally, this precautionary warning regarding Bible-baiting, race baiting and sexism should by no means preclude healthy discussions that would bring an end to these triple evils. Let’s not shut the conversation down. Instead, let’s dig deeper.
In doing so, Let us each pray; then continue to purpose within our own heart to examine our motives and act for the highest good.”
"Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.” – 1 Corinthians 11:28 MSG
Alveda King is the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and president of Civil Rights for the Unborn.