If you noticed, I’ve been going back and forth with Chris Dominguez, the resident lib blogger at Silent Majority. We’ve been debating the significance of the Planned Parenthood stings. He recently posted, so I thought I’d respond.
Where I think I disagree with him is this: the “pattern” of misbehavior that Live Action appears to be targeting each time is not a pattern that actually occurs in the real world. They are patterns artificially created by the producers of the video in a specific bid to induce outrage and draw media attention. That makes them propaganda pieces — sometimes monstrously good propaganda pieces, I’ll admit, but propaganda pieces all the same.
Let’s follow his line of thinking to its logical conclusion…
An undercover police officer buys crack cocaine from a suspect. It’s recorded on video. The defense attorney comes foreword to state that this misbehavior that does not occur in reality, and that the police cleverly manipulated the suspect into selling the crack to the officer. Even though the full, unedited video showed that the officer only asked for the “product,” and the suspect freely cooperated, the defense persisted in their efforts at stating that this was only “propaganda” and that drug dealers really don’t sell drugs in real life situations. After all, the cop wasn’t a “real” drug user.
Planned Parenthood and donations for African-American abortions. Is it Matt’s contention that part of Planned Parenthood’s mission is to abort African-American babies, or that Planned Parenthood’s staff is full of closet KKK members? These strike me as marvelously dubious propositions, to say the least. In fact, if we assume that most staff members at a Planned Parenthood clinic are liberal, as seems reasonable, it’s actually quite a silly proposition. So what is the purpose of a “sting” operation that purports to show Planned Parenthood staffers accepting a donation from a person who presents himself as a racist? Is it going to reveal an already-existent pattern of Planned Parenthood racism, or is it more likely to be a misleading video that exploits a staffer’s temporary confusion about how to react to a person saying horrible things?
In reality, it is not my contention at all. I was in fact, one of the stated intentions of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. I’m just using her words.
“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go 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.”
Margaret Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Original source: Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts. Also described in Linda Gordon’s Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976.
Then, when one looks at the fact that 70% of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in minority neighborhoods, and that over 35% percent of all abortions are performed on African Americans, which far exceeds their percentage of overall population, we can say that it’s purely coincidental, right?
KKK shock rhetoric aside, we see that the founder of a group openly stated her intent of exterminating a race, and then, nearly a century later, the organization she founded is engaged in doing just that, do we see a pattern?
Let’s again follow Mr. Dominguez’s thinking to its logical conclusion…
I’m at a party, and I’m annoyed at another attendee. I stand and publicly announce that at some point in the evening, I’m going to punch the other attendee in the nose. Two hours later, I rise, go across the room, and punch the other person in the nose. The crowd is astonished and many are head to say, “How could we have known that he was going to do that?”
2) 13-year old girl in Indiana. The second set of videos that Matt puts up concerns the question of what Planned Parenthood staffers will do when confronted by a 13-year old girl who tells them that she has a 30 year-old boyfriend. (In a second video, they have a 14-year old girl who says he has a 31 year-old boyfriend.) Will they report the couple to law enforcement, as demanded by state law, or will they find ways for her to get around the law? In both cases, staffers offer the underage girl advice that will allow her to avoid having to turn her boyfriend — who is guilty of statutory rape — over to law enforcement.
These latter videos actually strike me as being much more germane to the point that Matt is trying to make — this actually seems to be something of a pattern of behavior for the organization, and it clearly goes against the spirit of the law — and yet we still have to note that the situation presented in the videos is artificially created to induce public outrage and grab media attention, not to expose a prior pattern of behavior at Planned Parenthood. Surely it’s not the contention of Live Action that Planned Parenthood condones sexual behavior between 13 year-old girls and 30 year-old men, is it?
I’m a mandated reporter, just as these workers are. I would get a name, and report them to the police as soon as possible. There is no ambivalence to that law…none what so ever. You either make the report, or you risk losing your career. I’ve been a mandated reporter for almost 20 years, and at no point have I hesitated to make a report. I’ve also worked with dozens, if not hundreds of people over the course of my career, in multiple locations. Never have I known another worker refuse or hesitate to make a report.
I’ve heard some really strange stories, and have worked in some really disturbing situations, but the law is so clear cut, and so simple, that I cannot believe that these Planned Parenthood workers didn’t red light these cases immediately. The only other explanation is that this is a failure to train the borders on criminal negligence.
But the second set of videos goes beyond that in the respect that they gave advice on how to hide it. It wasn’t simply a case of not reporting. The workers INSTRUCTED the undercover children on HOW to cover it up. That is the distinction that damns the Planned Parenthood workers. There is a difference between simple and gross negligence. In my opinion, Planned Parenthood exceeded both. You see, negligence is negligence, but openly offering assistance in covering up an alleged crime is adding and abetting. Obviously, there was no crime committed, as the “children” were undercover adults. However, Mr. Dominguez would have us believe that freely offering to hide a fake crime means that Planned Parenthood would NEVER help hide a real one…right?
As a matter of fact, what the Live Action people have done in each case is to set up a confusing situation for the people on the video, forcing them to ask, “how should I act in this strange and rare situation?” — and then, when they say things that are strange and rare, putting those videos on the Internet as if that’s how these people behave all the time. It’s the same game that is played by the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat and Bruno. It may be entertaining, funny or weird, but it’s not a window onto the truth — and it has enormous potential to mislead.
Allow me to quote something from the 60’s, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Our friends on the left often remind us that if we are not out there fighting a problem, we are condoning it by our silence. How is this situation any different? I’m not concerned with the motivation for the silence. The silence is deafening all by itself. They are condoning it in their lack of reporting it.
Additionally, are you suggesting that sexual abuse is rare? I hate to tell, you, but it happens far more than most people think. I think it would be terribly naïve to assume that these kids NEVER end up at Planned Parenthood.