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16 Jul, 2020 21:54

Saying ‘pro-life’ is racist and should be banned, says Rolling Stone writer

Saying ‘pro-life’ is racist and should be banned, says Rolling Stone writer

Staying woke on what’s acceptable and what’s racist is an ongoing process of shifting standards, as a Rolling Stone writer proved with the latest addition to terms that have surprisingly been branded as bigotry: “pro-life.”

Jamil Smith, a senior writer who covers “the intersection of politics and identity” for the magazine, opined on Twitter Wednesday that the term “pro-life” deserves to be banished along with other recently outlawed characters and words.  A wave of racial sensitivity brought on by the Black Lives Matter protest movement has already brought down decades-old consumer products brands such as Uncle Ben’s rice, and forced the renaming of Washington’s NFL franchise.

“The moniker ‘pro-life,’ so often used in the service of nut just misogyny but also racism, should be retired right along with Aunt Jemima and the Redskins team name,” Smith wrote. 

Smith took his stand in response to a tweet by Rev. William Barber II, a progressive political activist. Barber pointed out what he saw as hypocrisy by Republican governors who speak out against abortion but allegedly fail to protect their states’ residents from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Ironically, the governors most willing to watch their citizens die are the ones who have used pro-life rhetoric to compel people of faith to support the narrow interests of corporate greed and white political power,” Barber said. “Covid has revealed how the pro-life movement is killing us.”

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Abortion is a reliably hot and divisive issue in US politics, and the element of race is often brought into the debate. While African-Americans make up 13 percent of the US population, black women account for 36 percent of abortion patients, on par with the larger Hispanic population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New York City, according to some reports, there are more black babies aborted each year than born. 

Anti-abortion activists often point out that Planned Parenthood, the largest US abortion provider, was founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who has been accused of anti-black racism. 

Abortion proponents have countered that pro-life politicians hypocritically oppose the loss of black lives while failing to take actions that would improve infant mortality, increase access to health care and reduce incarceration of African-Americans.

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