Jesse Jackson and Abortion
The Rev. Jesse Jackson was in Rockford yesterday (my current hometown) to speak in response to last week's racially-charged shooting of Mark Anthony Barmore. Two white officers shot and killed Barmore (a 23-year-old African-American) last Sunday after he fled into a church day care. Details are sketchy, but it seems he was unarmed and was attempting to surrender as he was killed.
Ironically, I was not in Rockford yesterday. I was in Birmingham, AL where I spent the morning worshiping with the congregation at 16th Street Baptist Church. From a civil rights perspective, it may well be the most historically significant church in our nation. It was exhilarating to worship across geographical and cultural lines, but today I'm reminded that we still live in a country plagued by violence and mistrust.
Whenever I see Jesse Jakson's name in the news, I think of two things. I think of a sermon John Piper preached some year's back in which he said this:
Across town from where I grew up, in the same city, five years older than I, another little boy was growing up on the other side of the racial divide. His name was Jesse Jackson. I learned last summer that his mother loved the same radio station my mother did: WMUU, the voice of Bob Jones University. But there was a big difference. The very school that broadcast all that Bible truth would not admit blacks. And the large, white Baptist church not far from Jesse Jackson's home wouldn't either. This was my hometown.
And as an aside I ask, should we be surprised that some of the strongest black leaders got their theological education at liberal institutions (like Chicago Theological Seminary, where Jackson went), when our fundamental and evangelical schools, especially in the south, were committed to segregation?
The second thing I think of is a piece Jesse Jackson wrote for the National Right to Life committee many years back (before he tragically changed his position of abortion). You can read his remarks on our Abortion and Race page. Here's a brief sample:
Another area that concerns me greatly, namely because I know how it has been used with regard to race, is the psycholinguistics involved in this whole issue of abortion. If something can be dehumanized through the rhetoric used to describe it, then the major battle has been won. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder, they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified.
… What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person, and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?
The Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote those words 32 years ago, and today we do find ourselves living in a society where life is "taken [very] casually." At its core, abortion teaches that violence is an acceptable means of eliminating difficult problems. Its influence on the population at large has been dreadful. Its influence on the black community is even more sinister.
Every day in America, an average of 3,315 human beings lose their lives to abortion. Based on the most recent statistical data, 1,127 of those abortions are performed on white babies, and 1,227 abortions are performed on black babies – which means that black children are being aborted at 5 times the rate of white children in the United States. Sadly, that's something that Jesse Jackson no longer seems very concerned about.
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.