Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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Unfortunately, the disrespect in the comment section of the blog has become excessive and comments are being heavily moderated. At least for now.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Conspiracy Theories: Pro-Choice and Eugenics

It is entirely possibly to discuss the choices in reproductive freedoms and birth control without entertaining the ideas of eugenics and genocide. I don't praise or worship Margaret Sanger for her classist, and subsequently racist, stance on eugenics and birth control. Similarly, let the record reflect that I'm not thrilled about positive eugenics propoganda handed over by the conspiracy theorist militant Negroes of our communities.

Okay. I understand that this might sound harsh. I also understand that people specify desirable qualities they look for in their mate, which may support a degree of positive eugenics in future family planning. Let's ignore the minor degrees of positive eugenics theories and jump right into the extreme ones. For example, I have an associate that I very much value for a lot of different reasons and opinions. However, in our initial correspondances, he made it clear that he was impressed with my beauty as a young Black woman; aside from my physical beauty, he made it clear that I am very intelligent, knowledgable, and resourceful. And so, in complimenting my personal characteristics, his solution to our friendship was this: we should have children together to improve the quality and condition of the entire Black community, and so that the Black race could better compete with the world. And I did not find this to be brilliant, but instead insulting. Positive eugenics is the practice of encouraging the so-called "genetically advantaged" to procreate. Before, during, and after my dear mixed-up associate identified me as genetically desirable, I leaned away from the idea of having a family. And so, the feeling in my stomach when discussing such theories as his pushed me further and further away from the idea of being a mother. As I often say, not in the forseeable future.

In my veryveryvery not-so humble opinion, when minority communities embrace pro-positive eugenic theories, it not only detracts from the work and responsibility of parents and community in raising children (nurture), but it validates the things that white slave masters actively practiced and believed in with regard to the reproductive exploitation of women slaves in America (nature).

In the early 1900s, Margaret Sanger did fully support negative eugenics - or using birth control to limit fertility as a means to eliminate those deemed genetically unfit - and she did birth the American Birth Control League. As a Black woman, I do not deny nor excuse any of this. This is factual, despite my personal ideologies. She, however, raised a substantial amount of positive points not specific to eugenics, that bleed into different realms of reproduction and human sexuality.

While I am becoming better at respectfully disagreeing and not using what I deem to be, well, just wrong and using it to invalidate all of a person's opinions, it has always been difficult for me to not look at a person and judge them based on their evils. Yet and still, I will respect and defend my mixed-up associate as I will certain aspects of Margaret Sanger in being pro-choice.

The idea that I am supposed to procreate with the aforementioned associate is an inside joke that often comes up between us. When recently joked about, my response was simply that the world is overcrowded and beyond capacity in terms of human population, and that I'd rather not be part of the problem. And while the joking response of my assicate turned my stomach, the theme that anti-choice sentiment included sparked a teeny tiny debate. Yes, there is such a thing. "Our child might be the solution," he says, "with my ferocity and your attitude, he could one day kill millions." I sighed a 'no thanks' to avoid what could have been a match of repartee, and he continued, "I don't think you could make a greater contribution to the resolution of over-population." Laugh, "He could be deadlier than Planned Parenthood."

My response, quick and simple, "Planned Parenthood has helped many women. Not having Planed Parenthood is 'deadlier' than Planned Parenthood. Word." Word. I often think that people like starting with me to see my fire and passion. To see my mind work. To see if I'll back down. (As recent as this morning, my dad tried his best to set me off and then told me that my eyes were really pretty when I am angered.) And so, here we are:

Him, "I thought that would enliven you." Laugh, "But what is the ethnic breakdown of abortion in America and the world. If a people have an adversarial perspective of us, isn't it easier to kill a warrior as an embryo than kill him later on the battlefield?" That was poetic.

Me, "Abortion, unless it isn't a choice to have or NOT have one, is a choice that women make. The problem with anti-choice sentiments is that they don't take into account the choice, and on the other end -- the nonsafe abortions that have and will continue as a result of limiting our resources. One could argue that limiting our resources and having anti-choice billboards specific to the Black community is their way of having us kill ourselves." This is the problem with conspiracy theories.

Him, "What Black people don't consider is demography and the correlation between population shifts and power on our planet. That's why China is such a beast now. They outnumber Americans 5 to 1." Well now, what's that got to do with the price of tea in China? Oh wait.

Me, "That's a separate issue to genocide and certainly to the population overcrowding. And also, poor exdample as China has a limit on children they can birth. And since male children are socially more desirable, female children are adopted out, abandoned, or killed. Which goes back to anti-choice in issues of reproduction and women's bodies. Boom." Boomboomboom.

Him, "I'm talking about birth control as a part of a genocide policy. What are your views on that?"

Me, "I think that if you aren't considering the idea of choice in birth control tactis, you're missing the point. And it isn't genocide unless mandated and/or institutionalized."

Him, "So the issue of choice is tantamount, even in a mass murder plot? Restrict resources and promote pro-choice billboards as part of a genocide campaign? Pretty crafty, but the people are awakening today. And since when does Congress vote on a genocide resolution? The demographers say that at the present rate of birth, Blacks and latinos will be the majority in America by 2050. And you don't think a racist mind would employ and fund Planned Parenthood regardless of its mission statement, to prevent the rise in our numbers?"

Instead of addressing each and every impassioned point that he point he made, the bells sounded and I brought the conversation to a halt. Scrrrrrrrrrrrch. Do I find conspiracy theories interesting? Absolutely. I do not entertain every one thrown at me, of course, but the ones that are detailed enough to illustrate any level of serious reflection at their own inception should be entertained for the amount of effort utilized. I don't know that this was one of those moments. Looking back on it, the response was so well articulated that it may have deserved more than I gave it.

Me, "You can't have it both ways -- you can't say the enemy is plotting and then suggest we are too awakened to fall for it. You're contradicting yourself and eery argument you've ever made. That you suggest the 'enemy' is plotting against us, but then say that my argument [about the pro-choice billboards encourages us to kill ourselves with back-alley abortions] is unappealing because we're awakened. One cancels out the other. Your argument provides that the level of consciousness be qualified, and that is subjective. You can't cancel out my argument in using the 'awakening' but allow your argument to still be valid." Research: unsafe/illegal abortions.

While the debate did not turn ugly and emotional, it did end as they often do: with my being told to step by game up in order to identify "evil machinations executed from high levels of power" and questioning whether or not I truly identify that there is an opponent.

More than anything, I oppose themes and ideologies; if I opposed people instead, my associate and I would not have any interest in speaking to one another for the fiery debates in the past that often ended in name-calling. (I'm not a namecaller.) I'd have to considering turning away from people much more for their choices and beliefs that are anti-me. It would be difficult to survive in our world, and I would be forced to be alone. My work would be destroyed; I've reluctantly advocated for people who hated me more than the forces that are against us.

I'm learning. Respect. Be Righteous.