The Corner

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Re: Trent Lott


I agree with Robert George. Fellow pro-lifers chafe all the time over the fact that on the occasion that an abortionist is shot or injured, pro-life leaders have to publicly denounce the killer. “Why is it assumed that we support violence against abortionists?” they ask. The answer is: because life isn’t fair. The stereotype (encouraged by the media) holds that every pro-lifer secretly wants to murder abortion doctors. It’s not only wrong, it’s wicked, but it’s there, and if advocates for unborn life wish to make headway in the public square, they have to deal with this prejudice squarely, not simply lament that it exists. I’ve made the same arguments about Islam. It is unfortunate that Muslim Americans should have to speak out loudly and forcefully to condemn acts of violence committed by their co-religionists, but if they want to counter the common view that Muslims support violence against non-Muslims, done in the name of religion, this is what they have to do. In the case of Trent Lott, his idiotic remark just set back all kinds of good, honest and heartfelt work by thousands of conservatives whose names will never be known, who have labored with great care to show black Americans that there is no room in the conservative movement for racial bigots. I don’t know Trent Lott, and I’d be surprised to discover that he is actually a bigot. But he said what he said, and it was indecent, and he should be held accountable for it. He should resign as majority leader, if not for moral reasons, then at least as a matter of practical politics. I know, I know, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and that lot get away with racist statements all the time. But two wrongs don’t make a right, and when our side tries to hold them to account for their bigotry, we had better make sure our hands are clean.


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