It Always Comes Back To Racism II

Last Sunday, my post described the actual origin of the anti-choice movement, which was an effort to turn out Evangelical voters in order to protect segregated “Christian” academies.

Last Tuesday, I posted about the research tying a variety of our current hostilities back to racism. Opposition to immigration from “brown” countries, belief in a number of conspiracy theories and, of course, devotion to Trump and his “Big Lie,” among other distortions of public opinion, all strongly correlate with racist ideologies.

After that particular post was written, The Guardian added to the evidence. 

The article began by noting that the US Supreme Court is very likely to overturn Roe v. Wade this spring–and that the Court’s refusal thus far to halt a patently unconstitutional Texas statute means that, for women in Texas, reproductive rights have already been nullified.

The article then reported on an ugly underside of the “pro life” movement that has rarely been the focus of media coverage.

These victories have made visible a growing cohort within the anti-choice movement: the militias and explicitly white supremacist groups of the organized far right. Like last year, this year’s March for Life featured an appearance by Patriot Front, a white nationalist group that wears a uniform of balaclavas and khakis. The group, which also marched at a Chicago March for Life demonstration earlier this month, silently handed out cards to members of the press who tried to ask them questions. “America belongs to its fathers, and it is owed to its sons,” the cards read. “The restoration of American sovereignty must follow the restoration of the American Family.”

Explicit white nationalism, and an emphasis on conscripting white women into reproduction, is not a fringe element of the anti-choice movement. Associations between white supremacist groups and anti-abortion forces are robust and longstanding. In addition to Patriot Front, groups like the white nationalist Aryan Nations and the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker party have also lent support to the anti-abortion movement. These groups see stopping abortion as part of a broader project to ensure white hegemony in addition to women’s subordination. Tim Bishop, of the Aryan Nations, noted that “Lots of our people join [anti-choice organizations] … It’s part of our Holy War for the pure Aryan race.” That the growing white nationalist movement would be focused on attacking women’s rights is maybe to be expected: research has long established that recruitment to the alt-right happens largely among men with grievances against feminism, and that misogyny is usually the first form of rightwing radicalization.

The article provided evidence that the growing presence of White Christian Nationalists at “Pro Life” marches and events isn’t because the movement has been “infiltrated” without its consent.  To the contrary, “just as the alt-right loves the anti-choice movement, the anti-choice movement loves the alt-right.”

In 2019, Kristen Hatten, a vice-president at the anti-choice group New Wave Feminists, shared racist content online and publicly identified herself as an “ethnonationalist”. In addition to sharing personnel, the groups share tactics. In 1985, the KKK began circulating “Wanted” posters featuring the photos and personal information of abortion providers.

Now, mainline anti-choice organizations routinely share names, photos and addresses of abortion providers.

The association has a long and ugly history. 

Before an influx of southern and eastern European immigrants to the United States in the latter half of the 19th century, abortion and contraception had only been partially and sporadically criminalized. This changed in the early 20th century, when an additional surge of migrants from Asia and Latin America calcified white American racial anxieties and led to white elites decrying the falling white birth rate as “race suicide.”

This led to a campaign of forced birth for “fit” mothers–White women– while another widespread campaign actively supported involuntary sterilization for poor women, particularly Black and incarcerated women.

The final paragraphs of the report are chilling:

In the current anti-choice and white supremacist alliance, the language of “race suicide” has been supplanted by a similar fear: the so-called “Great Replacement”, a racist conspiracy theory that posits that white Americans are being “replaced” by people of color. (Some antisemitic variations posit that this “replacement” is somehow being orchestrated by Jewish people.)

The way to combat this, the right says, is to force childbearing among white people, to severely restrict immigration, and to punish, via criminalization and enforced poverty, women of color. These anxieties have always animated the anti-choice movement, and they have only become more fervent among the March for Life’s rank and file as conservatives become increasingly fixated on the demographic changes that will make America a minority-white country sometime in the coming decades. The white supremacist and anti-choice movements have always been closely linked. But more and more, they are becoming difficult to tell apart.

This isn’t about “saving babies.” It never has been.


  1. It’s clearly part of the collective ego of these groups as they march like zombies off the cliff of oblivion. Does anyone want to waste their energy waking these folks up?

    I didn’t think so…

  2. Throw in the “anti-gun-regulation-of-any-kind” people and you’ve got a racist triad that accounts for much of the base of the current Republican Party.

  3. Patrick,

    Correct. Yesterday, I mentioned George Lakoff’s book “Don’t Think of an Elephant”. In it he describes perfectly the traits and characteristics of the Republican mind. They are concrete “thinkers” embedded in tribalism, absolutism and fear of change. That cult represents a throwback to our most primitive societies, circa 200,000 years ago. These people aren’t just backward, they are retrograde in their thinking, philosophies and religion. Those religions, by the way, make a living off of fear, racism and “traditional” controls over women.

    In a word, DISGUSTING. In another word, FOOLISH.

  4. I guess I need to repeat this:
    Your dead body has more rights for body sovereignty than a pregnant person.

    That fact was my lightbulb moment. I hope it’s yours too.

  5. Social media needs to make an effort to, at the very least, label the lies it processes. And while we’re on the topic, let’s all stop calling it “misinformation” and start calling it “lies”. Let’s do what we can to make it uncomfortable for the purveyors of the lies.

  6. At least the Republican Party used to be more subtle, but without saying it out loud (because they have no platform now) what the Republican party stands for now days is blending business interests with supporting racism and religion.

  7. Several years ago, I read that one of the motivations of the pro-birth movement was to increase the white population and punish brown/black women, but I didn’t take it seriously because all forced birth is punishment.

  8. Per Vern, Lakoff’s book has long since been in my political library. He, incidentally, earned his doctorate at Indiana University, where many of us contributors earned our degrees, including me. He dissects Republican thinking – brilliantly.

    Dan in his contribution today correctly notes that the Republican Party has no platform, which frees Republicans to go in any and all political directions (Trump, Romney, Greene et al.) with no formal set of principles Democrats can directly debate. Works out. Or does it? History suggests otherwise, i. e., that unprincipled actors ultimately meet their political Waterloo.

    Those of us who favor democracy have a job to do, i. e., to hasten that day of reckoning for those who would deny women a meaningful say in reproduction, deny workers their fair share of the wealth arising from their contribution to productive processes, ignore constitutional constraints via state level voting right legislation, fomenting of insurrection, etc. etc. etc.

    To do: Keep on keeping on, persevering relentlessly and at all costs in the preservation of our most precious asset held in common – our democracy.

  9. When Europeans first set foot on the shores of America they found non-whites on the land which they intended, when they left Europe, to colonize. When they set first set foot on the shores of Africa they found non-whites there too where their intent was to colonize that land and enslave those people. The whites carried with them diseases which the non-whites had no immunity to so the success of the whites was all but guaranteed.

    The tales of those events in history, only from the perspective of the conquering disease carriers, were told to us by our parents and teachers. We were told of conquering heroes. Maybe somethings generally considered heroic were part of the mix, but certainly the motivation was not. The motivation was based on wealth redistribution up and the concept, invented in Europe where conditions had gotten crowded, that the Biblical taking “dominion over the earth” allowed Europeans to steal the earth legally according to European courts of law.

    Why didn’t we hear those tales told from this perspective of all of humanity? That certainly would have changed the evolution of white culture.

  10. You are right Sheila! “It always comes back to racism”

    When you delve into racism, misogyny is a thinly veiled form of racism.

    Scientifically, women would not be considered their own race. But, if you really Want to make a very valid point, women in the human species, or maybe just say females, are vastly different in thought process and emotion. There is no lower intellectual quotient for women, or a higher one for men. As a matter of fact, it’s been shown that women Have a much more complicated emotional, empathetic, and compassionate brain than men. truly white men consider themselves Superior in almost every way. Superior to women, superior to other races or nationalities, superior to those who practice another religion Besides the one that They have decided to adopt.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but Rudyard Kipling and his “White Man’s Burden” diddy, is really The Pinnacle of the white man’s thought process. How Do you get around having a conscience being your guide. Well, you hijack religion and make it white! Jesus Christ was white, God was white, The Apostles were white, As a matter of fact every individual in scripture, those that have been drawn by white people have shown those individuals to be white.

    What better way for a white man to feel important and invincible in his decisions than to make everything white. A way to absolve one’s conscience concerning all of the cruelty that has been doled out In behalf of white religion by white men, is to claim everyone else but white men are cursed. And, The only way civilization will survive and not be a steaming pile is for the white man to save the world. Put those others in their place, keep women pregnant and barefoot, and listen to the big white boss man. anyone that took any classes about humanities in college knew about Manifest Destiny. And Manifest Destiny reflects everything said about white men listed above.

    If white men are polluted by those Mongrel’s, Well, The decay of society will exponentially increase because the white race has been weakened by the genetics of inferiors. You can look at it and say wow this sounds like Nazism, but actually, this has been the same thought process for millennia.

    If you want to really find out how Superior the white man is, Just ask A white nationalist, he’ll tell you! Even if they are Is intellectual as a bag of hammers, they think they should be ruling the roost. Too bad there’s so much infighting between the different nationalities and races in this country. Because, there’s enough individuals right now to make a difference on Who is dictating policy. And it shouldn’t be the white man. Of course you can’t lump every white man in the same group, that would be hypocritical to say the least. But, The squeakiest wheel or the loudest voices get the attention. And that’s one thing they do know how to do! You can hear the whining on Any media platform you look on or listen to. To so many, that can be persuasive.

    Many folks don’t like to use the term evil, but what’s going on right now, and has been going on in this country for such a long time as absolutely evil. Just look at Indiana, look at how they reveled in eugenics. How Indiana was one of the last states to stop eugenics. Basically sterilizing the poor and minority women to supposedly prevent the white race from being overrun by mongrels.

    Talking to that white man yesterday in front of Planned Parenthood, the boss man, the preacher man, If you ask him Why he was there, He tell you he was doing God’s work. But, He was not. He was glorifying himself in front of others. If you ask him to explain to you what he was doing and why, he could not, and, he did not hold himself to the same standards that he expected everyone to Have towards him.

    Richard Nixon once said, concerning lying and hypocrisy, It’s necessary in order to get into office and in order to retain office. He also said , as a candidate, you have to disassemble, you have to recognize that you can’t say what you think about an individual because you may have to use him or need him sometime in the future. He did not view lying as wrong , just a part of politics!

    So, the preacher and the politician use lies and hypocrisy, use divisive language, use divisive tactics to divide and conquer those who are not Like themselves, Just to acquire or hold on to power at all costs.

    The Apostle Paul stated in The Book of Romans, Love does not work evil to one’s neighbor. Hmmmmm, Some folks didn’t get the memo.

  11. Well said, Peggy – let’s use the real term – LIE!

    Sheila – Thank you for another great post. Part of me is happy that my suspicions are being validated; the rest of me is sad that my suspicions are being validated. time for happy music – or a mindless, happy-ending Romcom.

    BTW – Happy Year of the Water Tiger everyone. (The calendar says tomorrow – my wife insists that they have already started to celebrate in China — she wins)

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