Flower

Can telling the truth be talking trash?

The facts are dirty. The reality is filthy. But exposing the truth is not slinging mud.

by Fletcher Armstrong

Continuing our See you in the funny papers series (explanation), this one from the Grand Valley State University Lanthorn.

Observer:  People on both sides of the issue spent half their time trash talking people who opposed them instead of keeping it to the issue.  The pro-lifers compared the pro-choicers to Germans who ignored the Holocaust, while pro-choicers compared pro-lifers to racists who fought to keep public schools segregated.  This constant mud-slinging contest is exactly why people don’t like talking about important issues.

CBR Response:   Observer, thanks for your comment.  We did not invent the comparison of abortion to the Holocaust and slavery.  Martin Luther King, Jr. often compared racial injustice in America to the Holocaust.  Rev. Jesse Jackson later extended the comparison to abortion.  Both of them cited some of the same factors that we highlight in our display, including denial of personhood, dehumanization of the victims, etc.  But it would be wrong to accuse them of “trash-talking”.

It isn’t trash-talking to point out that perpetrators of genocide always redefine personhood in terms that exclude the intended victim class.  Our Supreme Court declared preborn children to be non-persons in the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, applying a developmental criteria (trimesters).  The Court did the same thing in 1857, by declaring Black men and women to be “subordinate and inferior” beings.  The Nazi court declared Jews to be non-persons in 1936.

Another common theme is the language used to dehumanize the intended victims.  For example, Nazis called their victims rats, pigs, vermin, and untermensch (subhuman).  We all know the language used to dehumanize Black men and women in this country.  So what do we call preborn children.  A wanted preborn child is called a “baby” — “look at the ultrasound of my baby” — but an unwanted preborn child is never a baby, but is often referred to as a “parasite”, “blob of cells”, “products of conception”, etc.

These are all true historical facts.  Stating facts is not mud-slinging.

Of course, these facts have relevance only if the preborn child is a living human being, but science tells us that the preborn child is both human (not a pig, cow, or horse) and alive (not dead, but growing).  So can anyone tell us why it OK to decapitate and dismember some human beings and not others?  And what criteria is appropriate to decide which human beings may be decapitated and dismembered and which may not?

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