Frederick Douglass, ca. 1866Public Domain Image
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). I implore you to consider this verse in view of the greatest philosophical question of the 19th century. What to do with the Negro? By far, this question and this question alone posed one of the greatest philosophical challenges that any century as ever faced. Consider the plot. The potential for 4 million Negros released upon a society that not only thought he was inferior but feared drastically the implications of their freedom upon humanity.
I have chosen to feature this chapter, “Abortion and The Negro Dilemma” because the midnight chime is ringing and the plight of African Americans in this county, in my opinion, will largely reside in their understanding or lack thereof of this one great philosophical question that did not receive a solid solution until over 100 years after its inception.
I argue from a historical view that the final solution of what to do with the negro settled its roots squarely upon the legal acceptance of abortion and the proliferation of its tentacles upon the Black race in America. Today, as I write, the African American population in America is in an all time decline numerically. We are one of three people groups in the county that is not growing. Quite the opposite, our numbers are declining due to a long drawn out answer and solution to one of the greatest philosophical questions of all time.
I ask the reader to consider that the average slave women had nine births, the average birth to an African American women today is less than two children.* I shouldn’t have to point out other obvious factors that are contributing to African American decline, but for the sake of a broad perspective, let me mention in passing that our men make up approximately 34 % of those incarcerated.** It would be a mistake to leave out that over 70% of our children are born to single females.*** Combine these factors with a low birth rate among our women and one of the highest abortion rates of a people group that constitutes roughly 13% of the American population and you can see how it’s possible for African Americans to be in such a decline. Unfortunately, in my opinion, African Americans have not made the connection to our decline and the great Negro Dilemma of the 19th century. Perhaps it would just be better not to think. Well, I am a thinking man. I was struck with thought when researching history. I saw a connection and thought it worth while to expound upon it in this book, South Toward Home. It is my aim to make the connections and make a compelling argument that the Dilemma found its cure in Abortion.
**According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in 2018 black males accounted for 34% of the total male prison population. (US Bureau of Justice)
***The number does not imply the necessary absent of fathers but perhaps some correlations can be drawn as to the effect of men not marrying women whom they have impregnated. (CDC. CDC report 2010 data. Published August 2013)
It would be a mistake to think that “The Negro Dilemma” is my term or my concoction. No, this was a real philosophical question historically. At the turn of the 19th century, It was the question of the day. It wasn’t just a question that probed the minds of White Americans. It also probed the minds of those across the pond as well. It was the talk of the day, if you will. It had been on the minds and hearts of people for decades and was coming to a head as the Civil War brought it to the forefront. Many people had answers to this Dilemma. One of my favorite replies to this question came from non other that Frederick Douglas. Douglass gave a resounding answer in response to the question when he stated, “The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us. Gen. Banks was distressed with solicitude as to what he should do with the Negro. Everybody has asked the question. . .”What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!” Take note that he started this quote by saying, “Everybody has asked the question. What shall we do with the Negro?” (1865) FREDERICK DOUGLASS, “WHAT THE BLACK MAN WANTS”) Thus, the Negro Dilemma was a thought squarely in the minds of “Everybody.”
Douglass was a thinking man. I’m afraid that his “Do nothing with us” has turned into, “This is what we want you to do for us.” Tragically, the outcome has been horrendous. Our dependency on the government has even include our complicit behavior and attitudes that are attributing to our own demise as a people. I will set out to show how the government intentionally set out to do something to us. That something was largely to limit our numbers in such a way that the African American population would never pose a threat to the larger European experiment of America.
I will hope to show that this intentionality was born out of an erroneous thought of our inferiority fueled by the false science of Eugenics that led to real experimental efforts to decrease our fertility and thus ultimately affect our posterity in a negative aim. The initial efforts began with honest efforts toward the recolonization of the Negro and progressed to policies of forced sterilization, birth control measures and ultimately culminating in the greatest fruit toward this effort,, the legal sanction killings of the Negro. I appeal to the head of the man or women who reads this in an effort to win his or her heart for the righteous indignation that should exist within our borders when the remnants of such solution to The Negro Dilemma today remains one of the greatest and most vibrant unconnected flawed solutions to perhaps one of the greatest philosophical questions of all time.
Connected at the Cross in Love,
Al Arnold, Author