I enjoyed your article I just wanted to add something.
Anyone who remembers the atrocities committed by the Eugenics movement across the globe (including not only US government sponsored sterilization campaigns in communities of color, but also Hitler’s advocacy of eugenics in Nazi Germany as a means of genocide), would be horrified and outraged by the agenda being promoted in the NY Times best-selling work, Freakonomics. Proposing that the rates in US violent crime has dropped since the 1970’s because of the legalization of abortion and the accessing of abortion procedures by impoverished Black communities, is an outrageous oversimplification, and completely racist in nature. These atrocious times are not far off, as William Bennet, a friend of Levitt’s, made the recent controversial proclamation on his national radio show, that we could in fact contain and eradicate crime by, “aborting every Back baby in this country…”
Levitt and Dubner, like other Western “experts,” don’t consider enough, the connection between systemic racism, socioeconomic class stratification, or the lack of allocation of educational resources into poor Black neighborhoods, and how these things effect marginalized communities at large. Instead of attributing the cure for poverty to the extermination of the effected population (as they do with this book), a broader analysis of the system as a whole is necessary in order to come up with a remedy. Accepting Capitalism and the social ills which emanate from it, is in fact the major problem. More importantly, we find it problematic the way in which “crime,” and especially “violent-crime” are defined by Levitt and Dubner, as a Black epidemic. If we’re talking “violent-crime,” there are numerous cases of both white-collar as well as governmental/imperialist crimes committed against the people of the world on a daily basis. What about the crimes committed by the US against the people of South America, the people of Iraq, the Black communities in their own back-yards enforced by the police state? What about the US government giving billion$ of dollars and weapons to the state of Israel in order to participate in the genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people? If Levitt acknowledged these realities within his definition of “violent crime” would he also be advocating that we set population-control standards over the white, privileged citizens who benefit from such crime (including himself)? Maybe, according to Levitt, he should seek to abort any offspring of his own for the greater good of humanity...
All I’m saying, is that there is a huge difference between crimes that are committed within impoverished regions out of acts of desperation and survival, verses crimes committed frivolously by the hands of wealthy First World/Corporate war-mongers to further their own gain. The book discusses issues of gang-membership and drug-dealing within Black communities, for instance. Without regard for the fact that crack was brought into these communities by the CIA to support the Contras in El Salvador (a notion that the book admits to but contends is “outside the purview of the book” [p.110] to discuss any further), Levitt and Dubner still place more blame on the Black drug-dealers who were doing the distributing foot-work in order to make a living in regions where there were no other employment opportunities. The improvements within Black communities in the 80’s that the book mentions, happened because of the Civil Rights movement and the work of the Black Panthers, but then, as the book tells us, “Crack Came.” Not from nowhere, not from the devises of the community itself, but from the US government needing to create an easy, convenient criminalization tactic in which to imprison Black people who were gaining too much for their communities (especially Black political leaders).
Levit and Dubner solidify their argument for Black population control, by outrageously proclaiming that Black parents are not good parents, that they are too ignorant to raise their children to become productive members of society, and therefore, it is insinuated that they should just cease from procreating. In the chapter about “naming” children
Levit pokes fun a little bit at the names chosen for children by Black parents, but it becomes offensive when he seemingly promotes that “white” names are an analogous avenue for success.
Even though the authors do offer a small disclaimer that social ills may, “just as easily be curbed by providing a better environment,” as they are, by simply promoting racist population control agendas, it is clear that since a large portion of this book is dedicated to the analysis of the latter, rather than the former, we can see what they find more effective. Levit and Dubner, like other Western economic “experts”, don’t understand the complexity of Capitalism and poverty (the fact that Levitt was offered a job by Bush and Clinton to analyze crime shows where these loyalties lie). In the spirit of 18th century economist Thomas Malthus, these two men are advocating a remedy for poverty which is completely outdated and has highly racist overtones and genocidal implications. Violent crime rates dropping as a result of abortion access is a fluke, as we see when we look at the fact that abortion is still highly inaccessible to women without money to afford the procedure (namely women of color) or to afford travel expenses to states that even have clinics.