Billboard about Abortion in Arkansas Draws Charges of Racism

The above image is of a billboard that has been put up in the state of Arkansas by Arkansas Right to Life, a pro-life organization, and other national pro-life organizations. While Arkansas Right to Life and other pro-life organizations are well within their right to put up this message that speaks against the outrageous number of Black babies being aborted each year, I think that they have overstepped the standards of decency in the way in which they have elected to convey their message. Having “Black & Unwanted” and the picture of the face of a Black baby underneath it can cause many to think that this is a racist billboard. Personally, I am pro-life and am familiar with national Right to Life organizations, including Arkansas Right to Life, and I know that the dominant membership that composes these organizations is not racist. While I am sure that the billboard was well-intentioned, I contend that this particular billboard should be taken down by Arkansas Right to Life and the other national pro-life organizations who paid for it.

I do strongly agree with these pro-life organizations about the need to dramatically reduce the horrible number of Black babies that are being aborted annually. Arkansas Right to Life should have selected more racially and culturally sensitive language to convey a tremendously vital message. When one thinks about the specific racist history of the state of Arkansas (a state that I happen to love so dearly), the fact that Arkansas Right to Life and most other pro-life organizations are composed primarily of White people, and that “Black and Unwanted” brings many African-Americans’ memories back to the days of Jim and Jane Crow, it becomes a really easy decision to remove the billboard. While I am sure that Arkansas Right to Life wanted to “push the envelope,” and Revolutionary Paideia can certainly appreciate you for being willing to “push the envelope”), I think that this particular billboard does not communicate the type of message that is ultimately beneficial for pro-lifers’ cause.

As pro-lifers, we do not have to rely on highly controversial language and tactics to spread our message—we only need to disseminate the facts. All we need to do is give people the numbers about how many abortions occur annually. This billboard would have been more effective by simply listing how many Black babies have been aborted to date. When we resort to such unsophisticated tactics and language, this is why people have a general proclivity to put us in a box as not being sophisticated people. We are more talented, sensitive, non-racist, and decent than what this billboard suggests. This is why I have to call for the removal of this billboard and for Arkansas Right to Life to replace it with a billboard that simply gives Black people the facts about how many Black babies have been aborted. People cannot argue with facts, but they certainly can argue with language that can seem to be offensive at best.

I know that the issue of abortion is highly controversial and is an issue that deeply divides Americans. I do, however, think that we all can agree to work together to dramatically decrease the number of abortions in America. Again, as a pro-lifer, I call for Arkansas Right to Life to remove this billboard immediately—this will be a move in the best interest of our cause!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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14 comments

  1. The problem is getting people to recognize the racist roots of Planned Parenthood and abortion to begin with. There’s no use denying it. The writings of Margaret Sanger, PP’s founder, and others of like mind are filled with racist ideas. Racism is at the heart of the eugenics movement, which owes a lot to Margaret Sanger and her followers.

    America will not stop abortion until America sees abortion.

    Removing uncomfortable images from the public eye does not help them see the awful truth. Sanger enlisted a great many black clergy to help her spread her racist ideas to their congregations. It worked. I shudder every time I see black women working at PP in town and every time I see black women arrive in the parking lot to give their money to Sanger’s cause. How can they do it? Because they do not know or choose not to know. Billboards like this one would not be necessary if the problem did not exist. But it does. The problem is not with those who acknowledge it and point it out to others. It is with those who refuse to see.

    Peace be with you. Thanks for posting about this. Thanks for helping the word get out there.

    1. I agree with you very much. The only thing that I want for Arkansas Right to Life to do is take down this particular billboard and replace it with one that does not have language that is so close to appearing to be offensive. I have seen others that are even more effective than this one and these other billboards do not alienate people. The other billboards have caused people to really think about how horrible abortion is. Thanks for reading and your response!

      1. You’re welcome, Antonio! But I think I have to reiterate that the point is that the abortion industry (certainly the part of it that Planned Parenthood dominates, they receive massive federal and corporate funding, too, remember) does target blacks. That’s the point of the sign. Not to offend, though those who work in or for the abortion industry should be offended, and then they should stop what they’re doing), but to draw attention to the fact that blacks are being targeted. To a staggering degree.

        It’s not just that abortion is horrible, it’s that the racism of abortion, targeting blacks, is doubly horrible. That is the point. To replace the message with a more general one would fail to make this entire point. There should be more billboards about the various aspects of abortion, but this point needs to be heard loud and clear, seen by many many more. Planned Parenthood does target blacks. They also target Hispanics, so there should be billboards pointing that out too.

        1. Yes, I very much agree that Planned Parenthood is targeting Blacks to have abortions. I do, however, think, as an African-American, that the billboard is a little unsettling to see those words featured so prominently with a Black baby’s face featured a little less prominently, and then the website address is very much smaller than everything else. They should use billboards like the “Endangered Species” one with the Black baby’s face. This is much more powerful. If National Right to Life is not sophisticated enough to come up with billboards that do not even give the slightest suggestion of racism, then they can just hire me.

  2. I don’t care much for that picture with its message either. And, if it was slanted toward an Asian or a Caucasian, it would bother me. No matter what, all I can think of when I see ANY message related to abortion is of a “doctor” vacuuming the brains from a living, helpless and hopeless baby. IMO, there must be a special place in Hell for people that accept this crime to humanity.

    Looking around on the web, it appears ARTL wanted to poke a stick at racism for impact. For instance: http://bit.ly/bn6LCF

      1. I’ve had conversations about this before. Here’s my position: I support the flogging and imprisoning (for life without possibility of parole!) of the rapist and the incestuous perpetrator. There are almost no cases of endangerment of the mother. There are many cases of the “mother” being unwilling to suffer any discomfort at all for the sake of her baby. Abortion is not merely horrible, it is the direct intentional killing of an entirely innocent unborn human being, who should really not be made to pay for the criminal actions of another, especially a grown man who chose to commit a terrible crime. Abortion is murder. I don’t condone murder at any time for any reason.

        Peace be with you all.

    1. The message is horrible, I agree, and the most horrible thing about it is that the abortion industry, especially Planned Parenthood, does target blacks. I’ve stood outside our local abortuary and have talked to the employees and have talked to many women who were leaving. And I can tell you that the employees start working on those poor women (who they don’t call “patients” but “clients”) the moment they walk in the door: “You don’t want to have this pregnancy. You shouldn’t be tied down this way. You don’t want to keep it, do you? What would I do? I’d have an abortion, that’s what I’d do. I’d terminate the pregnancy.” The whole gist of their spiel is that the pregnancy is unwanted, ie, the baby (though they never ever refer to the baby as a baby) is unwanted.

      So that is the sad truth that the billboard addresses: that these slime who work in abortuaries drum into the heads of women that their pregnancies are surely unwanted. Especially if they’re talking to a black woman. It is racism and that makes it doubly atrocious.

      1. Yes, I agree that they are targeting Black women but these Black women are not just people who don’t have brains to think with. They must share in the responsibility too. I do not want it to seem that Black women are some gullible women who can be tricked and fooled either. These women, Black or not, must think about what they are doing and we cannot simply blame Planned Parenthood–no matter how much I despise this organization.

  3. Yeah, you’ve got a point about the women themselves having to take their share of the blame. But I think it’s better, when you have one billboard that people will see as they drive past rather quickly, to stay on point. And the point is that they are being targeted. It’s not just Planned Parenthood, though they are the organization with the biggest budget, and they don’t target just blacks any more. But this billboard is only talking about this one aspect. I don’t think all the aspects would fit on one board. If they did, no one could read it unless they stopped in the middle of the road to do so. A bit dangerous, that.

    The message is partly to wake up blacks who have accepted the abortive worldview for far too long. And to wake up the otherwise decent people who don’t see abortion as evil or the targeting of blacks as evil either. I talk to people like that every day. Everywhere I go. We don’t want to harm but we cannot be afraid to offend while allowing murder to continue. I would never say that all black women are gullible but some of them have been raised to accept abortion as justifiable and natural. They even hear these things from their clergy, which Sanger enrolled to help spread her awful message. Read Sacred Work: Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliances by Tom Davis. Shocking. A real eye opener. Have a barf bag nearby when you read it. Disgusting stuff.

    Peace be with you, Antonio.

  4. You can also read Pivot of Civilization by Margaret Sanger, order it or get it free online. Wherein she claims that the eugenics movement (which is what the birth control movement actually was and is) is in keeping with the Gospel, specifically, right out of the Sermon on the Mount. :O I kid you not.

    I have enjoyed our conversation, too, Antonio. God bless you as well. 🙂

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