Thursday, January 20, 2005

Mississippi Burned*

Who peed in Anna Quindlen's Wheaties?

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that she isn't too happy about the outcome of the presidential election. This week she takes aim at a red state, Mississipi, in Newsweek's "The Last Word" column. After parsing through her scattered data and trying to Connect Up the Dots the conclusion seems to be, well, more abortion is a good thing in Mississippi. The more the better. In fact, let's make the state extinct.

She cites a bunch of data arguing from "the child is going to have a rough life and be a terrible inconvenience to everybody around it" point of view. Not stopping there, she piles on with specifically how the black population is contributing and can continue to contribute:

Black residents account for only 37 percent of the state's population, but for nearly three out of every four abortions.

A typical woman in Mississippi earns 74 cents for every dollar a man makes. A typical black woman in Mississippi earns 79 cents for every dollar a white woman makes.

Black children make up more than half of those in foster care and in the state adoption system, according to the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

She then finishes off with a non-sequitor, the plight of women in the state as framed by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. What this had to do with the rest of her column I have little clue, other than noting a bit of irony. The most trumpeted (to my ears) reason to protect abortion rights is a woman's right to do with her body as she pleases. Here Quindlen's makes a passing wave by citing the Institute's ranking of Mississippi as worst in the nation in "reproductive rights."

"Sometimes you don't even have to state an opinion. You just have to state the facts." I don't live there, but if I had some erudite, Pulitzer prize winner looking down her nose suggesting we'd all be better off through a variation of the final solution, I'd be livid.

* this is the ultra revised, i-found-the-article-on-the-Internet, paired-down-the-entire-post-after-having-a-chance-to-cool-off and thought-up-a-snappier-title version

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