Dear Salem Radio Network Executives:
We are calling on you take Bill Bennett's show off the air until he retracts and apologizes for his racially offensive comments.
As you know, he said on his national radio show that aborting Black babies would lead to a drop in the crime rateimplying that Black people are a race of criminals. And now he is defending his statements on national television and attacking anyone who dares to take him to task.
His comments, even when placed in their full context, are despicable. The Bush White House has called them “inappropriate.” Democratic leaders in the United States Senate have denounced them. The Anti-Defamation League has censured him for broadcasting “divisive, offensive and potentially hatred-inducing racial stereotypes.”
Still, Mr. Bennett will not admit error or apologize. Until he does so, you should not distribute his show.
It is important to note that Bill Bennett did NOT call for all Black fetuses to be aborted. But his comment was based on an ugly assumption: that Black babies are predisposed to become criminals.
Such assumptions are unfounded; a person's race is not a valid predictor of criminal activity. Further, these stereotypes hurt the entire Black community and all of America. They make jurors much more likely to convict innocent Black people. They make employers reluctant to hire Black people. And Nazis and Klansmen use race-based generalizations like the one Bennett has made to justify genocide. There is no place for this kind of bigotry on our national airwaves.
In the United States, free speech is a right. But a national radio show is a privilege. And until he apologizes and admits error, such privileges should be withheld from Bill Bennett.
The undersigned members of ColorOfChange.org