After claiming that everyone from everyone from the IRS to gays and lesbians is a direct threat to African Americans, now Harry Jackson maintains that the Obama administration mandate for insurance plans to cover contraceptives is actually a means of anti-Black population control. Jackson links the requirement for employees to offer plans that include contraception to racist anti-Black actions in the past, but never explains how ensuring that insurance plans cover contraceptives is part of a “silent effort of the powerful to control black breeding,” arguing that “the black community does not need more birth control.”
But black Americans in particular would be wise to pay close attention, since the age old contraception battle has special historical significance to them. For over a century, “reproductive services” have been special code words for the constant, silent effort of the powerful to control black breeding. And this control has often come in the form of a “helping hand.”
From the earliest days of our nation, people in power have wanted to control black reproduction. Before the Civil War, slave owners had a financial interest in increasing the birthrate among their slaves. This was a matter of simple economics: even before the transatlantic slave trade was outlawed, it had become cheaper to “breed” your slaves than to import new ones. Female slaves were pressured to become pregnant (often they were raped).
After emancipation, black birthrates (and marriage rates) were higher than whites, causing great concern in the growing movement known as Eugenics. An elite group of whites began to see the growth of the black population as a direct threat to their community. Blacks at this time actually had a higher employment rate than whites, because black men were willing to work for lower wages. In a time when many intellectuals were becoming paranoid about overpopulation, some began to fear that blacks would compete with whites for the resources needed to survive.
Powerful whites no longer wanted blacks to make more babies that they could enslave; now they wanted blacks to stop having babies that would compete for their jobs or overcrowd their cities. Their goals changed from forcing them to breed to preventing them from breeding.
Thus in modern times, no people group has been plied with more contraceptives than African Americans. People willing to turn a blind eye to the obvious still aren’t convinced about whether abortion is aggressively marketed to blacks. But there can be no confusion about contraception being pushed on black women from the time they are middle school students to even the most highly educated married women. And in a way it is working: despite a terrifyingly high 70 percent illegitimacy rate, the black American population continues to decline as a percentage of the American population.
The black community does not need more birth control. We need men and women who respect their bodies and raise their children to do the same. We should put more energy and effort into educating people to make wise choices in relationships and being a family instead of mandating how they make those choices. Let’s let our representatives know how we feel!