Stoking Fire: Stoking Conspiracies

According to researchers at the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the extreme right-wing is catching fire. In fact, they report, the number of anti-government Patriot groups swelled by 244 percent last year, increasing from 149 in 2008 to 512 in 2009. Worse, militias — the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement — tripled in number, going from 42 to 127.

And the Patriot’s ideas? SPLC says that they “see the federal government as part of a plot to impose one-world government” on the country’s unsuspecting inhabitants.  This movement, SPLC continues, thrived throughout the 1990s and made a public come-back shortly after Barack Obama took office; since then, an array of conspiracy theorists—many of them influenced by Patriot paranoia–have pushed a wide range of “they’re-out-to-get-you” messages, from death panels to off granny, to the intentional eradication of populations they believe government and its allies consider expendable.

Nowhere is this more blatant than in the current work of such anti-choice groups as the Georgia Right to Life Committee, Life Dynamics, Inc., and Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN). The irony is obvious: While anti-choice groups have for three decades attempted to muster support in the African American, Asian, and Latino/a communities, it took the election of a biracial president for them to capture the attention of major media outlets and communities of color.

Their message is decidedly shrill. First, there’s Catherine Davis, the Director of Minority Outreach at Georgia Right to Life, who raised $20,000 for the posting of 80 attention-grabbing billboards in two largely-Black counties near Atlanta. In the ads, a cute Black baby is depicted. The tag line: Black children are an endangered species.

For Davis, the fact that approximately 52 percent of Black pregnancies end in abortion proves that there is a racist campaign afoot, a campaign aimed at wiping out the African American community.  In a YouTube video produced by Stewart TV, she likens the effort to the work of Hitler and the KKK. Similarly, Dr. Johnny Hunter, national director of LEARN, calls abortion “womb lynching” and told Pro-Life TV that the 3446 Afro-Americans lynched in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968 was nothing. “That number is surpassed in three days by abortion,” he thunders.

Despite such bombast, Davis denies that the timing of the Georgia billboards has anything to do with Obama, stating that it is a coincidence that they were erected a year into his presidency. But Rev. Clenard Childress, Director of LEARN Northeast, sees things differently and hopes the billboards will sway the president. “Barack Obama became a minister of Planned Parenthood a long time ago,” he wrote in a March 2008 column. “He’s so good at carrying out their racist, murderous agenda, they gave him a 100 percent score on his voting record.”

Planned Parenthood, he continues, “has diabolically perpetrated their plot to surgically eliminate those they deem undesirable. In other words: Kill the babies of unsuspecting minority women by aborting their children…Who is used to lure children, to give credibility to its hideous plot? Barack Obama, that’s who.”

Childress, a Baptist preacher, conveys the fire-and-brimstone passion common to his calling. He is enraged, he said in a recent telephone interview, that the “highest echelons of Black leadership have capitulated to the Democratic Party.” This fury has prompted LEARN members to picket both Democratic and NAACP gatherings where, Childress says, they have distributed more than 400 copies of MAAFA 21, a full-length film, created by Life Dynamics, that slams Margaret Sanger and the eugenicists, a movement that only the most racist 21st century viewers can continue to champion.

Like many anti-choicers, Childress’ agenda extends beyond abortion and he preaches about abstinence before marriage and using the rhythm method after. At the same time, he acknowledges that “If there is a situation where people want to use [artificial] contraception, it is between husband and wife.”  If people choose “that route,” he says, “They have to let their conscience be their guide.”

Georgia RTL’s Catherine Davis focuses exclusively on abortion–sidestepping questions about contraception, abstinence, and sex ed–and sees her job as  “educating the community to the horrific number of abortions in Georgia.” She also says that she is working overtime to “make it more difficult for abortion providers to target the Black community for extermination.”  That said, she admits that it’s an uphill battle, with the number of terminations in her state continuing to skyrocket thanks to the ongoing recession.

Could this explain why anti-abortion language continues to amp up?

Surely, if the late 1980s and early 1990s—the heyday of the “rescue movement”–taught us anything, it is this: It was not a coincidence that seven abortion proponents were murdered between 1993 and 1998 by people acting on the frequently articulated injunction: “If you think abortion is murder, act like it’s murder.”

The last year not only saw the killing of Dr. George Tiller, but also saw violence directed at government. In mid-February, a man enraged by US tax policies drove his plane into an Austin, Texas IRS building. Furthermore, SPLC reports that right-wing extremists have killed six law enforcement officers since early 2009; several racist skinheads were subsequently apprehended for plotting to assassinate the president.

While there is no evidence to suggest that Childress, Davis, or other anti-abortion leaders are directly connected to the Patriots, no one knows how their conspiratorial jargon will influence their followers. Sadly, strange bedfellows are a fact of American politics.

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  • godsprodigy

    How can you look at someone who uses violence( taking the life of Dr. George Tiller) to make their point. Then look at Rev. Childress( Learn North East Director), Johnny Hunter( Learn National Director) and say thier words fuel those people who obviously do not respect life. If we were to connect the dots clearly the message is not the same. Google Rev. Childress, look at all the websites and you will see truth. Three out of five black women have their child aborted, if I do the math, we are not replacing ourselves. That calls for a red flag to go up. Some people do not want the truth to come out about this subject, they want to keep us quiet, but we will continue to push the truth even to the White House. We have a responibillty to expose injustics in a orderly and moral manner, not take another life for the cause. We must finish what Dr.M.L. king  gave his life, and that is the rights of all who was given rights by our creator(God) who gave us life in the womb.

  • crowepps

    Three out of five black women have their child aborted, if I do the math, we are not replacing ourselves.

    Actually the numbers are that three out of five black women have at least ONE abortion at some time in their lives but the statistics also show that woman probably has a child already and may have another child afterwards so ‘replacing yourselves’ is being accomplished.

    Statistically one in three U.S. women will have an abortion in her lifetime, the study found, but that risk does not apply to all women equally. Women who choose abortion are more likely to be in their 20s or 30s than in their teens or 40s; they’re more likely to have children already; and they’re also more likely to be black or Hispanic than white. The abortion rates in 2004 were 50 abortions per 1,000 black women and 28 abortions per 1,000 Hispanic women, compared with 11 out of every 1,000 white women.


    The problem seems to be failure to use or incorrect use of birth control when pregnancy is unwanted.

    Forty percent of pregnancies among white women, 69% among blacks and 54% among Hispanics are unintended.


    Actually, Black women are giving birth to larger famlies than White women, and the percentage of the population of the United States that is Black is increasing.

    41.1 million
    As of July 1, 2008, the estimated population of black residents in the United States, including those of more than one race. They made up 13.5 percent of the total U.S. population. This figure represents an increase of more than half a million residents from one year earlier.

    65.7 million
    The projected black population of the United States (including those of more than one race) for July 1, 2050. On that date, according to the projection, blacks would constitute 15 percent of the nation’s total population.


  • godsprodigy

    I going to use the percentage rate that you posted. Before I do, you said that as of July.1 2008 thier has been and increase in the black population. The percentage you use was 13.5 percent of blacks in the U.S. Are you saying from that date July.1 2008 untill now or are you saying from 1973 untill July.1 2008? Sents 1973 Rowe vs Wade tens of millions of babies have been aborted. In The black community 1,786 babies are aborted. 52 percent of all black pregnacies ends in abortion. Black briths are beneath the replacement level (Census 2006) and still today beneath,( Rev. Childress Editoral Washington Times.) If we make up 13.5 percent in the U.S. but 37 percent of abortions are black babies, I can safely say, no we are not replacing ourselvies. Even if one baby every ten years is aborted no matter what their race is, it is still wrong. The more weighter part of this issue is not our mothers and daughters, but those who seek to control population. No one has the right to tell my people you are not able or fit to have childern. Our history proves that we have stood the test of times. I am sad to said that more of us just do not know the deception of Planned Parent Hood and others that operates in this kind of industry. People Like Rev. Childress( L.E.A.R.N NothEast Division) And others a long with myself ( a conern individual ) who are taking a stand on the issues. MAAFA 21 ( has information that you should check out.

  • squirrely-girl

    I’ll be honest here – I started reading your post and stopped. Not because of ideology but because your spelling and grammar are atrocious. Please learn to type/write/construct sentences before posting (consider typing your comments into a word processing program and hitting spell check) because otherwise you just come across as an ignorant individual spouting rhetoric.

  • ack

    These groups seem to make an assumption that abortions happen because Planned Parenthood is somehow targeting POC, instead of examining the far more glaring social circumstances that may make it more likely for POC to abort. Instead of attacking PP, or abortion, why aren’t they going after easy access to contraception and education on how to use it? Abortion is not the problem. Unplanned and unwanted pregnancies are.

    • godsprodigy


        Blacks are the main target for abortion. Abortion came out of the eugenics movement where Margret Sanger Invested her life making sure all unfit, unwanted and the undesirable had no chance of having a life. The top of that list where black babies. Not only Margret Sanger but people in the political arena and powerful millionaires supported this movement. In this great country of ours you would think that this would not be going on. When people with a conscience began to take notice, the eugenics movement change the way they did business. They stop the way they sterilized women and promoted birth control. they change the way they communicated to the public. An abortion became the primary way to get birth control. all of this came out from slavry, the unwanted, the undesirble and the unfit. Someone decied that we where not worth the air that we all breath and then began a crusade of getting rid of us. M.L.king gave his life so that America’s conscience would look at us as a human, a man, a woman that was given to us by God. Black people are the target, we have always been the target. Check out Maafa21 at

  • prochoiceferret

    No one has the right to tell my people you are not able or fit to have childern.

    But apparently, some folks have the right to tell the women of your people that you are not able or fit to have the abortion that you need, because then you’d be genociding yourself.

    If we make up 13.5 percent in the U.S. but 37 percent of abortions are black babies, I can safely say, no we are not replacing ourselvies.

    I suppose you’re in favor of mass rape of Black women, then. (You don’t support Black women being in control of their own bodies, so why wouldn’t you support rape?) That’s sure to get those replacement levels up!

  • crowepps

    The percentage you use was 13.5 percent of blacks in the U.S.

    That was the percentage of the American population that is Black at the most recent count, compared to the SMALLER percentage that was Black at the earlier count. In other words the percentage of the American population that is Black is getting bigger. There is a bigger percentage of Black people and a smaller percentage of White people.

    Black briths are beneath the replacement level (Census 2006)

    Black lifetime fertility rates are not below the replacement rate, and that information cannot be established by looking at a yearly census.


    The replacement rate is the number of live births to women over their LIFETIME, how many children they have in total.


    If a woman gets pregnant 2 times and has 2 healthy children who live to grow up, as ‘replacements’ for her and her partner, she meets replacement rate. If she gets pregnant 10 times, has 8 abortions and 2 healthy children who live to grow up, that ALSO satisfies replacement rate. The number of abortions is totally irrelevant to replacement rate which is determined entirely by the number of live births.


    There is an explanation and the rates are given at this website:



    The projected fertility rate in 2010 for White women is 2,098 and that for Black women is 2,140.


    I absolutely agree with you that Black women don’t need anybody else telling them they aren’t good enough to have children. But then I also believe Black women don’t need anybody telling them how big their families should be or implying that they aren’t smart enough or sufficiently moral to make their own decisions about whether to continue a particular pregnancy.

  • godsprodigy

     I must say you are right my spelling and grammar needs a lot of work. So thank you for your concern. Please do not use my typing and spelling as your focus and turn away from the truth. I hope my bad typing cause you to go deeper into this issue and find out what abortion realy is all about. Just to let you know it is about ideology and yes I copied a few words off of your check it out.


  • godsprodigy

      How can I be in favor of rape when I am against abortion.If rape was the primary reason for abortions I would not have anything to say on the issue. A life in the womb is a God given right not a man or womans right.

  • godsprodigy

      my point is not that women or anyone for that matter are not able to make a decision, It’s the choices they are given. It’s not the women it is the law makers.

  • squirrely-girl

    For that matter, instead of attacking PP or abortion, why aren’t they going after the criminal and near genocidal rates of incarceration among young black men in this country? What?! Were all of these women just supposed happily raise these children alone while being scorned by society as “baby mamas” and “welfare queens?”


  • squirrely-girl

    I’m not quite following you here… women can’t make choices because it’s against the law? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    • crowepps

      I think his/her point was that women have too MANY choices and they would be ‘better off’ if their choices were restricted – maybe to two easy to remember ones like ‘don’t have sex’ and ‘if you don’t follow rule one we’ll ruin your life for you by forcing you to complete the pregnancy’.

  • crowepps

    where Margret Sanger Invested her life making sure all unfit, unwanted and the undesirable had no chance of having a life.

    Margaret Sanger invested her life trying to make sure that women didn’t die like her mother, worn out at 50 after 18 pregnancies.


    She did most of her work in New York among immigrant populations, particularly the Irish.


    While certainly the eugenics history of sterilizing ‘the unfit’ was based on premises which we now reject, Margaret Sanger didn’t have any connection to those efforts to ‘reduce the numbers of the poor’.


    The Black population in the United States is actually increasing faster than the White population.


    READ UP on the issue!