Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Replacement for the "War On Drugs"?

I found out this week that two Georgia women have recently been charged with violations of newly enacted state statutes restricting abortion.  One of the women was the woman who had the abortion; the other was a nurse who allegedly provided an abortifacient drug to the woman who had the abortion.  In addition, a woman in Indiana was recently sentenced to 40 years in prison (see this also) for allegedly taking an abortifacient drug which resulted in the termination of her pregnancy.  This happened in spite of the fact that the toxicologist for the state where she was tried testified that he could not find evidence of abortion drugs in the woman's system.

Neither of the women charged with aborting their pregnancies is white.

I must confess that upon reading their stories, I was struck by mixed emotions.  In describing those emotions, I think I may wind up writing a post that will offend just about everyone who reads it.  First, however, let me say that as a Christian, I am obliged to follow the orders of my Boss.  His Word says that the unjust taking of a life is murder.  Therefore, I am opposed to abortion.

However, I see another side of the story in the case of Purvi Patel.  Whether you believe abortion is evil or not, if you're a decent human being, you must admit that convicting women of crimes they didn't commit and throwing them in prison for decades afterward is also evil.  The fact that women in certain states are now being threatened with such a prospect is unsettling.  The fact that two women who recently became showcases for this threat are nonwhite is more unsettling.  I am thinking that in the Midwest and the South, the "war on drugs" - currently being de-fanged by the passage of laws in various states which decriminalize drug use - may be replaced by a war on miscarrying women of color - oops, I mean, abortion.  Women of color who miscarry may thus find themselves targets regardless of the circumstances of the miscarriages.

It all makes me think of the following quote from People of the Lie: "[The narcissism of the evil] a brand of narcissism so total that they seem to lack, in whole or in part, [the] capacity for empathy...We can see, then, that their narcissism makes the evil dangerous not only because it motivates them to scapegoat others but also because it deprives them of the restraint that results from empathy and respect for others.  In addition to the fact that the evil need victims to sacrifice to their narcissism, their narcissism permits them to ignore the humanity of their victims as well.  As it gives them the motive for murder, so it also renders them insensitive to the act of killing.  The blindness of the narcissist to others can extend even beyond a lack of empathy; narcissists may not "see" others at all."  In quoting M. Scott Peck, I realize that I may turn the stomachs of some of those who are familiar with the failings of his private life.  To such I apologetically offer the following suggestion: Regard Mr. Peck in the same way that you might regard the prophet Balaam, or the donkey on which Balaam rode - flawed instruments whom God used to deliver a message that perhaps the messengers had not conceived.  In this quote, Mr. Peck hits it out of the ballpark in describing the role which scapegoats serve for the narcissist.

The current leadership of the American right wing is accurately characterized as narcissistic.  Unable to face their own evil, they look constantly for scapegoats on whom they can project their own dysfunction.  This is seen in the punishments meted out to the scapegoats for their "transgressions" - a kind of justice not meant to restore or to heal, but to destroy.  So if a woman of color has a miscarriage, or even an abortion, the aim of white supremacist justice is not to heal or to restore, but to destroy with draconian punishments - even as the supremacist leaders give themselves a pass for their own evil behavior

As they used the "War on Drugs," so the narcissistic elite may use a "war on abortion" as a means of continuing to scapegoat the nonwhite, the non-English, the foreign-born.  And in many parts of the United States, those doing the scapegoating won't even be that sophisticated; they'll simply continue to send the police to storm homes where people of color live, in order to shoot unarmed people of color without cause.  In this year alone, the body count has reached 506 people. In this year alone, an impressive number of murderers in police uniforms have escaped becoming victims of the criminal justice system of which they are a part.  Among them is Joseph Weekley, a Detroit SWAT officer who shot a 7 year old African American girl to death as she was sleeping in bed when he sprayed her house with submachine-gun fire. 

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