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Reproductive RIghts in America

Newspaper Tries To Defend Cartoon Linking #BlackLivesMatter To Abortion, Planned Parenthood

A Montana newspaper is drawing heavy criticism for an editorial cartoon it published attempting to link the Black Lives Matter movement with Planned Parenthood and abortion.

The Great Falls Tribune, in a cartoon drawn by Gary McCoy–who just so happens to be a staunch conservative–depicts Planned Parenthood Federation President Cecile Richards sitting at her desk, smiling as she says:

“Here at Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter! They make up a good part of my car payment.”

Also seen in the cartoon is a newspaper with two headlines:

“78% P.P. Clinics in Minority Neighborhoods” and “Black Babies Aborted.”

Not only tasteless, but also inaccurate in the way one can only truly be when manipulating statistics without any context or actual fact.

Response from readers was swift and negative, with many calling it racist and over the line when it comes to criticizing Planned Parenthood. The criticism became so overwhelmingly against the cartoon that the editorial staff–all of whom are white men–published a letter from the editorial board in which they stated:

“Quite obviously, the cartoonist is suggesting that Planned Parenthood is a racist organization, or at least acts in a racist way, by positioning itself to provide most of its abortions to people of color. This was confirmed by the cartoonist who replied to a Tribune inquiry: ‘Those who are OK with disproportionately killing black babies, while claiming ‘Black Lives Matter,’ apparently choose to appease their guilty conscience by instead crying ‘racist’ at the tellers of truth.’”

Tellers of truth? Gimme a freaking break! And just because someone asserts that something is racist does not mean that you are immunized from such a charge by simply saying the racism lies with the person who opposes you. This is a coward’s defense. Apparently the editors of the Tribune are unable to actually craft a real reason for their objectionable actions.

The editorial goes on to say:

“The point of the cartoon was to accuse Planned Parenthood of racism. Obviously, that is a point about which reasonable people can disagree; there could be reasons other than racism why 78 percent Planned Parenthood centers are located in minority neighborhoods, assuming that fact is even true (We couldn’t affirm or discredit it. According to Planned Parenthood, ’73 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are located in rural or medically under-served areas.’ And one could surmise that most businesses or community health organizations will be placed where the need for their services is greatest).’”

In recent months, the far right has come out in strong opposition to Planned Parenthood, but to say they do so because they care so much for the lives of unborn minority children is not only disingenuous, it is also a flat out lie.

The far right’s solution to the problem of racism is just as it has always been: Don’t talk about it and maybe it will go away.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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