By: Dr. Devon Smith, HSH Correspondent
Last night, Shelby Emmett, a first amendment lawyer, and I (Dr. Devon Smith) joined Armstrong for what was bound to be an exciting discussion. Between Stormy Daniels, the census citizenship question and the most recent Alton Sterling decision, the conversation could take many turns.
The show started with a brief update from the Red Cross, via Brad Kieserman the organization’s VP. March is the giving month for the Red Cross and over the past year, due to hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, over 1000 blood drives have been cancelled. There are many ways to give and as Brad said, “there is no wrong door”. Whether it be via blood donation, volunteering time or a financial gift, all efforts are equally welcome. Visit the Red Cross website to learn more or to donate!
From there the conversation got heated as Armstrong brought up the census citizenship question. Shelby started the conversation by mentioning that despite what some news sources are saying, the citizenship question was on the census more recently since 1950. She also went on to make a few other interesting, and in my opinion, valid points.
First, she brought up DACA which was developed under then President Obama. DACA applications outright asked whether or not someone was a legal citizen. Furthermore, she pointed out that the same groups who are hemming and hawing over the census asking a citizenship question are the same groups that demanded that it be asked on gun purchase forms. To be clear, it should definitely be on firearms purchase forms and it should also be included on the census form.
One of my favorite callers during the census discussion was Theresa. Theresa called in and said it best when she said “It’s just not offensive to me” which I couldn’t agree more with. How people are offended by the question is beyond me. From there, the conversation took what can only be described as an unexpected turn down the rabbit hole when Planned Parenthood and abortion were brought up by a caller.
It began when the declining or at the very least plateaued African-American population in America. Throughout the call we discussed how abortion rates, Planned Parenthood as well as the dissolution of the nuclear family all negatively impact the Black community. As soon as the abortion topic was breached, the calls flooded in.
Perhaps the most frustrating call came from a gentleman in PA. He called in to show his support for Planned Parenthood and the efforts they made, through abortion, in the 1920’s and 1930’s to help low income black families be more successful. His argument (which was what he alleged Planned Parenthood was arguing) was that black families would be more successful if they had less children. As such, abortion was the solution. Both Shelby and I agreed that if, back in the 20’s-30’s, Planned Parenthood was aiming to help the black community they would have been better served by trying to dismantle the KKK or stop the lynching. Furthermore, wouldn’t money be better spent giving out condoms or other forms of birth control. From a cost perspective prevention is less expensive than termination.
It goes without saying the abortion discussions get heated. I had to leave the show early to catch a train. Thankfully, Shelby was still present with Armstrong to help him hold down the fort!