The News Has Endorsed Stephen Broden. But What Does the Paper Really Know About Him?
This afternoon, The Dallas Morning News endorsed Stephen Broden , the Republican vying for Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson's seat in the U.S. Congress. Fascinating -- in no small part because Johnson has been the No. 1 purveyor of federal pork for The News 's beloved Trinity River project.
The endorsement says the paper based its decision mainly on Johnson's scholar-gyp scandal, in which she handed out college money to her own grand-kids and the children of top aide Rod Givens. I guess she didn't earn many points at The News for calling out Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley as a shakedown artist over the Inland Port.
But this what really intrigues me: I wonder how much The News knows about Broden. They ran a superficial profile of him out of their Washington bureau earlier in the week. I cross paths with their reporting all the time, so I was aware their Washington reporter had been calling people in the 30th District, asking them if they would describe it as non-affluent.
I would have said, "Yeah, and real hot in the summertime too." I mean, how much can you not know about Dallas?
I have been working on a profile of Broden that will run early next month. He's a fascinating guy -- very bright, with a solid track record as a conservative thinker theologically, socially and politically. A lot of people think he must be nuts, because he's black and he's associated with the Tea Party.
He's not nuts. He has his reasons for the Tea Party Association. More on that in my story in the paper later.
But here is what I suspect The News doesn't get.
One of Broden's main connections with the Tea types is over right-to-life issues. He is stridently and passionately opposed to abortion -- but for reasons The News editorial board probably doesn't quite ken.
Broden is an important figure in a national movement among African-American thinkers and writers who see concrete historical linkages between abortion, birth control and Planned Parenthood on the one hand, and white racist schemes for the genocidal extermination of black people on the other.
More specifically, these writers, who have done meticulous historical research, argue that the American eugenics movement and some early birth control champions like Margaret Sanger were motivated by a desire to exterminate black people and other minorities. They claim further that there were direct historical ties between Sanger's disciples and Adolph Hitler and that the American eugenics movement provided Hitler the theoretical pretext for the Holocaust.
In their view, Sanger, Hitler and Planned Parenthood are peas in a pod --all of them strange fruit produced by white racism.
Don't believe me? Take a gander at a documentary called Maafda 21, written and produced by a man named Mark Crutcher of Denton.
This would all be fun and games if Maafa 21 could be dismissed as nut-case ranting by anti-abortion wingdings. But that doesn't quite work. It has its weak points, including an unfortunate excursion into gratuitous homophobia and some sort of free-association connecting of dots. But even the most concerted efforts to shoot it down so far, including a piece in The New York Times, have made grudging acknowledgment of the portion of Crutcher's research that is, in fact, solid.
The nexus between Broden and the Tea Partyitistas over abortion is important. So is the argument about the racist origins of population control. It raises moral questions about putting power of life and death in the hands of mere mortals, who are never as smart or as good as they think they are. I don't know what the answers are, but I would be willing to bet the good Lady Bountifuls on the editorial board at The News don't even know the questions.
Better study up, folks! Collin County ain't gonna like this.
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