Blog Posts

“Black Children Are Not Baby Seals”

The post is from March 2010, but I recently came across this important perspective on the Radiance Foundation billboards from a pro-life African-American woman: Black Children Are Not Baby Seals. An excerpt:

Think about how we often regard animals on the Endangered Species list: they are protected with the hope that they can be released back into the wild, where they can survive on their own.

The late Spencer Perkins identified the problems with this kind of thinking back in 1989, when he raised the question of a “pro-life credibility gap.” In Perkins’ view, those Christians who were most visible in leading the pro-life movement were often not as interested in other issues of justice for African Americans. He wrote, “I feel that if the love of Christ compels me to save the lives of children, that same love should compel me to take more responsibility for them once they are born.” Though Perkins was making the point about white pro-lifers, it’s a question for all of us to consider.

An “endangered species” mentality de-contextualizes and dislocates many children from the possible sources of the issues they may face. This mentality doesn’t imply that these children will need places to live free from poor environmental settings and polluted air, or a neighborhood that isn’t a food desert, or a street that’s safe from the bullets of warring gangbangers, or church families to help support them, or high-quality public schools to prepare them for life, or intact families with parents whose relationships provide a secure home, or people (of any race!) who will adopt them and raise them lovingly.