CHICAGO – The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Founder and President of the RainbowPUSH Coalition, issued the following statement in response to the inflammatory comments about African Americans made by nationally-syndicated talk show host William Bennett, who was the former Secretary of Education under President Ronald Regan:

Bill Bennett’s statement was a morally degenerate statement that had genocide as its logical conclusion. His statement comes from a philosophy that blacks are a problem. It is an ideology of white supremacy. This is classic supremacy, white Neanderthal supremacy.

The tragedy of Bennett’s comment is that he still influences public policy. He was grappling with a possible solution that was very offensive. Like so many right-wingers, he has been a wolf in sheep’s clothing for a long time. His comments remind us of the derogatory statements made by others: Trent Lott, wishing Strom Thurmond had been president; and Mrs. (Barbara) Bush, saying the evacuees lying on the floor of the Houston Astrodome were better off than they were in New Orleans. These are cultural statements, and they remind all us of the deeply rooted compulsion of racism.”

The transcript from the September 28 broadcast of Salem Radio Network's "Bill Bennett's Morning in America":

CALLER: I noticed the national media, you know, they talk a lot about the loss of revenue, or the inability of the government to fund Social Security, and I was curious, and I've read articles in recent months here, that the abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade, the lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30-something years, could fund Social Security as we know it today. And the media just doesn't -- never touches this at all.

BENNETT: Assuming they're all productive citizens?

CALLER: Assuming that they are. Even if only a portion of them were, it would be an enormous amount of revenue?

BENNETT: Maybe, maybe, but we don't know what the costs would be, too. I think as -- abortion disproportionately occur among single women? No.

CALLER: I don't know the exact statistics, but quite a bit are, yeah.

BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don't know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don't know. I mean, it cuts both -- you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well --

CALLER: Well, I don't think that statistic is accurate.

BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.

The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization, which seeks to protect, defend and gain civil rights, level the economic and educational playing fields in all aspects of American life, and bring peace to the world. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the RainbowPUSH Coalition, please visit the organization’s website,, or telephone (773) 373-3366. To interview Rev. Jackson about this topic, please call the numbers listed above.