Nothing can prepare you for the bizarre, disjointed screed you are about to read by Huffington Post's resident "reproductive justice activist" Renee Bracey Sherman. So out of touch with reality is her February 3 column, that there is little we can add in the way of commentary -- the article, of which we are posting key excerpts, speaks for itself:
For Black families, the decision to become a parent is deeply personal and life changing. It's a powerful moment to decide to bring new life into a world that, by design, destroys our brilliance, culture, and potential.
We did not realize that the world is intentionally out to destroy black brilliance and culture. It's a good thing Sherman enlightened us all. And this is what "reproductive justice," which is code for unfettered abortions with a smattering of easy-access childcare (should a woman of color chose to keep her baby) is all about:
Reproductive justice, a 20-year-old term coined by women of color, is a vision in which everyone is able to decide if, when, and how to create a family, and that they have the ability to raise their children free from harm and violence. A world in which reproductive justice is the norm, demands that no one goes without healthcare, and the care they receive is compassionate, competent, and culturally relevant. Rather than being shamed for exploring the joys of Black love, healthcare providers will talk with their patients to ensure they are having safe and consensual orgasmic sex. They won't feel shame for talking about whom they love or how they love them. Black people will feel liberated to discover their own bodies, identities, and pleasures. Trans people would feel in control of their transition process and able to access any resources they would need to feel their most authentic selves. They could tenderly parent their children free of transphobic hate, and receive prenatal care without ogling stares.
Whether pregnancies are expected or not, in a reproductive justice future everyone would have the support they need to decide what to do about their pregnancy. Abortions should be access [sic] with dignity and respect, not met at the door by racist protesters who turn around and vote to deny Black children nutrition, education, and housing. The explanations of "not right now" or "I'm happy with the two that I have" are met with understanding, not shame. They would be able to have their abortion in whatever religious or cultural tradition they see fit, through surgery with their provider, or within the comfort of their home with chosen family, medication, or powerful herbs.
So the author disjointedly jumps from topics of starting a family, to healthcare, to abortions on demand, to "Black love" (because that is different from other kinds of "love," why?), to orgasmic sex, to identifying pleasure within one's own body, to denying Black children nutrition (who is the author suggesting ever purposely starved poor, black children? Republicans, to be sure), to more unfettered abortions and "powerful herbs," to a completely off-topic leap about "transphobia."
Sherman then goes on to contradict her original premise, writing that young women of color should be given adequate prenatal care so they can stay in school while expecting a new child:
Any young person who finds themselves is pregnant is offered information and support so that they are able to make the best decision for themselves. Young parenthood is not whispered as the end of a life, but the beginning of two who are encouraged to stay in school and reap all the benefits Title IX affords them. All pregnant people would receive prenatal care, keeping the current maternal mortality rates at bay.
But doulas should be on hand to help with the birth of a child, or the abortion of one, whichever the mother-to-be deems fit:
Doulas clasp the hands of every Black pregnant person to ensure they receive love as they give all of themselves during labor or termination.
The author then takes another disjointed leap to babies born within the prison system:
No longer are the boots on our necks, but marching to demand an end to shackled births. It would be a world where children are not be [sic] born within the confines of a prison system sealing their fates.
So in other words, regardless of a woman's crime, she should be released from prison simply for giving birth?
In this transformative world, Black women aren't the scapegoat for society's ills. Mothers are treated as wise teachers who are raising the next generation of Black excellence, not as 'welfare queens' trampled on by politicians to elevate themselves on the campaign ladder. The number of children a family raises would never be dictated by state policy or income, but by the love they have to give. If we truly valued Black life now, we wouldn't accept our government feeding our babies dirty water, allowing them to live in dilapidated homes, or educating them in moldy schools.
It might help if the author noted that the politicians most guilty of elevating themselves off the back of minority communities and keeping those communities dependent on the state, are in fact leftists.
These faux-justice movements are gaining steam, however decoupled from reality they may be and so-called activists seem to have no clue that their "crusades" are riddled with contradictions, flawed logic and self-defeating premises. It is difficult to believe that the push for "reproductive justice" comes from the very same community that fought (and rightly so) against being subjected to eugenics (forced abortion and sterilization) mere decades ago. But lo, this is a world warped by those afflicted with faux-social-justice-warrior syndrome.