Have you ever wondered what would happen if a college student questioned a liberal speaker about abortion on a college campus? If you don’t want to read this whole article, I’ll give you the short answer – many people were ‘triggered.’
Marc Lamont Hill is a BET News correspondent and CNN political commentator who previously worked at Fox News. His newest book, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, was a required read for all incoming freshman at my school, Saint Bonaventure University.
On Sept. 25th, Hill came to speak at my school about injustices and oppression in America. After his speech, he held a Q&A. Being a passionate pro-life student, I decided to ask him, “Would you say abortion is a war on the vulnerable in America?”
Hill responded, “Well, (5 seconds of silence) uhhhhh…”
“I don’t want to avoid your question, but I think it’s a framing. The elderly are also vulnerable.”
He went on to ask me if abortion was relevant to the theory of his book, which he explained as “state violence.” (In his speech, Hill said students could ask him anything in the Q&A.)
I responded by mentioning that the state funds Planned Parenthood, the number one abortion provider in the country. Hill said tax dollars do not fund abortions. I then attempted to explain how the tax dollars are fungible, but the audience wasn’t having it.
The crowd was uneasy to say the least. Murmurs turned into conversations between the hundreds of students, faculty, and local citizens in attendance. It became too loud for Hill and I to continue our respectful dialogue. He had to calm the audience down.
Hill didn’t seem to understand the idea of fungible tax dollars, eventually saying “we’re not saying anything different.” He also said he’s not making an argument for or against abortion. But I knew he’s pro-choice. He was hesitating to admit it.
Hill continued to push the discussion to the side, claiming abortion is irrelevant to his book.
It became clear to me that Hill didn’t want to discuss abortion on a Catholic campus. I wasn’t going to let him hide his beliefs, so I reemphasize my original question, asking him, “Do you personally think abortion is a war on the vulnerable?”
“No. I do not. I think that… I believe… what do I believe… (crowd continues to murmur) … well it’s a complicated nuanced argument. … My personal belief on abortion I think isn’t the point. But I believe in… uhhh… a woman’s rights to reproductive freedom, and their right to determine what to do with their own bodies.”
And the crowd goes wild! Of course, there was a typical college campus response to Hill finally expressing his pro-abortion views. I felt bad for the Franciscans in attendance who had to hear the school cheer abortion on.
Hill said we could talk later about when human life begins, but I interrupted him to mention that personhood can be debated, but in terms of human life, the science is clear – human life begins at conception.
Repeating himself once again, Hill says abortion does not relate this his thesis. Disagreeing, I mention that Planned Parenthood targets inner cities and its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a racist. Once again, the crowd begins to talk amongst themselves.
Hill says the context of Sanger’s writings must be taken into consideration. This is the letter I was referring to.
Hill wraps up our discussion by saying, “Do I think abortion has hurt the African-American community? No. I think jobs have.”
We ran out of time, so I was unable to respond to his final statement. I 100% agree with him that jobs have hurt the African-American community. I would argue the government should have a smaller role in the cities, allowing the free market to pull people out of poverty. But jobs aren’t the only issue hurting the black community. The broken family is too. According to a U.S. Census Bureau ACS study, 37% of black families without a father, live in poverty. Compare this to the 8% poverty rate of black families with married parents, and the issue is clear. Normalizing abortion has hurt our morals and in the process, killed over 19 million black lives.
I would love to thank Hill for coming to Saint Bonaventure to speak and engage with the students. Politics aside, he is a very talented speaker who has done extensive research on American history. Our respectful exchange of ideas benefited everyone in the arena, whether they liked it or not. Dialogue is needed in this country. We need to talk out our issues.
To all you lone conservatives: I encourage you to take a stand for what you believe in. When a leftist speaker comes to campus, try not to whine, (I may or may not have.) Respectfully challenge their thinking. Make some noise. Embrace debate! College campuses need you.
(Photo credit: David Andoh)
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.