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Black genocide

"Black genocide" Continued...

Issue: "Millions cut down," Jan. 17, 2009

Adetunji grew up unsheltered, raised in the drug- and sex-soaked projects by a single mom whose boyfriend touched Adetunji in ways he shouldn't have. Even as a young teen, Adetunji was sexually active: "But I wasn't really looking for sex. My father wasn't there, so like most girls where I came from, I was looking for love. . . . The sex was a byproduct of wanting someone to hold you, to affirm you, to say they loved you-even if they were lying."

At age 17, Adetunji became pregnant. By then, her family's economic situation had improved, and they didn't live in the projects anymore. She was able to scrape together the money for an abortion: "It was the thing to do. It was used as a form of birth control."

But many black girls, especially those from the projects, couldn't afford abortions then. "The white girls could get an abortion because they had access to money," Adetunji explained. "The only reason black girls didn't get an abortion is because they didn't have the money. At the same time, when you had the baby, you weren't going to college, you weren't going anywhere. You were exactly what everyone said black girls from the projects were: nothing."

Adetunji believes the "Baby Mama" stigma may be in part responsible for the high rate of abortion among black women today. "We still want to get away from the projects at all costs. It's like the Enemy has duped us into believing we must kill our own children to do so. It's like we haven't progressed at all."

Clenard Childress said a lack of knowledge in the African-American community, and among black pastors in particular, is a big part of the problem. Though churches are still central to African-American culture, many pastors are so wrapped up in the nose-to-grindstone minutiae of ministry that they ignore the grimmest of statistics: that more than one of every two of their future congregants is killed in the womb.

Childress is working to change that, meeting with other black pastors one-on-one and speaking on the topic at conferences: "Often pastors will come up to me afterward weeping and broken, and say, 'I never saw that.' People have held me and wouldn't let me go."

Jim McGarvey, former director of Hope Women's Centers in Broward County, Fla., describes similar experiences. More than half the county is made up of African-Americans, McGarvey said, but until recently, most black churches did not support the Hope chain of PRCs (unaffiliated with the HOPE center in Philadelphia) "because they didn't know about us."

Like Childress, McGarvey began going church to church to speak with black pastors. "I was simply giving them the information," said McGarvey, who is white. "Among the black pastors I know, the lights are coming on and they are wanting to do something about the problem of abortion."

Childress said he finds it effective to help African-Americans see the true nature and toll of abortion by showing them "how we've been disconnected from the civil-rights movement of true Christian social action."

Martin Luther King Jr. used biblical precepts to fight for the upward mobility of blacks, he said. "But liberal black leaders like Jesse Jackson and [NAACP chairman] Julian Bond today use the rhetoric of civil rights to advance their personal agendas and validate their own existence. They invoke Dr. King's movement, but they have left the God of that movement."

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