“The major problem confronting the United States today is there aren’t enough white babies being born. If we don’t do something about this and do it now, white people will be in the numerical minority, and we will no longer be a white man’s land.” –”The Birth Dearth” by Ben Wattenberg
My best childhood memories are divided evenly between my maternal grandmother’s house in South Dallas, and my paternal grandmother’s in “The Bottom.”
Well, we called it The Bottom then. Nowadays, most of you call it the historic 10th Street District. New name. New faces and new prices will follow.
I’m sitting on the porch at 611 Millard St. sometime in the 60s, ear hustling while my paternal grandmother and a neighbor were talking. We didn’t have no internet, so inperson gossiping was our social media.
The woman from two doors down said that Pete and Nelly’s daughter died while she was away in college. Apparently, that’s why Pete was drinking so heavily and Ms. Nelly was so distraught.
Honestly, I had no visual recollection of her, so I made up her image based on what I heard. Maybe that’s how we got all those life-size murals of “White Jesus” in our baptismal pools. Hmm?
Martha was said to have been beautiful, but “fair-skinned” like her mother and not like Pete. Pete was that shiny, well-minted hue of black.
Pete fit the bill if you needed a model for a “John Henry, the Steel Drivin’ Man” poster. His big bruised hands and bristled brows looked like he was working even when sitting down.
The lady said that Martha wasn’t Pete’s child. She didn’t know if Martha had been “born out of wedlock” or not. All she knew was that Martha bled to death. There was something about a coat hanger found in her dormitory room.
Children in our day were quite literal. I remember my mother telling one of my aunts that their cousin in Houston had lost a child. I waited until it was established that Mama had hung up the phone. In those days, you didn’t say “one damn word” until your mother was off the phone.
I asked, ”Mama, did Aunt Evelyn lose the child in the neighborhood?”
AstroWorld was new and close to Aunt Ev’s house, so maybe the child had been lost there. I was horrified then, but one day in my 30s, the two events merged.
My Aunt Evelyn had a miscarriage. “Lost her baby” was the community standard before graduating to “miscarriage.”
She was shattered because she wanted another baby and couldn’t carry the child to full term.
But Martha, one of those rare Black college students in her day, didn’t want a baby. She wasn’t ready for motherhood. Martha or someone helping tried to terminate her pregnancy the way hundreds of thousands of other young women in her generation did. I still can’t grasp what happened. Far be it from me to understand all the ins and outs and questions surrounding abortion.
However, any Black man my age will testify to two conversations. First, our moms had a conversation reminding us that we are Black and prone to suspicion and official oppression. Secondly, most of us have a girlfriend or significant other who called us to say that something was missing and something might be coming! Hint, hint!
Because of stories like Martha’s, especially white Marthas, unwanted pregnancies have been addressed safely and discreetly for over half a century. The United States Supreme Court ended Roe V. Wade, and stories about coat hangers and botched abortions obviously had no bearing.
Roe passed in 1973, but in 2022, the national maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is 17 per 100,000 live births––but 43 per 100,000 live births for Black women. These are rough times for women and blackness only multiplies the misery.
Pro-lifers are for you while you’re in the womb. Of course, once the umbilical cord is cut, they don’t give a sh!t about you! Next up, same-sex marriage cause that “protected class” ain’t producing enough White babies either! Your grinning, shuffling, jive-ass Uncle Thomas has already said so!
The old adage was that “anything the White man didn’t want you to know, he put in a book.”
You might want to peruse the pages of Birth Dearth.
The truth is that every policy decision in this nation begins with and ends with race.
And that Mr. Wattenberg is the “major problem confronting the United States today!”
For RED America, it ain’t about your Rights, it’s all about the Whites.
Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.