Black Pastors Ask Smithsonian to Remove Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder

Penny Starr | August 7, 2015 | 4:14pm EDT
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Margaret Sanger bust ( Starr)

( – A group of black pastors sent a letter to the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery asking that the bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger be removed from the museum’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, citing her support for eugenics and the targeting of minorities by the nation’s largest abortion provider.

"Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies, an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at a rally of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers," the letter from Ministers Taking a Stand states.

“Also the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild,” the letter states. “Despite these well- documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice.

“The obvious incongruity is staggering!” the letter states.

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The group says that Sanger should not be part of an exhibit that features the real “champions” of the civil rights movement, including Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks.

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“How can a person like Sanger, who found common cause with the racial agenda of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), be ranked among true champions of ‘justice?’” the letter states. “She was a purveyor of grave injustice against the most innocent and vulnerable among us.”

The letter states that it is the first “in a series of actions we will be taking to expose the evil of honoring Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood.”

The letter also notes the current scandal surrounding Planned Parenthood with the release of undercover videos showing top medical officials in the organization discussing harvesting and selling the organs and other body parts from aborted babies.

“The fact is that the behavior of these abortionists, their callous and cavalier attitude toward these babies, is completely in keeping with Sanger’s perverse vision for America,” the letter states.

The letter also states that 70 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods and provides a link to a map documenting this fact.

In the gallery exhibit, the signage states that Sanger was a nurse who was “profoundly affected by the physical and mental toll exacted on women by frequent childbirth, miscarriage and self-induced abortion,” but it also notes her connection to eugenics.

“During her campaign, Sanger became associated with the eugenics movement – which promoted, among other practices, the forced sterilization of those deemed mentally unfit and for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers,” the signage states.

The description of Sanger on the gallery’s website also notes her eugenics-supporting history.

“Adding to her life of controversy is her association with the eugenics movement – which included promotion of forced sterilization for those deemed mentally unfit – a movement that for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers,” the online text states.

The letter from Ministers Taking a Stand refers to a letter Sanger sent to Dr. C.J. Gamble of the Eugenics Society in 1939.

“The ministers work is also important and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach,” Sanger wrote. “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

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In a paper entitled “Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda” written by Sanger in 1921, she praises eugenics as “the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.”

She then explains the role birth control plays in eugenics.

“The eugenic and civilizational (sic) value of birth control is becoming apparent to the enlightened and the intelligent,” Sanger wrote.

The basis of birth control propaganda, Sanger said, “indicate that the campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aims of eugenics,” Sanger wrote.

In her book “The Pivot of Civilization,” Sanger wrote extensively about eugenics, including in Chapter 18, “Dangers of Cradle Competition.”

“We should not minimize the great outstanding service of Eugenics for critical and diagnostic investigations,” Sanger wrote. “It demonstrates, not in terms of glittering generalization but in statistical studies of investigations reduced to measurement and number, that uncontrolled fertility is universally correlated with disease, poverty, overcrowding and the transmission of hereditable taints.”

The letter is signed by Bishop E.W. Jackson, MTS founder and president and bishop THE CALLED Church; Pastor Cecil Blye, Jr., MTS President Kentucky and senior pastor, More Grace Ministries; Pastor Iverson Jackson, MTS state President Arkansas and senior pastor, Zoe Bible Church; Apostle Stanley Jacobs, MTS State President Delaware and senior pastor, Greater Works Ministry; Pastor Marlin Sharp, MTS president Tidewater Virginia and senior pastor, Landstown Community Church; Dr. Leon Threatt, MTS president North Carolina and senior pastor, Joy Christian Fellowship; Pastor Garfield Williams, MTS President Maryland and senior pastor, Kingdom Equippers Ministries; Rev. Steven L. Craft, MTS president New York/New Jersey and executive director Christian Citizenship Ministries; Dr. Melvin Johnson, MTS state president Texas and Heart of Christ Community Church; and Pastor Michael Smith, MTS President southwest Virginia and senior pastor Mountain View Union Church; Dr. Alveda King, pastoral associate and director of African- American Outreach, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries; and Rev. William CookSTAND director of operations.

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