It wasn’t hard for Planned Parenthood to shed Margaret Sanger. What did the faded black and white photos of the baby parts organization’s founder have to do with it today?
If the Democrats can casually jettison Jefferson and Jackson, Planned Parenthood dumping Sanger was even easier.
And, as Alexis McGill Johnson, the abortion group’s current president writes in a New York Times op-ed, “I’m the Head of Planned Parenthood. We’re Done Making Excuses for Our Founder.”
The PP boss belatedly concedes that Sanger was a racist who hung out with the Klan, but inevitably reframes it all through the lens of critical race theory. “Our reckoning is understanding her full legacy, and its impact,” Johnson writes.
But has no intention of actually understanding her legacy.
Even as the Planned Parenthood boss rejects dismissals of Sanger’s racism as products of its time, she evades the connection between Sanger’s agenda and her racism. Instead, Johnson suggests that Sanger was acting out of “political expedience”.
And so Planned Parenthood’s new boss, contradicting her own headline, will go on making excuses for Sanger.
Understanding her legacy would require confronting the politics of eugenics and its conviction that the ‘planned’ part of parenthood could be used to improve the species. That’s still the underlying argument at the abortion group after the usual unconvincing feminism.
Instead, Johnson switches over to the familiar critical race theory cant of hating white people.
What we don’t want to be, as an organization, is a Karen. You know Karen: She escalates small confrontations because of her own racial anxiety. She calls the manager. She calls the police. She stands with other white parents to maintain school segregation. And then there are the organizational Karens. The groups who show up, assert themselves, and tell you where to march. Those who pursue freedom and fairness, but also leverage their privilege in ways that are dehumanizing.
And sometimes, that’s how Planned Parenthood has acted. By privileging whiteness, we’ve contributed to America harming Black women and other women of color. And when we focus too narrowly on “women’s health,” we have excluded trans and nonbinary people.
Karen is a racial slur referencing white women. And it has nothing to do with Sanger’s racism. Instead, PP’s boss casually tosses in some racial slurs and then announces that it will focus less on women’s health, thus tossing out the feminism.
We are committed to confronting any white supremacy in our own organization, and across the movement for reproductive freedom. We pledge to fight the many types of dehumanization we are seeing right now: the dehumanization of Black and Latino victims of police violence such as Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and too many others.
George Floyd robbed a pregnant woman at gunpoint. There couldn’t be a better model for Planned Parenthood. Goodbye Margie, Hello George.