By Abdul Hakim-Shabazz
I learned a long time ago; there’s no money in being a sizable anal cavity. (You can figure out the translation.) If I want to get someone to go along with an idea I’m trying to sell, mainly if it’s one they may not agree with, I try to meet them where they are and work from there. I listen to them, learn their concerns and try to frame my issue from their perspective, and hopefully, with a little persuasion and respect, I get them go along, or at least not say “no.”
Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is an attorney and the editor and publisher of IndyPoltics.Org.
Someone should consider that approach with the anti-abortion group Hoosiers for Life. Let me correct that – the rabid anti-abortion group Hoosiers for Life. These guys are so far down the pro-life road of zealotry, if they could, they would try to outline the Batesville casket company because they think they promote death.
Mostly recently, they went after Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis. But they didn’t do in the form of protesting at the Statehouse, or sending letters to the editor. They didn’t even make their usual tasteless and tacky move of showing up at the speaker’s home with “pictures” of aborted fetuses. No, they attacked Bosma in a social media thread that was dedicated to the memory of his mother, who had just passed away.
Yes, on a forum a son dedicated to the memory of his deceased mother, these people decided to attack him. They don’t think the speaker is “pro-life” enough, due to the fact a bill that would have outlawed all abortions under all circumstances didn’t make it to the floor in the last legislative session and likely won’t have a much of a chance making it out of the legislative birth canal this session either.
Here are a couple of examples of the comment that were left:
“You want to bury pro-life bills because you think raising taxes is more important. With ‘Republicans’ like you, who needs Democrats?”
“If you are planning to kill a bill that will save children from abortion, you are not pro-life. That would make you pro-death.”
Luckily, 99 percent of the rest of the people posting were appalled at the comments and went after the Hoosiers for Life accordingly. In fact, I think a couple of people who were on the fence regarding abortion probably became pro-choice when it was all said and done.
And to make matters worse, when I asked Amy Schlicter, the executive director of Hoosiers for Life if she condoned the comments made by individuals purporting to be members of her group, her response was, “I cannot speak for individual supporters, but I certainly speak for the organization itself. Hoosiers for Life promotes the protection of human life from conception until natural death. Our objective for the 2018 legislative session is to have an up or down roll-call vote on Rep. Curt Nisly’s protection of life legislation.”
So much for distancing oneself from the crazy.
The speaker got it right on Organization Day when he said from the podium, about people taking public discourse to a new low, that “the cowardly practice of remotely saying something that’s misrepresentative of others is so untoward, and it isn’t good for democracy.”
It also isn’t good for anything.
I take that back, it’s good for showing how civil discourse should be put on the endangered species list. Instead of spirited, heated debate on major issues of the day that are rooted in research, data and sound public policy, we have organizations attacking elected officials on social media pages dedicated to their deceased mothers.
You would think that Hoosiers for Life would know better. Other members of the pro-life movement get it. These guys apparently don’t. And if they’re expecting to get any legislation passed next session, they might want to think again. If anything, all their antics do is make people like me who tend to be more agnostic on the abortion issue to want to write checks to Planned Parenthood because that’s what happens when you act like a sizeable anal cavity instead of a decent human being.
Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is publisher and editor of IndyPolitics.Org.