Dan Forest has thoughts about racism and stuff. 

On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, a candidate for governor, told a group of black ministers that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger created the organization “to destroy the entire black race.” The Cumberland County GOP shared the video on its Facebook page.

“There’s no doubt that, when Planned Parenthood was created, it was created to destroy the entire black race,” he said. “That was the purpose of Planned Parenthood. That’s just the truth. That’s not just some bloc on the side. That was the purpose when that organization was created.”

Forest is alluding to Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, whose involvement in the eugenics movement has long been a subject of controversy. NPR ran a fact check of a similar statement Ben Carson made in 2015 and found that Sanger’s role in the eugenics movement isn’t entirely clear. She went to eugenics conferences because they intersected with the birth-control movement, which she supported.

She might have done so because she needed eugenicists to get behind her for political reasons; indeed, Theodore Roosevelt and John Rockefeller were both known eugenicists. Or she might have done so because she believed that eugenics could improve humanity, as did many elites of her era. In the early 20th century, many scientists bought into the idea based on Darwinism and Gregor Mendel’s study of dominant and recessive genes.

Lending credence to the latter theory, Sanger wrote that the “consequences of breeding from stock lacking human vitality always will give us social problems and perpetuate institutions of charity and crime.”

But as much as this is a favorite line of the anti-abortion crowd, it’s quite a stretch to suggest that her interest in eugenics was tied to racism. After all, she worked closely with W.E.B DuBois to get contraception into black communities. 

“The Negro race has reached a place in its history when every possible effort should be made to have every Negro child count as a valuable contribution to the future of America,” she wrote. Sanger also sought out black ministers to combat misinformation on contraception and family planning.

Forest says he brought up these statements in the spirit of Martin Luther King, who was awarded the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Margaret Sanger Award in 1966.

Coretta Scott King accepted the award on King’s behalf and read a speech written by the reverend. “If family planning is sensible, it can facilitate or at least not be an obstacle to the solution of the many profound problems that plague [African Americans],” King said.

In the same speech, King told ministers that race didn’t exist: “[God] created a genetic code within Adam and Eve that gave the possibility for all the colors that we have now within humanity. That’s what He created.” (Science has since caught up to King: Race is a social construct.) 

As Gerald Givens, president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP, pointed out in an interview with WRAL, when it comes to speaking in the spirit of MLK, Dan Forest would be well served to keep his mouth shut: “I’m not sure why the lieutenant governor feels he’s authorized to speak on behalf of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or on what African American people see. His opposition to organizations like Planned Parenthood shows he has not learned much from Dr. King.”

Forest, after all, is a vocal proponent of the voter ID law that a federal court ruled targeted African Americans “with surgical precision.” He’s also backed the General Assembly’s repeated efforts at racial gerrymandering—another way to minimize black voting power to enhance the GOP’s control. And, in a June 2019 speech, Forest said that the U.S. has “survived” diversity and multiculturalism, rhetoric drawn straight from the white-nationalist tiki-torch brigade. 

And since Forest brought up eugenics, we should probably mention that North Carolina actually had a eugenics program that forcibly sterilized thousands of poor black women until 1976. Several years ago, hundreds of women were likely denied compensation for their sterilization by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, whose members Governor Pat McCrory appointed, based on missing paperwork.

Forest was lieutenant governor at the time. Funny how we can’t recall any major speeches on the subject.  

In other news, today is the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Here’s the link to donate to Planned Parenthood, in case you want to piss Dan Forest off.

Contact digital content manager Sara Pequeño at spequeno@indyweek.com. 

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3 replies on “Dan Forest, an Idiot, Thinks Planned Parenthood Was Founded to Destroy Black People”

  1. This article is was more of an emotional rampage than and actual story.
    The main focus of this article was to insult someone and not to actually write an article.
    This writer needs to take a deep breath and try to be a bit more professional next time.
    I agree with the article but the delivery needs improvement.

  2. Everyone should watch Pastor Wooden’s version of the Truth about PParenthood. Think statistics are 43% of abortions/murders are black.

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