“National Portrait Gallery, you must remove the bust!” declared Bishop E.W. Jackson Thursday morning in front of D.C.’s Smithsonian museum. He, along with a group of black pastors and pro-life activists, demanded the NPG take down its statue of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger.
Sanger is widely known as a racist and a eugenicist. Some of her documented statements from 1939 indicate as such:
"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."
Sanger was committed to growing superior populations and preventing the growth of those she deemed unfit. Hence why she was such a promoter of birth control and forced sterilization. African Americans make up 37 percent of abortions today, Jackson explained.
"No wonder the KKK loved her!" he said.
Yet, her prejudice against minorities didn’t stop the National Portrait Gallery from placing a statue of her in its “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, daring to stand her in the same room as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
“If Margaret Sanger had her way, MLK and Rosa Parks would never have been born,” said Jackson.
The “Struggle for Justice” is supposed to honor trailblazers who were “champions of justice.” The Smithsonian thought Sanger fit this description, including her bust with text that reads she “profoundly affected by the physical and mental toll exacted on women by frequent childbirth, miscarriage and self-induced abortion.”
Yet, the plaque also acknowledges her genocidal tendencies:
“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.”
Jackson held up a folder of the 14,000 signatures his group had acquired within just one week for a petition for removal. So far, however, the museum has refused to honor their wishes.
If the fact Sanger was a racist doesn’t convince NPG to take down the statue, perhaps the eight videos so far released from the Center for Medical Progress investigation into Planned Parenthood's sale of fetal body parts will change their minds.
Congress is supporting their efforts, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) writing letters to their colleagues urging them to join the fight.