NOTE: On July 28, 1995, I faxed the following letter to the editor of the Nation Magazine. It seems as if the editors have decided not to print my letter. -- RB

To the Nation,

In his article on "The Crackdown on African-Americans" (The Nation, July 10, 1995) Andrew Hacker warned that if young black women were to stop having children at their present rate (which is about twenty percent higher than whites), "its effect will be to reduce black Americans to an even smaller minority."

No one who has seen some of the relevant demographic statistics (US. Pop. 1940: 132 million; 1995: 258 million. World population 1938 -- 2 billion; 1998 -- 6 billion) -- should suggest that the requirements of social justice call for maintaining present birth rate levels for any group.

According to the 1990 census, America's 30 million blacks made up 12% of almost 249 million Americans. Hacker seems to overlook the fact that it would take more than 10 generations -- more than 100 years -- to reduce by even one percentage point the proportion of blacks to whites if young black women would cut back their rate of having children to that of their white counterparts.

Hacker's pro-natalist views also ignores the positive consequences that might flow from fewer young women of any race having children they may prefer to defer or forsake.

Ronald Bleier
Note: The author is a member of the NYC Committee on Population of the Sierra Club.



If we do not act now, we will surely end up where we are heading. -- Chinese Proverb