When a group of pastors, led by Pastor E.W. Jackson of STAND, asked the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to remove a bust of Margaret Sanger from the “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, the director refused.
The pro-lifers noted that Planned Parenthood founder Sanger was no civil rights hero, but a eugenist with “an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at rallies of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers. Also, the notorious ‘Negro Project’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate, black births, was her brainchild.”
In response, gallery director Kim Sajet wrote (PDF) that the museum showcases people who’ve made a significant positive and negative impact. “There is no ‘moral test’ for people to be accepted into the National Portrait Gallery,” she wrote. “We recognize Sanger’s advocacy on behalf of women’s health and education whilst acknowledging her sometimes deplorable beliefs.”
A tidy and ineffectual response. Now a group of lawmakers have joined the call. The Daily Signal reported that Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Louie Gohmert sent the director a letter (PDF), signed by 24 House Republicans, demanding that she take down the Sanger bust.
“There is no ambiguity in what Margaret Sanger’s bust represents: hatred, racism, and the destruction of unborn life,” Cruz said. “Not only should we continue efforts to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by Sanger that is currently under criminal investigation, we must also work to ensure that her inhumane life’s work is in no way promoted.
The lawmakers said it’s an “outrage” to honor Sanger, especially in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover videos of executives discussing the harvesting and sale of aborted-baby body parts. Sen. Cruz and the other lawmakers agree with Pastor Jackson about the negative impact Sanger’s “racist views” have had on the black community.
In August, Star Parker and other pro-lifers asked the Congressional Black Caucus to take the lead in demanding the removal of the Sanger bust.