Can't handle the truth

It never ceases to amaze me how, in a country that was built on freedom, so many Americans in leadership positions refuse to acknowledge the freedom of all to speak their mind respectfully on an issue of concern to them. When it comes to discussing a number of hot-button issues in our nation, there is only one voice that is allowed to express itself. Any person, group or organization that dares to challenge the P.C. status quo is automatically shouted down, silenced, openly and aggressively insulted or all of the above. There is only one so-called “truth,” even if that “truth” denies fact.

Case in point would be the recent and very valiant attempts by a newly elected New York assemblyman to express his disagreement with yet another measure in the most pro-abortion state in the nation that would put a big, fat rubber stamp on abortion access and abortion rights. New York State Assemblyman Ron Castorina Jr., R-Staten Island, urged lawmakers to oppose a bill that would codify Roe v. Wade in state law, allowing abortion for basically any reason at any time in pregnancy. He called out the abortion industry and those who support it for consistent targeting of the African-American community. As he was doing so, one politician after another attempted to silence him, and when that didn’t work, they simply decided the truth was too much to handle and angrily walked out of the session.

Castorina did not approach the issue from a religious perspective but used information readily available from the government as well as other secular sources regarding abortion in the black community. In an interview after a heated debate, the lawmaker told Time Warner Cable News that his fellow elected officials were guilty of a major double standard.

“This chamber likes to look at things through the prism of race and gender all the time, but when it’s inconvenient, when I brought up an issue through the prism of race, that’s insulting.”

The real truth hurts especially when it comes to legalized abortion in the state of New York. As the pro-life news site lifenews.com reported shortly after the assembly debate, abortions among African-American women in New York City are disproportionately high.

“In 2013 in New York, for every 1,000 black babies born alive, 1,223 were aborted. For white and Hispanic women, the ratios were much lower with 265 white babies aborted for every 1,000 born alive and 517 Hispanic babies aborted for every 1,000 born alive.”

Castorina urged lawmakers to be careful about supporting the legislation and also told them that at issue was the truth of an African-American genocide occurring because of the staggeringly high number of abortions in that community. He spent his 15 minutes of allotted time passionately defending the pro-life cause even as pro-abortion politicians walked out and others tried to get him to yield the floor.

Pro-life activist and speaker Alveda King applauded the legislator’s efforts to speak the truth about the devastating impact of abortion.

“African-American communities are targeted by the abortion industry, and too many of our babies die in abortion. These are facts that cannot be disputed. Mr. Castorina showed great courage in speaking this truth to members of the assembly who clearly could not bear to hear it,” King said.

Ironically, or maybe not so ironically, this incident occurred in the state Lady Liberty calls home. The experience of assemblyman Ron Castorina should be a stark reminder for all of us that freedom to speak the truth is not so free any more.

Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio and heard daily on EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Channel 130.