WASHINGTON, D.C., January 24, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For five years, Devin Jones has struggled to to find the support to bring students at Holy Angels Catholic School to the March for Life. In 2014, for the first time, Jones helped lead a full bus of black students, chaperones, and a pastor to the March – a total of 56 attendees.
“The cost for the March for Life pilgrimage for those who are already struggling is a lot, so we tend to need more support to supplement that cost,” Jones told LifeSiteNews.com. “Former Director of the Respect for Life Office in Chicago Marjorie Green decided that we're going to do this, and that she was going to find the money to help us do it.”
According to Jones, a black religion and Latin teacher at the all-black South Chicago school, the students come from Holy Angels and another all-black Catholic school, St. Margaret of Scotland School.
Jones, 28, a Catholic convert who was raised in Chicago, has taught at Holy Angels for two years. What he has seen has shaped a view sharply critical of how black Americans are treated by pro-life leaders, black leaders, and their fellow black Americans.
“Historically, if you look at some of the things that people in the civil rights movement said – Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Black Panthers, even with their sordid history – they were very pro-life,” says Jones. “Something changed. Something really kind of changed us to be this quietly pro-abortion group of people, almost unknowingly.”
Jones believes it's part of the “contraceptive culture,” noting that “more money is poured into our schools for comprehensive sex education than other schools. When you say that the child is expendible in the womb, who cares if the person is outside of the womb? If they're in my way, I can kill them. That mindset that a person is not really a person if they are in the way – it's a cancer in our community.”
“Our men are not men,” he continued. “They are using our women for sexual gratification, and then they're gone. The woman is left with what some people call a choice – it's not really a choice – to abort the child or struggle in poverty to raise the child by herself.”
Since his conversion, which he partially credits to thought inspired by the death of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Jones has worked to expand the Church's reach into low-income communities through non-profits and technology. In 2010, he founded Peter and Paul Ministries, which aims to help the Church better communicate salvation in the age of technology. He also hosts a weekly radio program called “God's Praises Tell,” under the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Black Catholics.
One of the most effective rhetorical arguments by pro-abortion advocates is that abortion helps women rise out of poverty. A study published in November 2012, for example, claims that “76 percent of owmen who had been denied abortion [on grounds the fetus was too old] were on public assistance, compared to 44 percent in the group who had undergone abortions.”
Jones says this is definitely not the case in black communities. “We still have the highest poverty rate of any ethnic group in the country. And our poverty rates are not really going down. At this point, over 70 percent of our children are born to single-parent homes. That's one of the key indicators with whether a person will grow up in poverty.”
Click “like” if you want to end abortion!
The consequences of the contraceptive culture, according to Jones, spread well beyond abortion. “Marriage has declined in our community, which again helps the poverty rate to go up.” He told LifeSiteNews that it is manifestly false “to say that killing our children is reducing the poverty rate. And even if it was reducing the poverty rate, we're still the worst off, because we're destroying the dignity of life in our community. We see that in the violence in our community, with the disproportionate number of children born out of wedlock.”
Jones says the pro-life movement needs to have more black Americans publicly speaking out for life. “I think because of the history of racial tension in America, there are some African-Americans – just like there are some white people – who are distrustful of other races. There are a couple of [African-American] people – Ryan Bomberger is put out there a lot, Dr. Alveda King is put out there a lot – but there are so many more people with different stories who are African-American, who are black, that are pro-life. We need to find as many of those people as we can in the pro-life community and send them into the black community.”
“Have somebody from the community challenging us is what we need, in every community,” Jones pressed. “It's the difference between the teacher chastising the child and the mother chastising the child – when it comes from inside the household, it's more effective. It's not necessarily a racial thing; it's more we need people from inside our own house cleaning that house up.”
“If you see the same faces, it gets old for anybody,” he said.
Blame lies on individual black Americans as well as their leaders, according to Jones. “African-Americans need to be more open to educating themselves about what's going on in our communities. When you say that, at the very least, half of all of our pregnancies end in abortion, we're killing half of our children, and nobody has stood up and said, 'Hey, there's something strange about this.' That's weird.”
“We talk about Trayvon Martin, but why haven't we talked about these 18 million black babies that have been killed? A third of our population from 1973 until now. Where's the conversation about that?” he asked. “We need to press our leaders on that.”
Despite the high abortion rate among black Americans, Jones believes “most African-Americans I meet would view the child as a child in the womb,” but that the fight for the unborn is “not really talked about in our churches, whether they be Catholic or Protestant. It's not talked about in our homes.”
“That's the biggest difference,” says Jones. “We celebrate life. We're a very family-oriented community. But we don't have those serious conversations and that's why this issue has been left to fester, because it's hidden under a rock somewhere.”
“Our politicians keep it hidden there, and we are all the worse off because of it,” Jones said.