The original piece was published by FGF Books on their website.
FRONT ROYAL, VA — Some 30 years ago, Mrs. Alice du Pont Mills invited me to visit her in her expansive Virginia horse farm — several thousand acres of it — about an hour west of Washington.
At the time, I was Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Mrs. Mills told me that she was very concerned about the situation in Central America, where communist-inspired revolutionaries were creating chaos in several countries at the time.
Mrs. Mills was also an avid horsewoman. Since I had grown up around horses myself, I was glad to take the drive out into hunt country.
It quickly became clear that Mrs. Mills was not all that interested in the warring factions of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador thousands of miles away; no, she had other fish to fry.
Mrs. Mills was worried. After the Vietnam War, ten percent of the Vietnamese population had become “boat people,” fleeing from communism and truly risking their lives — in fact, thousands of them died trying to escape.
But they had to leave by boat. There’s no ocean between the US and Mexico — just the Rio Grande.
I didn’t know it until later, but Mrs. Mills was a longtime member of the National Board of Planned Parenthood. She was a generous supporter and even worked with local Planned Parenthood groups in Virginia.
That explains why she revealed to me a surprising fact that rather startled me thirty years ago: Mrs. Mills was also active in Mexico.
Aware that it was illegal to sterilize immigrants once they were in the United States, she told me that she contributed heavily to sterilization clinics that were on the Mexican side of the US – Mexico border.
There, the poor Hispanic women coming towards the United States could be coaxed — often with money — to be conveniently mutilated without any untidy legal consequences. Sure, they could continue on into the States, but they couldn’t reproduce. Thus, a great danger was prevented.
Mrs. Mills said this so matter-of-factly that she assumed that any American in his right mind would feel the same way.
As I took my leave, she generously showed me some beautiful paintings which, I remarked, I thought I had actually seen before.
No, she explained, I had seen reproductions — everywhere. They were actually the gorgeous originals that her son-in-law, Jamie Wyeth, had painted. They were in a hallway, not prominently displayed museum-style, and there were several of them.
Mrs. Mills died in 2002 ago at a ripe old age of 89. She was a generation younger than Margaret Sanger, to be sure — but Sanger lived until 1966, when Mrs. Mills was 54. If Mrs. Mills didn’t know Sanger personally, she undoubtedly knew that Planned Parenthood’s notorious foundress was a rabid racist and a grimly dedicated eugenicist.
Mrs. Mills was almost the personification of the highbrow super-rich Eastern secular elite (for the record, however, her obituary did state that she was an Episcopalian). She personified the searing-hot brand that P.J. O’Rourke had burned into the rump of the Population Controllers: “there’s just enough of me, and way too many of you.”
Margaret Sanger’s eugenics crusade targeted brown and black people everywhere — including Italians and Greeks and Spaniards, apparently.
Yes, she was the classic nativist.
And this might go far to explain the immigration policy of America’s Catholic bishops, led by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez. It might help us understand Cardinal Dolan’s recent outburst, branding opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens as “nativists.”
On reflection, this must explain how bishops today view every opponent of amnesty for illegal aliens. They think that those who disagree with them are all Margaret Sangers and Alice DuPont Mills.
At least they talk like it — and so do their fellow bishops in Mexico.
After all, Archbishop Gomez was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. He is a legal immigrant who became an American citizen the old-fashioned way — he followed the law.
Undoubtedly, the good archbishop is aware of those horrific programs advocated by Sanger, DuPont Mills, and company.
Perhaps that’s why he attributes America’s 54 million abortions and counting to American individualism and our legal traditions, not to the contraceptive mentality or racial hatred.
After all, an immigrant could easily get the impression that prominent elites like Mrs. DuPont Mills really do represent what America stands for.
No wonder Archbishop Gomez opposes assimilation of Hispanic immigrants in the United States!
It is no doubt true that there are Margaret Sangers and Alice DuPont Mills among us today. Moreover, they are still murdering the innocent and bragging about it.
But fortunately, they are few in number, although they possess cultural and political power greater than their numbers would suggest.
We should pray that our bishops recognize the difference, if you will, between us and them. If our shepherds were able to make that distinction, they would direct their fire at the real racists who run the abortion lobby.
One wonders why they haven’t done that already — and here arises a contradiction that is hard to fathom for the average layman.
Many bishops have called on Congress to stop funding Planned Parenthood with taxpayer funding. Why can’t the bishops call on Congress to defund A.I.D., a rich, defiant, and brazen ally of Planned Parenthood?
The answer is simple. The bishops receive no funding from Planned Parenthood, but they receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year from A.I.D. for their “charitable work.”
The elitists at A.I.D. are the cultural heirs of Margaret Sanger and Alice DuPont Mills. Our bishops need to direct their stinging rebukes at those enemies of the unborn, not at the faithful who love life, their Church, and their country.
If the hierarchy’s hands are tied — and their lips are sealed — because of the hundreds of millions in taxpayer funding they receive through A.I.D., then perhaps it’s time to renounce the government funding so they can announce the Good News of the Gospel to those in power without fear.
Christopher Manion served as a staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years. He has taught in the departments of politics, religion, and international relations at Boston University, the Catholic University of America, and Christendom College.