Santorum Brings Obama's Race Into Abortion Debate

VIDEO: The ex-senator "goes there" and invokes the "three-fifths of a person" formula used during slavery.

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Rick Santorum in 2006 (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Few things are more infuriating than when people lecture African Americans on where we should fall on rights-related issues because we've been oppressed and ought to know better -- as if we owe a debt for our freedom that can only be repaid by signing on to their point of view, without going through the same process of deliberation, or having the same freedom of independent thought, that everyone else has.

Yet this is the approach being taken by former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, who is said to be mulling a White House run, when talking about what he views as the rights of unborn children.

In an interview with CNS News yesterday, the staunchly-pro-life Santorum said he believes that when life begins "is not a debatable issue," and then has the gall to chastise President Obama by saying, "The question is, and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer -- is that human life a person under the constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that human life is not a person then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say 'Now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.' "

In other words: People like you used to be considered only three-fifths of a person, so who are you to make decisions on the value of a human life?

However one falls on the abortion debate -- and it's clear that blacks fall all along the spectrum on it -- this smacks of an attempt to put our nation's leader in his place because of his race.

Won't work.

Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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