North Carolina's reparation for the dark past of American eugenics
Posted 29 June 2011 - 12:52 PM
Oil magnate John D Rockefeller, in 1930. Millions of dollars from the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as from steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and the railroad fortune of the Harrimans, funded racial 'science' eugenics programmes in the US and Nazi Germany
Twenty-seven American states joined a decades-long pseudo-scientific crusade to create a white, blond, blue-eyed, biologically superior "master race". Their misguided utopian quest was called eugenics. But only one state, North Carolina, is now readying a massive plan of financial reparations to its surviving victims. Just how much North Carolina should pay is now the subject of a historically wrenching debate.
Eugenics was a fraudulent social theory that a better society could be created by eliminating "undesirable" human blood lines and promoting the desirable types. Race science sprang to life in the socioeconomically convulsive first decade of the 20th century, during which Asians, Eastern Europeans, Mexicans, Native Americans, blacks and other ethnic groups and racial mixtures flowed into US cities, creating overcrowding and class conflict. The intellectual, academic, scientific and financial elite believed better men and women could be cultivated using the same techniques a farmer would employ to create a better herd of cattle or field of wheat – eliminate the bad stock and proliferate the good. They planned to eliminate all those who did not resemble themselves, 10% at a time – that is, as many as 14 million people, at a slice. Their eventual goal was to eliminate as much as 90% of the population from the reproductive future of the United States.
The preferred method was gas chambers and other forms of euthanasia. The first public euthanasia laws were introduced into the Ohio legislature in 1908. That measure was unsuccessful, as were other death panel bills. The next best thing was forced surgical sterilisation under specific state authority that was validated as the law of the land in the US supreme court by one of America's most stellar jurists, Oliver Wendell Holmes. In 1927, Holmes ruled on an obviously collusive lawsuit seeking to justify the forced sterilisation of three generations of Carrie Buck's family. Holmes infamously noted:
"It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind … Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
Ultimately, more than 60,000 Americans, mainly women, were coercively sterilised. Many victims were systematically tricked into thinking it was a harmless procedure. At all times, California led the nation in the number of such sterilisations.
America's eugenics movement, powered by millions of dollars from the opulent Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune, sought to extend its reach into Germany. Rockefeller and Carnegie spent Depression-era fortunes to finance the worst Nazi doctors and race institutes. Hitler promptly implemented American precepts with stunning ferocity and velocity. Among the chief recipients of Rockefeller money was top Nazi doctor, Otmar von Verschuer. During the Holocaust, Verschuer's assistant, Josef Mengele, continued eugenic twin research at Auschwitz; Mengele's efforts yielded monstrous experiments.
In the tear-stained ashes of post-Nazi Europe, Americans recoiled at the fruit of their official "raceology". Collective amnesia set in. Eugenics was renamed genetics, and states began repealing or dead-lettering their sterilisation-enabling laws.
But not North Carolina, which continued the practice for years, with a vestigial race law designed and purportedly deployed to eliminate poverty. Thousands more were sterilised, mainly poor blacks. Now, the state, under the weight of a multibillion-dollar deficit and a rising black political power base, is struggling to augment an official apology for its racist ways with financial compensation.
Some have suggested $20,000 per survivor. Others suggest $50,000. An estimated 2,900 medically ravaged victims may be qualified. But can you write a wrong by merely writing a cheque?
The true victims of this tragic national disgrace are not only the survivors now telling their stories, but millions more never born. How do you compensate people and families who do not even exist because of pernicious eugenic laws that criminalised or negated interracial marriage, murdered helpless patients by institutional medical abuse, and sterilised "undesirable" segments of entire generations?
While money to victims who present themselves can constitute a token of governmental remorse, the best compensation is illumination. Spend resources to document the crime, teach the revelations in our schools and ingrain the stain, so that the next wave of race scientists will be met with the historical imperative "never again".
Then, the cheques can actually make a downpayment on righting a wrong.
Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:06 PM
there is however, a group that believes that there is the ability to create a "superior" race. The techniques employed to meet the end goal are/were quite "grotesque".
I would wonder how many people in America realize that alnog side and well after Nazi Germany, the scientists and elitists in America (some third reich scientists employed directly by the United States following WWII) were practicing eugenics upon the people here.
My guess is not many.
Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:35 PM
Some prefer to not know. Some can't handle the truth. Some care about nothing outside of their own bubble.
Some do care, thankfully.
Posted 29 June 2011 - 08:03 PM
There was little national coverage on this topic (not surprisingly) and I felt this article captured my thoughts better than any of them.
...While money to victims who present themselves can constitute a token of governmental remorse, the best compensation is illumination. Spend resources to document the crime, teach the revelations in our schools and ingrain the stain, so that the next wave of race scientists will be met with the historical imperative "never again".
We seriously need to revamp what people are taught and what news is covered in this country, in my opinion. There is a lot more that is never discussed about WWII in this country that needs to be brought into mainstream education. People need to be told the truth and accountablility instilled within our system if we ever hope to escape the "curtain" of disinformation and manipulation by the power elite.
Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:51 PM
Why do you hate 'meriKKKa?
People need to be told the truth and accountablility instilled within our system if we ever hope to escape the "curtain" of disinformation and manipulation by the power elite.
Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:21 AM
Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:50 PM
"While Planned Parenthood's current apologists try to place some distance between the eugenics and birth control movements, history definitively says otherwise. The eugenic theme figured prominently in the Birth Control Review, which Sanger founded in 1917. She published such articles as "Some Moral Aspects of Eugenics" (June 1920), "The Eugenic Conscience" (February 1921), "The purpose of Eugenics" (December 1924), "Birth Control and Positive Eugenics" (July 1925), "Birth Control: The True Eugenics" (August 1928), and many others."
"Sanger built the work of the ABCL, and, ultimately, Planned Parenthood, on the ideas and resources of the eugenics movement. Grant reported that “virtually all of the organization's board members were eugenicists.” Eugenicists financed the early projects, from the opening of birth control clinics to the publishing of “revolutionary” literature. Eugenicists comprised the speakers at conferences, authors of literature and the providers of services “almost without exception.” And Planned Parenthood's international work was originally housed in the offices of the Eugenics Society. The two organizations were intertwined for years."
"In the early part of the 20th century, pioneers in the birth control movement routinely cited poverty, disease, physical disability, mental acuity, and even racial heritage as reasons to support their cause. In her 1922 book, "The Pivot of Civilization," Margaret Sanger, the founder of the American Birth Control League, an organization that would become Planned Parenthood, opens Chapter 4 with this salvo: "There is but one practical and feasible program in handling the great problem of the feeble-minded. That is, as the best authorities are agreed, to prevent the birth of those who would transmit imbecility to their descendants."