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Still Paying the Price for Eugenics’ Evil


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Secondhand Smoke/First Thing:

Wesley J. Smith
The NYT had a front page story today about the price still being paid for eugenic sterilizations, that in North Carolina’s case, extended into the 1970s! Making NC’s program even more frightening was that social workers were empowered to make the decision as to who should never be allowed to procreate. From the story:

The board operated from 1933 to 1977 as an experiment in genetic engineering once considered a legitimate way to keep welfare rolls small, stop poverty and improve the gene pool. Thirty-one other states had eugenics programs. Virginia and California each sterilized more people than North Carolina. But no program was more aggressive. Only North Carolina gave social workers the power to designate people for sterilization.

Eugenics reached its high tide in most states in the 1920s-30s, and for the most part, the movement went into several decade hibernation after the Holocaust. (Alas, the human stock perfection madness has revived with the rise of transhumanism, IVF consumerism, eugenic abortion, and the drive toward human genetic enhancement.) But NC went into overdrive after the War!


Of course, it was all legal because the U.S. Supreme Court had approved of involuntary sterilization in one of the most infamous decisions in American history, Buck v. Bell, 1927–8-1, in which Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes infamously proclaimed, “Three generations of imbeciles is enough,” placing him in the same villainous company as Dred Scott’s, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. And now, NC will have to pay reparations to the surviving victims–as well it should. But money is poor compensence for a society that legally maimed you in the name of pseudo science.
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Wow. I had no idea. Thanks for posting this.


It seems to me that we should talk about these scientific "fads" more often and teach our children about them. I was recently reading about medical experimentation done without consent in this country and it was so morally abhorrent I could barely stand it.


If we do not understand the power the government has to when we allow it to "do what is best for us" we are doomed to a life without freedom. EVERYONE needs to have the opportunity to learn what that means within a historical context, even in this country. It makes capitalist power pale in comparison.

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Wow. I had no idea.



Up until the 70's! I had no idea either, this went on that long.


If we do not understand the power the government has to when we allow it to "do what is best for us" we are doomed to a life without freedom.


Yup! There are people out there who really want to run our lives.




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  • 9 years later...

American Eugenics Trinity: The U.S. Axis of Eugenics in the Progressive Era—Academia, the Press, and the State

James M. Masnov

Sep 14 2021

The notorious pseudoscience of eugenics, which helped to define the progressive era of the early twentieth century in the United States, utilized a combination of academic and intellectual experts with white supremacist ideology to rationalize its race-based claims of scientific proof of the genetic weakness of nonwhites. Simply put, the eugenics movement in the United States would not have been able to gain the influence and credibility it did without the shared racism within its three largest institutions: academia, the press, and the state. All three were complicit in the movement’s influence and share responsibility legitimizing the worst tendencies of the eugenics movement. Each acted to forward the inevitability and veracity of the dominance of whites, physically and intellectually. Universities sponsored and facilitated eugenic research and seminars. The press advertised the validity of race purity, and the American government—at both the state and federal level—used the data of the universities and popularity of eugenics pushed by the media to further rationalize its already long history of ill treatment of nonwhites, including Asian Americans, African Americans, and American Indians. These three entities, taken together, this work will come back to time and again and will refer to as the American eugenics trinity. This three-pronged assault of a racial and genetic purity agenda had wide and far-reaching influence.


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  • 3 months later...

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