Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sickening

The state of North Carolina has offered a settlement of $50,000 to people who were forcibly sterilized by the state prior to the program being shut down in 1974.  The principle subject of the article was sterilized in 1968 when a board of 5 people labeled her as "feebleminded" and decided she should be sterilized because they worried she might become promiscuous.  The lady was 14 at the time and a pregnant victim of rape.  This "feebleminded" woman has since gone on to graduate from school and be a productive member of society.  Draw your own conclusions there. 

This one hits close to home for me.   My family, like most, has members who are impaired in some way, either mentally, cognitively, or physically.  My sister has learning disabilities, I am an arthritic, and one of my sons is slightly autistic.  I'm a responsible, productive member of society, as is my sister.  My son may be one someday, if he can ever grow out of the case of the galloping stupids that every teenager goes into. 

My point is that under the standards that these boards, which were active in at least 30 states and sterilized 65,000 citizens, any of us could be considered genetically undesirable and sterilized. 

I'm not trying to Godwin here, but if the term "Final Solution" just went through your mind, then we have something in common. Eugenics, whether it's done under the auspices of a fascistic regime in Europe or promoted by Margaret Sanger in the United States, is evil.

Can the state of North Carolina truly compensate Ms. Riddick for what was done to her?  Definitely not.  She was fortunate to have a son with whom she has remained close.  But thousands of others were sterilized before they could have children.  Money won't do it.

Now the state wants to compensate victims with $50,000.  If only 2000 people who were forcibly sterilized in North Carolina are still alive, the state will spend at most $100,000,000.  That's assuming they can find all of the victims and all of them take the check instead of taking it as the insult it is.  

But the road for the victims of eugenics could be smoothed considerably if the governments in question would make a true apology.  Ex-governor Easley issued a one line apology in 2002.  Governor Perdue and the state legislature, as well as the leadership of the other states who perpetrated this barbarity, need to make a public apology that does more than check the block and throw money at the problem.

2 comments:

Mr.B said...

It is not the "state" which pays, but rather the citizens of that state.

Better would be to incarcerate all those who made the decisions. And those who carried them out. COnfiscate their property and incarcerate them, no matter what age.

THose that are still fertile or virile? Let them be subject to the same treatment.

Or hang them.

Old NFO said...

Mr B beat me to it... It is a sad state of affairs period.

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