Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Tale of Eugenics


State of NC Apologizes to Woman Sterilized Against Her Will


elaine riddick, sterilization, black women, north carolina
By Julius Kane
The State of North Carolina is apologizing to Elaine Riddick who was only 14 years old when state doctors performed an illegal sterilization on her to prevent the young woman from ever having anymore children.
“They cut me open like I was a hog,” the now 57 year old Woman painfully recalled. The procedure was done without her knowledge or consent; as was the case with the majority of  victims.  Riddick was one of 13 people who spoke out at a meeting to determine the amount of compensation the state of North Carolina should pay the victims of their population control program.  An estimated 7,600 people who were deemed “unfit to procreate” were sterilized in North Carolina alone. There are 60,000 known victims nationwide, with tens of thousands more sterilized through unofficial and undocumented channels.
These figures, however,  do not include those states that destroyed documents after dismantling their eugenics programs. Information on thousands of victims who have since died, relocated or simply unaware their inability to have children was the result of state sponsored sterilization, will also never be known.  North Carolina is the only state that’s attempting to compensate its victims. Several other states are offering its victims apologies but currently no type of compensation or justice.
In 1968 Riddick gave birth to her only child. It was during the C-Section that doctors sterilized her; tricking her illiterate grandmother into signing consent forms. Today, a consent form still shows an “X” where the woman had put her mark. Riddick didn’t find out she had been sterilized until five years later when she and her husband were ready to have children of their own. There will never be an absolute way of counting how many young women across America were arbitrarily sterilized or how their lives were affected after the fact.
Eugenics is the social movement of White Supremacist who were determined to control or destroy Negro populations after the end of slavery. Under the context of creating a better society Eugenicists made certain that anyone they considered undesirable, promiscuous, criminal, mentally ill, disabled, feeble minded, on welfare, etc., were prevented from having children; thereby systematically improving the genetic composition of the population. In North Carolina, children as young as 10 were sterilized for misbehaving in school, truancy, or getting into fights. State law gave social workers, doctors, nurses and other city administrators the ability to refer anyone of their choosing to the states board of eugenics to be sterilized. Poor and “retarded” whites were also targeted but the main objective was to curb “Negro” population growth. 
The North Carolina Eugenics Board was created in 1933 with almost no government oversight or state accountability. While the number of sterilizations in other states slowed down after the Nazi atrocities of World War II came to light,North Carolina’s eugenics program increased. An estimated 3,000 victims are still living today. It wasn’t until 1974 that the North Carolina Eugenics Board was disbanded. The state issued a formal apology in 2002.
Sidenote: Hitler's idea for ethnically cleansing the jewish population in germany (and eventually the world) were partially fueled by American practice and literature in favor of eugenics. <--the shit they don't teach you in school.

6 comments:

  1. really sad......
    Honestly this is really stuff they dont teach in skool yo and I wonder why, or doesnt it fall under "history"?
    *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  2. And we say racism can end. From the looks of things, it can never end. And this is what we know. Now imagine what we don't even know that is going on undercover like vaccination for example. May God help us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anyone really interested, would like the book "Killing the Black Body"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, they still sterilise drug addicts even now in the US. Back then in the UK it was the lower class people and people whose IQ were deemed low. The hegemony was that they were populating the world with unintelligent children like themselves compared to the rich who were more circumspectly giving birth to 1-3 kids. In more recent times, some group was trying it in Africa (i forget the country) trying to sterilise women with HIV. it all seems so sensible..in a manner of speaking/thinking. but the human right abuse inherent is alarming.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Gee- can you imagine how different life would be if we learned real history in school instead of having to wait until you randomly stumble upon these little gems.

    @Rachel- hmph, racism will never end. I've made my peace with that. Racism almost always works in the favor of those who perpetuate it so they have no reason to stop it. God help these people!

    @Ginger- that's the issue. People have their own agendas and while i don't completely agree with the act itself (though i can understand the mindset and thought process) something as simple as trying to rid the population of HIV will turn into trying to rid the world of "dumb" people, certain religions, races, etc. And that's part of the US's dirty lil history that no one will ever teach anyone about.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to share your thoughts too