Monday 9 January 2017

COMPULSORY  STERILIZATION : An evil act (part 1)                                                             

Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and murdered millions in his quest for his creation of his co-called "Master Race. The Jews and the Slavs were his main targets. As part of his quest, he also decided that the mentally ill didn’t fit into his concept of a Master Race so he had those who were deemed mentally ill, also exterminated.

Eugenics is a combination of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of the human population.

The Rockefeller Foundation in the United States helped establish the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Dr. Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz concentration camp to conduct horrible experiments on the camp’s inmates.

Eugenics was born as a scientific curiosity in the Victorian age. In 1863, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if talented people only married other talented people, this would result by far  better offspring. At the turn of the last century, Galton's ideas were imported into the United States. American eugenic advocates believed with religious fervor that the same Mendelian concepts determining the color and size of peas, corn and cattle also governed the social and intellectual character of man.

In the early Twentieth Century, the United States was a demographic nation reeling from immigration upheaval and torn by post-Reconstruction chaos, subsequently, racial conflict was everywhere. Elitists, utopians and the so-called ‘progressives’ fused their smoldering race fears and class bias with their desire to make the United States a better nation. They reinvented Galton's eugenics into a repressive and racist ideology. Their intent: populate the United States with vastly more of their own socio-economic and biological kind--and less or none of everyone else.  

The superior species the eugenics movement sought was not just populated by tall, strong, talented people. They craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. They alone believed that their kind were fit to inherit the earth. In the process, the movement intended to remove from the United States emancipated Blacks, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark-haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and really anyone classified outside their concept of gentrified genetic lines drawn up by these so-called American raceologists.  

How, you may ask, were they going to accomplish this?  They intended to search out and identify the so-called “defective” family trees by subjecting them to lifelong segregation along with sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines. The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior—those whom they deemed as the so-called “unfit.”  The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population of the United States with one clean sweep, until none were left in the US except themselves—the superior people.

Of course, their concept and their plan was unadulterated pig slop created from the minds of fools. If they wanted to remove mentally ill people from the United States, they should have stood at the front of the line. If you think their plan was really stupid, consider what was also considered.

Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 preliminary report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder's Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population. Point eight was euthanasia.  Hitler would have been pleased but he would have made euthanasia as Point One.

The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide proposed in the United States by these fools was a lethal chamber or alternatively, publically local gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe co-wrote the widely used text book titled, Applied Eugenics in which he stated; “From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution. Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated.”

Eugenic breeders believed that the American society was not ready to implement an organized lethal solution. But many American mental institutions and doctors practiced improvised medical lethality and passive euthanasia on their own. One institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk from tubercular cows believing a eugenically strong individual would be immune. Thirty to forty percent annual death rates resulted at Lincoln. Some doctors practiced passive eugenicide one newborn infant at a time. Others doctors at mental institutions engaged in simply neglecting the newborns. Incidentally, this was done in a hospital in Germany during the Second World War.  Half of the newborns were given food and water and cuddled. The other newborns were also given food and water but other than that, they were ignored. The ignored newborns all died.                

Nonetheless, with eugenicide marginalized, the main solution for eugenicists was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as more marriage restrictions. California led the nation by performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process. In its first twenty-five years of eugenic legislation, California sterilized 9,782 individuals, mostly women. Many were classified as “bad girls” who were diagnosed as overly passionate, oversexed or sexually wayward. At Sonoma, an hour’s drive from San Francisco some women were sterilized because of what was deemed an abnormally large clitoris or labia. Would those creeps have chosen to sterilize men who had abnormally large penises and testicles? These so-called doctors would make the Mad Hatter in Allice in Wonderland appear to be simply a harmless comedian.

In Indiana in 1907 the first involuntary sterilization law in the country was enacted. By 1911 Washington, California, Connecticut, and New Jersey enacted involuntary sterilization laws. By 1930 a total of thirty three states had enacted such laws although in three states - New Jersey in 1913, New York in 1918, and Indiana in 1921, the laws were struck down as being unconstitutional. In Michigan a law was enacted, but struck down in 1918. Seven years later a version of the Michigan statute was accepted by the courts as constitutionally valid.

The U.S. Supreme Court then upheld involuntary sterilization laws in 1927. Naturally the jurists were all white males. In that appeal to that court, the appellant was Carrie Buck who was alleged to be a feeble-minded white woman who was committed to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded.  Incidentally, being epileptic doesn’t also mean being feebleminded.

Carrie was the daughter of an alleged feeble-minded mother in the same institution, and Carrie was mother of an alleged illegitimate feeble-minded child. Carrie was eighteen years old at the time of her original trial of her case in the Circuit Court in the latter part of 1924.

The Supreme Court studied the Act of Virginia that was approved on March 20, 1924 by the State legislators which recited that the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives, under careful safeguard. The statute then enacted that whenever the superintendent of certain institutions including the abovenamed State Colony Institution shall be of opinion that it is for the best interest of the patients and of society that an inmate under his care should be sexually sterilized, he may have the operation performed upon any patient afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity, imbecility, etc., on complying with the very careful provisions by which the act protects the patients from possible abuse.

The Supreme Court ruled; “Three generations of imbeciles are  enough.  (Emma, her daughter Carrie and Carrie’s daughter Vivian) But, it is said, that if this reasoning were applied generally, it fails when it is confined to the small number who are in the institutions named and is not applied to the multitudes outside. It is the usual last resort of constitutional arguments to point out shortcomings of this sort. But the answer is that the law does all that is needed when it does all that it can, indicates a policy, applies it to all within the lines, and seeks to bring within the lines all similarly  situated so far and so fast as its means allow.  The judgement is affirmed.” unquote.

The Court in effect had ruled that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the intellectually disabled, “for the protection and health of the state” as such, did not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

It is hard to argue against that court’s decision or that particular State’s Act referred to by the Court because if an unfortunate woman that was part of a family that is plagued with mental defectives was released back into society, and she became pregnant many more times and her offspring were also mentally defective, the State would be burdened with the financial responsibility of caring for these unfortunate offspring for the rest of their  lives. It would be a continuous drain of the State’s financial resources.  

However, there was a terrible flaw in the Supreme Court’s decision. It accepted evidence that Carrie, her mother Emma and Carrie’s daughter Vivian were all feebleminded.

Carrie's daughter, Vivian Dobbs, was found to be feebleminded at the age of about seven months because Arthur Estabrook testified at trial that she was feebleminded. He said that he had given her the usual test for a baby of about six months old and that in fact she had failed. The test, was to hold a coin in front of the baby's eyes. She didn't focus, and therefore she was declared like her mother, to be feebleminded.

Eye muscles strengthen, and nerve connections multiply from when the baby is born. If the babies’ eyes aren’t visually stimulated, they will have difficulty in focusing their eyes. That is why small items are placed above their cribs. Vivian’s eyes were probably not stimulated prior to the test when it was done, hence she was erroneously classed as being feebleminded.

That collective accusation that those three residents of the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded were feebleminded was completely unsupported.

Emma Buck (Carrie’s mother) was committed to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded after she was accused of being immoral, a prostitute and suffering from syphilis. A woman, who is immoral, is a prostitute and who is suffering from syphilis isn’t necessarily feebleminded.

It turned out that the Supreme Court accepted the statement of  Carrie's lawyer who worked at the Colony as a doctor that Carrie Buck and her mother were promiscuous and that the three generations of Bucks shared the genetic trait of feeblemindedness. Carrie’s mother, Emma’s mother may  have been promiscuous but there was no proof she was what they said she was and what is even more important was that there was no proof whatsoever that Emma, her daughter Carrie and Carrie’s daughter Vivian  were actually feebleminded.

At age 17, Carrie became pregnant as a result of being raped by the nephew of her foster parents.  Subsequently, on January 23, 1924, her foster parents had committed  her to the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded. As an aside, in 1914, the Virginia state legislature expanded the Colony's purview of epileptics to include the feebleminded.

Carrie was sent there on the fictitious grounds of her being feebleminded, incorrigible, promiscuous and suffering from syphilis.  Further, being raped doesn’t make her promiscuous.

Even if she was incorrigible, promiscuous and suffering from syphilis, it isn’t proof that she was feebleminded. In fact, Carrie attended public school and was noted to be an average student. She stopped attending school in the sixth grade, upon which point her foster parents (the Dobbs) removed her from school in order to have her help with the housework.

Her commitment to the institution was probably due to the family's embarrassment because Carrie's pregnancy was the direct result of being raped by the Dobbs’s nephew. It is easy to see why this poor woman was railroaded into the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. If she went to the police and reported that Dobb’s nephew had raped her, he would be arrested and charged with her rape and her foster parents would have to bear the public shame.   To say that she got a bum rap is an understatement.

Paul A. Lombardo, a Professor of Law at Georgia State University, spent almost 25 years researching the Buck v. Bell case. He dug through case records and the papers of the lawyers involved in the case. Lombardo eventually located Carrie Buck and was able to interview her shortly before her death. Lombardo has alleged that several people had manufactured evidence to make the state’s case against Carrie Buck, and that Buck was actually of normal intelligence.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. who wrote for the majority of the court in 1927 in respect to the Carrie Buck case said. 

“We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for the entire world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, (murder) or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” unquote

His ruling was based on the premise that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  There is however some validity to that premise.

Mary Mellon aka Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. It was in her gallbladder. She was presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. Despite being warned not to work in a pubic kitchen, she ignored the order and continued to infect other victims. Finally, enough was enough. She was arrested and sentenced to be incarcerated for life in a hospital where she spent the rest of her life in the Riverside Hospital. On November 11, 1938, she died of pneumonia at age 69.

Ironically, I was in a sanitarium at the age of five suffering from tuberculosis in my left lung when Mellon died. I was later released as being cured after being in that sanitarium for a year.

Suppose the sanitarium I was sent to was also classed as a sanitarium for feebleminded patients. I could then accidentally be classed as being feebleminded because I was a patient in that institution. If that happened, I would never have been able to accomplish what I did as an adult with that classification being hung around my neck like the albatross in the poem, Rime of the Ancient Mariner written by Samuel Coleridge.  

In order to ensure that the Buck family could not reproduce, Carrie Buck’s sister Doris was also sterilized when she was hospitalized for appendicitis, although she was never told that sterilization had been performed on her.  In later years she married and she and her husband attempted to have children. She did not discover the reason for their lack of success until 1980.

Carrie Buck was paroled shortly after her sterilization was performed. On May 14, 1932, Buck married William D. Eagle, a sixty-five year old widower with six children from his first marriage. After his death in 1965, she married sixty-one year old orchard worker Charlie Detamore to whom she remained married to until her death. Later in life, she expressed regret that she had been unable to have additional children other than her only daughter, Vivian. 

Nowadays, surgical sterilization is a safe, highly effective, permanent, and convenient form of contraception. The most common surgical sterilization procedure for women is called a “tubal ligation” (having their tubes tied). After my wife and I had two daughters, she decided that she wanted to undergo that same procedure. I agreed with her decision.

A tubal ligation is approximately 99% effective in the first year following the procedure. In the following years the effectiveness may be reduced slightly since the fallopian tubes can, in some cases, reform or reconnect which can cause an unintended pregnancy.

Fortunately, compulsory sterilization is no longer performed in the United States and in most if not all other countries also. 

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