What is the meaning of eugenics? Definition and history of the … – The Sun

The ‘science’ is now associated with the horrors of Nazi Germany but was once popular throughout the world

EUGENICS is a movement now associated with the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis during Hitlers rule over Germany.

Heres what you need to know about the now-discredited science which actually began in Britain and was once popular throughout the world.

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The Oxford English Dictionary describes Eugenics as: The science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.

The term was first coined by British explorer and natural scientist Sir Francis Galton in 1883.

The debunked science was once practiced the world over before it was widely discredited, following its use by the Nazis to justify their atrocities in trying to create a master race.

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Proponents of eugenics claimed undesirable genetic traits like dwarfism, deafness and even minor defects like a cleft palate could and should be eliminated from the gene pool through selective breeding.

Scientists would measure the skulls of criminals as they sought to identify a genetic trait that caused people to offend so they would wipe that group out.

Others suggested simply eradicating entire groups of people because of the colour of their skin.

The first sterilisation law which stopped certain categories of disabled people from having children was passed in Indiana, USA, in 1907.

This was 26 years before a similar law was introduced by the Nazis in Germany in 1933.

In fact, Nazi propaganda pointed to the precedent set by America as Hitler sought to justify his own sterilisation programme.

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In the decades following Charles Darwins 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species, the craze like wildfire spread through Britain, the United States and Europe.

Galton Darwins cousin who coined the name eugenics became obsessed with his relatives theory of evolution.

He believed breeding humans with superior mental and physical traits could help the human race evolve in a better way and was essential to the well-being of society.

He wrote: Eugenics is the science which deals with all influences which improve the inborn qualities of a race; also with those which develop them to the utmost advantage.

Galton was knighted for his scientific contributions and his writings played a key role in launching the eugenics movement in the UK and US.

Public Library/News Dog Media

Shocking photos from the time show the harrowing lengths scientists went to in the heyday of the eugenics movement to selectively breed humans.

In 1907, the Eugenics Education Society was founded in Britain to campaign for sterilisation and marriage restrictions for the weak to prevent the degeneration of Britains population.

A year later, Sir James Crichton-Brown, giving evidence before the 1908 Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded, recommended the compulsory sterilisation of those with learning disabilities and mental illness.

And in 1931, Labour MP Archibald Church proposed a bill for the compulsory sterilisation of certain categories of mental patient in Parliament.

Although such a law was never actually passed in Britain, this did not prevent many sterilisations being carried out under various forms of coercion.

Meanwhile from 1907 in the US, men, women and children who were deemed insane, idiotic, imbecile, feebleminded or epileptic were forcibly sterilised often without being informed of what was being done to them.

By 1938, 33 American states permitted the forced sterilisation of women with learning disabilities.

And 29 American states had passed compulsory sterilisation laws covering people who were thought to have genetic conditions.

Laws in America also restricted the right of certain disabled people to marry.

But sometimes it went even further, with one mental institution in Illinois, USA, euthanising patients by deliberately infecting them with tuberculosis an act they justified as a mercy killing that cut the weak link in the human race.

Other countries which passed similar sterilisation laws in the 1920s and 1930s included Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

After these kinds of ideas took root in Nazi Germany and sparked the horrors of the Holocaust, eugenics became a dirty word.

With the dark conclusion of its philosophy exposed before the world, it became difficult to justify forced sterilisation as a tool for the greater good.

All eugenics-based laws were eventually repealed in the 1940s.

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What is the meaning of eugenics? Definition and history of the … – The Sun

Relatives of eugenics victims opt not to appeal to NC Supreme Court – Winston-Salem Journal

Relatives of eugenics victims have opted not to appeal to the N.C. Supreme Court a ruling that denies some of them the ability to inherit payment as heirs.

An N.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 6 that eugenics victims seeking compensation from the state had to be alive on June 30, 2013, for their heirs to qualify for payment following a relative’s death.

The Winston-Salem Journal series on eugenics in 2002, “Against Their Will,” brought awareness to the state’s program, which sterilized about 7,600 people before it ended in 1974.

The three-judge panel unanimously upheld the denials by the N.C. Industrial Commission related to compensation established by the Republican-controlled General Assembly in 2013.

The June 30, 2013, date was set in the law, which created a $10 million pool for compensation payments.

“Our clients have decided not to seek further review by the N.C. Supreme Court,” Elizabeth Haddix, senior staff attorney for UNC Center for Civil Rights, said Thursday.

“Although the forced sterilization of their loved ones hurt them personally and impacted their lives forever, their goal has always been to honor their loved ones, whose most fundamental rights were violated by the states 40-year eugenics program.

“They have honored them with these appeals,” Haddix said.

At least 213 victims are considered by the commission to have qualified for compensation, and they received two partial checks$20,000 in October 2014 and $15,000 in November 2015.

A third and final payment is to be made after all appeals have been decided. It is not clear whether that stage has been reached.

Lawsuits were filed by the estates of three eugenics victims Hughes, Redmond and Smith, whose first names were not listed in the filings. The plaintiffs claimed the deadline for qualification “was unconstitutional on its face because it arbitrarily denied compensation to the heirs of some victims while allowing compensation to others.”

The appellate judges said in their ruling that state law does not treat heirs of living victims differently than it treats heirs of deceased victims. Instead, it said, heirs of victims are treated differently than the victims themselves.

The commission denied the claims in April and May 2015. The Appeals Court ruled in February 2016 that it lacked the jurisdiction to address the constitutional challenge.

In March, the state Supreme Court sent the case back to the Appeals Court to consider the constitutional challenge.

The panel ruled June 6 “we cannot agree” that the state law violated the plaintiffs’ rights to equal protection under the law.

Victims who, before June 30, 2013, were determined to be qualified and have a vested interest in compensation would have their compensation rights passed onto heirs as part of their estate.

Qualified victims were required to submit compensation forms to the commission by June 30, 2014, and 780 of a potential 2,000 living victims did.

The panel lists 250 claims as having been approved by the commission, with a “handful” awaiting final resolution on appeal.

At that rate, the compensation per approved claim would be in the $40,000 range, about $10,000 short of the recommended goal in the initial eugenics compensation legislation.

“There is nothing in the preamble indicating that the General Assembly intended to compensate the heirs of individuals who had been sterilized under the authority of the eugenics board,” according to the panel ruling.

In 2002, Gov. Mike Easley apologized for the sterilizations, but it took another decade for lawmakers to set up the compensation program.

In October 2016, President Barack Obama signed a law preventing any such compensation from being used to deny need-based assistance to the victims. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who led the N.C. compensation program while state House speaker.

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Relatives of eugenics victims opt not to appeal to NC Supreme Court – Winston-Salem Journal

Building the ‘perfect’ GMO baby – Metro US

Many people shun GMOs food that has been genetically modified but what about GMO babies?

A recent survey asked 500 American and 500 European parents or those who planned to be parents some day if they would genetically alter their offspring and how much money they would pay for the perfect child.

The idea might seem unsavory to some eugenics will forever be linked to Hitler and his crazed mission to create a master race but this sort of technology isnt too far off, considering that science has mastered cloning animals.

Cloning humans successfully became less of a dream (nightmare, to some) after science figured out how to clone a human embryo to make stem cells.

If given the chance, would you alter your babys DNA to make him or her smarter, stronger or blue-eyed? Of those who believe genetically designing a child would be unethical, one out of five admitted they would still modify the baby for intelligence while a third would give their childs DNA a boost to ensure good health.

Those who believe genetic alterations are morally acceptable also called intelligence and health priorities, with 28 percent voting for an active mind, and 27 percent voting for an active immune system.

Both groups would also modify creativity and weight; 7 percent of participants with ethical concerns voted for kindness while 8 percent of those without qualms voted to make their child more attractive.

Half of the men and half of the women agreed that intelligence is a trait they would alter, and they also agreed on the importance of creativity and kindness.

Moms and dads differed when it came to other traits: One in 10 men ranked courage in their top five preferred traits while women voted for independence and charisma.

Maybe moms are hoping for their child to become POTUS. If Kanye wins 2020, lets all just agree anything is possible.

Around one in four potential moms and dads were willing to alter things like attractiveness and weight (because pizza is amazing and counting calories is the worst, right?).

Men wanted their kids to be like Mike and know like Bo knows with increased strength and athleticism, while moms preferred to dictate eye color.

Americans and their friends across the pond agreed bigly on the importance of intelligence, followed by creativity, but when given a list of changeable traits, Americans placed more importance on independence while Europeans opted for courage. Considering both cultures, those choices make sense; Americans value independence while Europeans are in closer proximity to other cultures and might need to call upon courage to learn and engage.

Regardless of continent, a quarter of those surveyed said they would opt to alter attractiveness and weight. Americans were more concerned about athletic ability than their European counterparts.

Men, and Americans in general, were willing to shell out quite a few clams for a smarter baby; one in four were willing to drop around $10,000 for a kid who does better in school.

Women and Europeans went Jimmy McMillian (the rent is too damn high) and were only willing to fork over between $1,000 and $2,000.

More than a third of all men and women surveyed agreed a health upgrade would be worth $10,000 or more.

Europeans prefer blond-haired, blue-eyed girls over boys; Americans choose dark-haired, blue-eyed boys. Women, regardless of country of origin, in general favored girls with blue eyes and black hair while men favored blond hair and blue eyes for their above-average-height son.

What is it worth to you?

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Building the ‘perfect’ GMO baby – Metro US

Vermont Considers Dumping Dorothy Canfield Fisher Over Ties to Eugenics Movement – Seven Days

The late author and social activist Dorothy Canfield Fisher was no slouch. The Arlington resident wrote 40 books, spoke five languages and received at least eight honorary degrees. When she wasn’t writing, the best-selling novelist was leading World War I relief efforts, managing the first U.S. adult education program and promoting prison reform. Eleanor Roosevelt named her one of the 10 most influential women in the United States.

Now one Vermonter wants to add “eugenicist” to Fisher’s rsum because of the writer’s connection to a dark chapter in state history. With support from a number of librarians, teachers and historians, Abenaki educator Judy Dow is lobbying the Vermont Department of Libraries to strip Fisher’s name from the popular children’s literature award created 60 years ago to honor her.

Dow points out that Fisher stereotyped French Canadians and Native Americans in her writings, and she claims that the writer was part of the eugenics movement that called for cleansing Vermont of “bad seeds” and “feeble-minded” people in the 1920s and ’30s. The state should not enshrine the name of such a woman, especially in a literary program focused on children, Fisher’s critics say.

Thecontroversy facing the Vermont state librarian has a familiar ring it echoes the recent fight over replacing the Rebels mascot at South Burlington High School, as well as the removal of Confederate statues throughout the American South.

It’s appropriate to revisit history and reexamine the lessons it might teach through a contemporary lens, said State Librarian Scott Murphy, who has the final say on whether to remove Fisher’s name. But he said it’s also important to view things in context and take a measured approach when it comes to removing honors in response to changing attitudes and understanding.

“I’m not saying this is an instance where we don’t do it,” Murphy said about the Fisher awards. “We want to make sure that we make the right decision.”

“Some people will be upset,” predicted Julie Pickett in an email to Murphy; as the children’s librarian at Stowe Free Library, she supports Dow’s effort. “Some will say political correctness is taking over. It’s all in the eye of the beholder and is a very complicated issue, for sure.”

Murphy said he is skeptical about the most serious claim against Fisher. “I haven’t seen a smoking gun that says she was a eugenicist,” he said during an interview at his Montpelier office last week. Fisher was not among the prominent Vermonters who sat on the advisory board of the Vermont Eugenics Survey, a chilling social-science experiment that ran from 1925 to 1936. But she did serve on a related organization, the Vermont Commission on Country Life, which was charged with revitalizing the state’s Yankee roots.

Murphy called that association “problematic.” And he said Dow’s April presentation to the state library board, in which she cited examples of Fisher’s insulting characterizations, was an “eye-opener.”

In Fisher’s novel Bonfire, one character describes another as “half-hound, half-hunter, all Injun.” In her play Tourists Accommodated, a Yankee Vermont farm woman who is renting rooms responds to a potential French Canadian guest “speaking as to a dog she rather fears.” In a state tourism pamphlet, Fisher invited families of “good breeding” to consider buying second homes in Vermont.

Murphy characterized Dow’s presentation as “very powerful.” The board is expected to make its recommendation to him at its next meeting, on July 11. Murphy plans to make a decision soon after that.

Fisher fans argue that the author, like Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad, was a product of her times. To get hung up on her perceived failings is to ignore countless other things that set this crusading humanitarian apart.

“There were wonderful parts of her,” said children’s author Katherine Paterson of Montpelier, winner of the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal and other honors though not Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award. “But there were also parts of her, as there are parts of all of us, that were not praiseworthy and perhaps were offensive to other people.”

Judging Fisher by contemporary standards brings up a difficult question, continued Paterson, adding that history serves up plenty such questions.

“Our founding fathers were slave owners. And the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence was definitely a slave owner, who said that all men are created equal,” Paterson said, referring to Thomas Jefferson.

“I don’t think we can throw out the Declaration of Independence because it was created by a man who didn’t live it,” she said.

Vermont created a reading program to honor Fisher and promote excellence in children’s literature in 1957. She died the following year, at the age of 79, in her beloved Arlington. In that small southern Vermont town, she corresponded with American writer Willa Cather, helped Robert Frost find a home nearby and posed with her husband for neighbor Norman Rockwell of Saturday Evening Post fame.

Although she was born in Kansas, Fisher and her family had deep roots in Vermont. After her marriage to fellow writer John Fisher, Dorothy made her home at the old Canfield family farm in Arlington. From the lovely white house with sweeping views of the Battenkill Valley, Fisher wrote prolifically. She popularized Vermont as a rural kingdom of rugged hill farms tilled by self-reliant, sturdy people.

But she also wrote articles and columns about politics, prison reform, domestic life and the need for better education funding that ran in popular periodicals and newspapers of the day. The versatile writer could opine in a scholarly way as well as churn out engaging fiction, from children’s stories such as Understood Betsy to the sexually charged novel Bonfire.

State senator and University of Vermont English professor Philip Baruth (D/P-Chittenden) teaches Fisher’s The Home-Maker, a fictional story about a father who takes on the primary child-raising role and which incorporates Montessori education principles. A trip to Italy sold Fisher on the preschool method that emphasizes self-direction and empathy, and she became its most enthusiastic proponent in the U.S.

Baruth also praised Fisher’s 1912 nonfiction book, A Montessori Mother. “That’s a fantastic addition to the literature on child-rearing,” Baruth said. “And, again, it was pathbreaking. So, to have her name on the Dorothy Canfield Fisher award makes real sense to me.”

But Bonfire and several of her works were set in Clifford, a fictional Vermont town with pockets of entrenched poverty, including “Searles Shelf.” The book portrays this hilly section of town as an enclave of French Canadian and French Indian sloths. Residents from another poor section of town are “irresponsible sub-normals.” The central character, the alluring temptress Lixlee, is a “primitive” who comes from mysterious parentage that townspeople speculate might be “southern” or “foreign” or just plain “French canuck.”

More unflattering references to French Canadians come in Tourists Accommodated, the play Fisher wrote in 1932 to help popularize tourism in Vermont. When a French-speaking man and woman in “countrified” costumes knock at the door of a Vermont farm that has just started taking in lodgers, Aunt Nancy, the lady of the house, urges them to “go home.”

Once she learns that they are merely asking, in French, to rent two rooms, Aunt Nancy agrees in an apparent show of tolerance. The French-speaking characters are nevertheless portrayed as aliens in the Yankee community, even though there was widespread emigration from Qubec in that era.

Recruiting the right people to Vermont was a strong theme in a state tourism pamphlet Fisher wrote the same year. With pictures of handsome historic Colonials and unspoiled mountain views, the “Vermont Summer Homes” brochure reached out to “superior, interesting families of cultivation and good breeding” who might not be rich in dollars but were rich in intellect professors, doctors, lawyers and musicians who used their brains to make a living. “We feel that you and Vermont have much in common,” Fisher wrote in her genteel pitch to attract refined second-home owners.

Similar themes and stereotypes are found in other Fisher writings. In a commencement presentation she wrote in 1941 called “Man and the Wilderness,” Fisher explains how the residents of Manchester eventually bought a house for an itinerant Native American woman known as “Old Icy” when her “intoe-ing feet” could no longer carry her from local town to town.

While on the one hand the essay attempts to show the community’s tolerance, it also downplays the prejudice of the day with the declaration that Vermont was never a real home to Indians and the state did not harbor “ugly racial hatred and oppression.”

In her lifelong fight for social justice, Fisher stood up for vulnerable minorities: illiterate adults, female prisoners, disabled children, conscientious objectors. So it’s puzzling that she seemed to have had a blind spot for the Vermont Eugenics Survey, which, in the language of its founder, Henry Perkins, was designed to provide information about “human heredity and about defective and degenerate families in the state.”

Perkins pushed for sterilization programs and believed his Vermont research proved that bad genes were destined to repeat themselves in families. “Blood has told,” he wrote in his first survey report about the families he studied, in 1927, “and there is every reason to believe it will keep on telling in future generations.”

After growing up on South Prospect Street in Burlington, Perkins became a zoology professor at the University of Vermont, where he had big shoes to fill his father, George Perkins, was a dean on the hilltop campus and a well-known entomologist.

The younger Perkins began teaching a UVM course in heredity and evolution in 1922, and, as the eugenics movement picked up steam around the country and globe, he made the quest for better human breeding his main academic focus.His targets of study were “degenerate” Vermont families who were often French Indian and, in some cases, black.

Perkins published five reports between 1925 and 1931 and continued a few more years before the project ran out of steam. The first survey involved long “pedigree” studies, conducted by social workers who interviewed and studied members of three extended families in and around Burlington. They supplemented their research with records from police, various state institutions and old poor-farm reports going back more than a century.

The roots of one family, identified as “gypsies,” were traced to an Indian reservation near Montral, according to the survey. It also references numerous children in the family who had “negro blood” and whose descendants were identified as “colored,” “copper toned” and “swarthy.” The family was labeled as “gypsies” because in its early history in Vermont, members traveled from town to town by wagon, selling baskets and other goods.

A lengthy chart lists the “defects” of the various members of the extended “gypsy” clan over several generations and uses labels such as “illiterate,” “town pauper” and “sex offender.” Although the labels were often based on unsubstantiated gossip or personal bias, the identification likely increased the risk that such people would face involuntary confinement in institutions for those with perceived mental illness or cognitive delays.

In the Second Annual Report of the Eugenics Survey, published in 1928, Perkins announced the creation of a comprehensive survey of rural Vermont that would examine racial, “eugenical,” hygienic, agricultural, social and mental aspects, among other things. The governor would appoint members, he explained, and the Eugenics Survey would be at “its center and core,” Perkins wrote.

He hired Henry Taylor to oversee the new organization, which was called the Vermont Commission on Country Life. More than 70 people, including Fisher, were recruited to take part and to produce chapters for a 1931 book titled Rural Vermont: A Program for the Future. Taylor explained in the introduction that Perkins and his eugenics questions were the motivation.

“For more than a century, Vermont has been one of the most reliable seedbeds of our national life,” Taylor wrote, adding that conserving the quality of the human stock was a key issue for the state and the Vermont Commission on Country Life.

But the commission also studied ways to revitalize agriculture, education and the arts. Fisher served on the “traditions and ideals” subcommittee, which suggested strategies to improve the state’s image through drama and tourism promotion, as well as ways to preserve its culture and historic architecture. Helen HartnessFlanders, who spent her life collecting and archiving Vermont folk songs, served with Fisher on the subcommittee. Their chapter closes with this encouragement: “The old stock is here still, in greater proportion to the total population than in any other commonwealth of the north.”

Historian Nancy Gallagher documented Vermont’s eugenics movement in her book Breeding Better Vermonters. In it, she noted an implicit racism in the commission’s overarching ideals. She won’t call Fisher a “eugenicist” but concludes from her participation that the author was someone who clearly accepted the eugenic attitudes of the era and “shared the values.”

In 1932, Fisher agreed to serve on the commission’s executive committee one year after Perkins successfully pushed a sterilization law through the Vermont legislature and called for more widespread institutionalization of “feeble-minded” people, in part so they would be unable to reproduce and create more “bad seeds.”

Although the Vermont sterilization law was voluntary, Gallagher said many people in institutions agreed to undergo the procedure without understanding what it was or as a condition of release coercion, essentially. About 250 people were sterilized in Vermont institutions between 1933 and 1960, according to Department of Health records, although the statistics might be incomplete.

Meanwhile, some of the language used in the eugenics movement, including the importance of good bloodlines, crops up in Fisher’s writings. In some cases, her books stand up against prejudice, yet they also seem to promote softer versions of ugly stereotypes. In Seasoned Timber, a young Vermont headmaster refuses to accept a gift from a donor who sets a condition: that the school must deny entrance to Jews. But later in the book, the same headmaster refers to a prospective student’s “awful Jewish mother” and her “New-York-Mediterranean haggling code.”

Eugenics movements in Vermont and elsewhere set the stage for the pseudoscience and racist philosophies that gave rise to Adolf Hitler and World War II.

Dow grew up in Burlington’s New North End in a family with Qubec and Abenaki roots, although her parents didn’t say much about the Native American part. But her father, a firefighter, was raised on Convent Square overlooking the Intervale. The tight cluster of streets was once known as “Moccasin Village,” according to Dow, because so many French Indian families lived there. She views both parts of her heritage as equally important.

As an adult, Dow became interested in Abenaki traditions and studied and began teaching them in Vermont schools through a state-funded artist-in-residency program. She played a pivotal role in the successful effort to move an industrial-scale composting operation out of the Intervale, partly by raising concerns about its impact on a possible Abenaki burial ground in the floodplain along the Winooski River.

Through her activism, Dow met Gallagher, who confirmed that some of Dow’s own relatives, including a great-aunt in Colchester, had been identified in one of the Vermont eugenics pedigree surveys. It focused on a family for its supposed high rate of Huntington’s disease, a neurological condition.

Today Dow lives in a sunny suburban house in which she recently hosted Gallagher, retired French teacher Kim Chase and a Seven Days reporter. A collection of baskets, some made by Dow, were displayed near the kitchen table.

Dow is determined to get Fisher’s name off the award program. She’s told the board that “it’s a crime that very good authors are receiving this award under the name of an author who’s a eugenicist, and they don’t even know it.”

Gallagher agrees with Dow that the Fisher connection should go. “I think we can find someone else, a better name,” she said.

So does Chase, who has Qubcois roots. “Holding this person up as an example of wonderful literacy is really painful,” she said.

But Fisher’s defenders see injustice in the call to rid the award of her name.

“I don’t mean to make light of the eugenics movement; it was a horrible thing,” said Baruth. “But I’ve yet to see evidence that Dorothy Canfield Fisher was an active part of that movement or that she campaigned for its goals.

“Having taught her work, having thought a great deal about her work and also having investigated this controversy,” he continued, “I just don’t see there’s the kind of evidence you would need to say this person is a eugenicist, this person is generally neo-Nazi in her views.”

Many people served on the Vermont Commission on Country Life, Baruth added, and Fisher’s attitudes about the demographics of Vermont were shaped by the era.

“That was extremely typical of the day,” he said. “It’s not as though she was unique in talking about Vermont as a Yankee place. We brand and capitalize on the idea of the Yankee today.”

Fisher’s name should stay on the award, Baruth said.

“She was a fantastically important figure in Vermont, and she was a best-selling, groundbreaking female author. I don’t think we’ve got enough important female authors that we can afford to throw one overboard, for the evidence I’ve seen.”

Who knows Fisher better than anyone? Vermont librarians. Murphy asked them for feedback, and the emails are filtering in.

Some urged him not to make a rash decision. Cheryl Sloan, youth services librarian at the Charlotte Library, was not fully convinced by Dow’s presentation to the state library board in April.

“I would like to see some balanced investigation into the actual history of Dorothy before we take all of Ms. Dow’s information at face value,” Sloan wrote. “Some of the books she had piled before her in Berlin were works of fiction by Dorothy. Can we condemn an author on their body of fiction?”

But Catherine Davie, a school librarian at Blue Mountain Union School in Wells River, is ready to see Fisher’s name go.

Although she has participated in the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award program “in every possible way,” including a sleepover at her library this spring, Davie wrote that now is the time to make a change.

“With deep respect for her skill as a writer and as a social activist, I don’t think it’s right to ask all of Vermont’s students to honor her in this way, when some of her beliefs are so repugnant to some of them,” she wrote.

Pickett of the Stowe Free Library is of a similar mind. “Even though it may seem like Dorothy is being thrown under the bus, I can’t abide the fact that she did indeed support a eugenics movement that had a devastating effect on generations of Native Americans and French Canadians,” Pickett wrote.

“Do we penalize every racist? Every person involved in eugenics or slavery? We obviously can’t. But this small step, in my mind, is a recognition of wrongdoing and is a step toward healing,” Picket added. “Maybe in this divisive world we live in right now, it sends a positive message.”

Other librarians have different reasons for considering a name change. Youngsters rarely check out Fisher’s work and don’t have much of a connection to her as readers, said Hannah Peacock, youth services librarian and assistant director at Burnham Memorial Library in Colchester and chair of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher reading committee.

“I just think it might be time for a change of name because they don’t know who she is,” Peacock said in a telephone interview.

And then there is the unfortunate coincidence of acronyms the one for Fisher’s full name is the same DCF as the state child welfare agency the Department for Children and Families, which investigates child abuse. To avoid confusion, organizers of the book award changed the name of the annual selection of books to Dorothy’s List and encouraged librarians not to use the DCF acronym, although many still do.

Paterson, for one, is not convinced by these arguments. If she had to decide, the distinguished children’s book author said she’d keep the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award just as it is.

“There are no perfect human beings,” she said, “and no perfect heroes.”

The state-run effort is both a reading program and an award. Librarians, authors and teachers volunteer to read some 100 books a year that are suitable for children in grades 4 to 8. The readers vote on their preferences, and the top 30 are named to Dorothy’s List. Vermont public and school libraries stock copies and encourage children to read at least five books. The young readers cast votes for the best book out of the 30, which is then named as the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award winner the next spring. The program is staffed by the Vermont Department of Libraries and volunteers. It receives minimal funding of a few thousand dollars a year, according to Vermont State Librarian Scott Murphy.

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Vermont Considers Dumping Dorothy Canfield Fisher Over Ties to Eugenics Movement – Seven Days

What is eugenics? pgEd

Eugenics is the philosophy and social movement that argues it is possible to improve the human race and society by encouraging reproduction by people or populations with desirable traits (termed positive eugenics) and discouraging reproduction by people with undesirable qualities (termed negative eugenics). The eugenics movement began in the United States in the early part of the 20th century; the United States was the first country to have a systematic program for performing sterilizations on individuals without their knowledge or against their will. It was supported and encouraged by a wide swath of people, including politicians, scientists, social reformers, prominent business leaders and other influential individuals who shared a goal of reducing the burden on society. The majority of people targeted for sterilization were deemed of inferior intelligence, particularly poor people and eventually people of color.[1]

In the early 20th century, many scientists were skeptical of the scientific underpinnings of eugenics. Eugenicists argued that parents from good stock produced healthier and intellectually superior children. They believed that traits such as poverty, shiftlessness, criminality and poor work ethic were inherited and that people of Nordic ancestry were inherently superior to other peoples, despite an obvious lack of evidence and scientific proof. However, eugenicists were able to persuade the Carnegie Institution and prestigious universities to support their work, thus legitimizing it and creating the perception that their philosophy was, in fact, science.

The eugenics movement became widely seen as a legitimate way to improve society and was supported by such people as Winston Churchill, Margaret Sanger, Theodore Roosevelt and John Harvey Kellogg. Eugenics became an academic discipline at many prominent colleges, including Harvard University, Dartmouth College, University of Washington and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), among many others. From the outset, the movement also had critics, including lawyer and civil rights advocate Clarence Darrow as well as scientists who refuted the idea that purity leads to fewer negative gene mutations. Nevertheless, between 1927 and the 1970s, there were more than 60,000 compulsory sterilizations performed in 33 states in the United States; California led the nation with over 20,000. Experts think many more sterilizations were likely performed, but not officially recorded.[2]

Adolf Hitler based some of his early ideas about eugenics on the programs practiced in the United States. He was its most infamous practitioner; the Nazis killed tens of thousands of disabled people and sterilized hundreds of thousands deemed inferior and medically unfit. After World War II and the Holocaust, the American eugenics movement was widely condemned. However, sterilization programs continued in many states until the mid-1970s.

Today, safeguards have been established to ensure that the ethical implications of new technologies are discussed and debated before being employed on a large scale. In this way, the benefits and advances arising from scientific research and medical procedures can be achieved both ethically and humanely. Examples of the efforts of the United States government to ensure that progress in science, research and technology proceeds in an ethical and socially acceptable manner include the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, well known for the development of the Belmont Report, and the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) program housed in the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Many people fear that new advances in genetics could lead to a new era of eugenics. However, these advances lead to sometimes difficult ethical questions, particularly related to reproductive technologies and embryo screening. As science advances, what traits might people be able to choose or select against? Is it acceptable for prospective parents to have a say in which embryos are implanted in a womens uterus for non-medical reasons? Is it acceptable for society to dictate this decision to prospective parents? Many of the breakthroughs have saved lives and will continue to do so on a grander scale, and we, as a society, need to discuss the complex issues related to genetic technologies. Debate and discussion can be illuminating even though complete consensus about the intersection of genetics and society will be difficult.

This lesson provides students with a historical overview of the American eugenics movement and highlights some of the advances and breakthroughs that have been achieved through genetic and genomic research. Many people fear that new advances in genetics, particularly embryo screening and analysis of fetal DNA, could lead to a new era of eugenics. The goal of this lesson is for students to start discussing these topics so that they can understand the complexity of the issues and engage in conversations that contrast the dangers of eugenics with the benefits that can come from genetic information.

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Vermont Eugenics: A Documentary History

This lesson uses primary source documents to explore issues of race, gender and class in the 20th century. It is intended to extend the ideas explored in History, eugenics and genetics. The goal of this lesson is for students to use original sources to understand how the eugenics movement used propaganda to enter mainstream America to promote its agenda, and use critical thinking skills to analyze and interpret the sources.

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What is eugenics? pgEd

eugenics | Description, History, & Modern Eugenics …

Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, typically in reference to humans. The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwins theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable. Social Darwinism, the popular theory in the late 19th century that life for humans in society was ruled by survival of the fittest, helped advance eugenics into serious scientific study in the early 1900s. By World War I, many scientific authorities and political leaders supported eugenics. However, it ultimately failed as a science in the 1930s and 40s, when the assumptions of eugenicists became heavily criticized and the Nazis used eugenics to support the extermination of entire races.

Although eugenics as understood today dates from the late 19th century, efforts to select matings in order to secure offspring with desirable traits date from ancient times. Platos Republic (c. 378 bce) depicts a society where efforts are undertaken to improve human beings through selective breeding. Later, Italian philosopher and poet Tommaso Campanella, in City of the Sun (1623), described a utopian community in which only the socially elite are allowed to procreate. Galton, in Hereditary Genius (1869), proposed that a system of arranged marriages between men of distinction and women of wealth would eventually produce a gifted race. In 1865, the basic laws of heredity were discovered by the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel. His experiments with peas demonstrated that each physical trait was the result of a combination of two units (now known as genes) and could be passed from one generation to another. However, his work was largely ignored until its rediscovery in 1900. This fundamental knowledge of heredity provided eugenicistsincluding Galton, who influenced his cousin Charles Darwinwith scientific evidence to support the improvement of humans through selective breeding.

The advancement of eugenics was concurrent with an increasing appreciation of Charles Darwins account for change or evolution within societywhat contemporaries referred to as Social Darwinism. Darwin had concluded his explanations of evolution by arguing that the greatest step humans could make in their own history would occur when they realized that they were not completely guided by instinct. Rather, humans, through selective reproduction, had the ability to control their own future evolution. A language pertaining to reproduction and eugenics developed, leading to terms such as positive eugenics, defined as promoting the proliferation of good stock, and negative eugenics, defined as prohibiting marriage and breeding between defective stock. For eugenicists, nature was far more contributory than nurture in shaping humanity.

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biological determinism: The eugenics movement

One of the most prominent movements to apply genetics to understanding social and personality traits was the eugenics movement, which originated in the late 19th century. Eugenics was coined in 1883 by British explorer and naturalist Francis Galton, who was influenced by the theory of natural selection developed by his cousin, Charles Darwin. Galton used the term to refer to more…

During the early 1900s, eugenics became a serious scientific study pursued by both biologists and social scientists. They sought to determine the extent to which human characteristics of social importance were inherited. Among their greatest concerns were the predictability of intelligence and certain deviant behaviours. Eugenics, however, was not confined to scientific laboratories and academic institutions. It began to pervade cultural thought around the globe, including the Scandinavian countries, most other European countries, North America, Latin America, Japan, China, and Russia. In the United States, the eugenics movement began during the Progressive Era and remained active through 1940. It gained considerable support from leading scientific authorities such as zoologist Charles B. Davenport, plant geneticist Edward M. East, and geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate Hermann J. Muller. Political leaders in favour of eugenics included U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of State Elihu Root, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan. Internationally, there were many individuals whose work supported eugenic aims, including British scientists J.B.S. Haldane and Julian Huxley and Russian scientists Nikolay K. Koltsov and Yury A. Filipchenko.

Galton had endowed a research fellowship in eugenics in 1904 and, in his will, provided funds for a chair of eugenics at University College, London. The fellowship and later the chair were occupied by Karl Pearson, a brilliant mathematician who helped to create the science of biometry, the statistical aspects of biology. Pearson was a controversial figure who believed that environment had little to do with the development of mental or emotional qualities. He felt that the high birth rate of the poor was a threat to civilization and that the higher races must supplant the lower. His views gave countenance to those who believed in racial and class superiority. Thus, Pearson shares the blame for the discredit later brought on eugenics.

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In the United States, the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was opened at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, N.Y., in 1910 with financial support from the legacy of railroad magnate Edward Henry Harriman. Whereas ERO efforts were officially overseen by Charles B. Davenport, director of the Station for Experimental Study of Evolution (one of the biology research stations at Cold Spring Harbor), ERO activities were directly superintended by Harry H. Laughlin, a professor from Kirksville, Mo. The ERO was organized around a series of missions. These missions included serving as the national repository and clearinghouse for eugenics information, compiling an index of traits in American families, training field-workers to gather data throughout the United States, supporting investigations into the inheritance patterns of particular human traits and diseases, advising on the eugenic fitness of proposed marriages, and communicating all eugenic findings through a series of publications. To accomplish these goals, further funding was secured from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the Battle Creek Race Betterment Foundation, and the Human Betterment Foundation.

Prior to the founding of the ERO, eugenics work in the United States was overseen by a standing committee of the American Breeders Association (eugenics section established in 1906), chaired by ichthyologist and Stanford University president David Starr Jordan. Research from around the globe was featured at three international congresses, held in 1912, 1921, and 1932. In addition, eugenics education was monitored in Britain by the English Eugenics Society (founded by Galton in 1907 as the Eugenics Education Society) and in the United States by the American Eugenics Society.

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Following World War I, the United States gained status as a world power. A concomitant fear arose that if the healthy stock of the American people became diluted with socially undesirable traits, the countrys political and economic strength would begin to crumble. The maintenance of world peace by fostering democracy, capitalism, and, at times, eugenics-based schemes was central to the activities of the Internationalists, a group of prominent American leaders in business, education, publishing, and government. One core member of this group, the New York lawyer Madison Grant, aroused considerable pro-eugenic interest through his best-selling book The Passing of the Great Race (1916). Beginning in 1920, a series of congressional hearings was held to identify problems that immigrants were causing the United States. As the countrys eugenics expert, Harry Laughlin provided tabulations showing that certain immigrants, particularly those from Italy, Greece, and Eastern Europe, were significantly overrepresented in American prisons and institutions for the feebleminded. Further data were construed to suggest that these groups were contributing too many genetically and socially inferior people. Laughlins classification of these individuals included the feebleminded, the insane, the criminalistic, the epileptic, the inebriate, the diseasedincluding those with tuberculosis, leprosy, and syphilisthe blind, the deaf, the deformed, the dependent, chronic recipients of charity, paupers, and neer-do-wells. Racial overtones also pervaded much of the British and American eugenics literature. In 1923, Laughlin was sent by the U.S. secretary of labour as an immigration agent to Europe to investigate the chief emigrant-exporting nations. Laughlin sought to determine the feasibility of a plan whereby every prospective immigrant would be interviewed before embarking to the United States. He provided testimony before Congress that ultimately led to a new immigration law in 1924 that severely restricted the annual immigration of individuals from countries previously claimed to have contributed excessively to the dilution of American good stock.

Immigration control was but one method to control eugenically the reproductive stock of a country. Laughlin appeared at the centre of other U.S. efforts to provide eugenicists greater reproductive control over the nation. He approached state legislators with a model law to control the reproduction of institutionalized populations. By 1920, two years before the publication of Laughlins influential Eugenical Sterilization in the United States (1922), 3,200 individuals across the country were reported to have been involuntarily sterilized. That number tripled by 1929, and by 1938 more than 30,000 people were claimed to have met this fate. More than half of the states adopted Laughlins law, with California, Virginia, and Michigan leading the sterilization campaign. Laughlins efforts secured staunch judicial support in 1927. In the precedent-setting case of Buck v. Bell, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., upheld the Virginia statute and claimed, 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.

During the 1930s, eugenics gained considerable popular support across the United States. Hygiene courses in public schools and eugenics courses in colleges spread eugenic-minded values to many. A eugenics exhibit titled Pedigree-Study in Man was featured at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 193334. Consistent with the fairs Century of Progress theme, stations were organized around efforts to show how favourable traits in the human population could best be perpetuated. Contrasts were drawn between the emulative, presidential Roosevelt family and the degenerate Ishmael family (one of several pseudonymous family names used, the rationale for which was not given). By studying the passage of ancestral traits, fairgoers were urged to adopt the progressive view that responsible individuals should pursue marriage ever mindful of eugenics principles. Booths were set up at county and state fairs promoting fitter families contests, and medals were awarded to eugenically sound families. Drawing again upon long-standing eugenic practices in agriculture, popular eugenic advertisements claimed it was about time that humans received the same attention in the breeding of better babies that had been given to livestock and crops for centuries.

Antieugenics sentiment began to appear after 1910 and intensified during the 1930s. Most commonly it was based on religious grounds. For example, the 1930 papal encyclical Casti connubii condemned reproductive sterilization, though it did not specifically prohibit positive eugenic attempts to amplify the inheritance of beneficial traits. Many Protestant writings sought to reconcile age-old Christian warnings about the heritable sins of the father to pro-eugenic ideals. Indeed, most of the religion-based popular writings of the period supported positive means of improving the physical and moral makeup of humanity.

In the early 1930s, Nazi Germany adopted American measures to identify and selectively reduce the presence of those deemed to be socially inferior through involuntary sterilization. A rhetoric of positive eugenics in the building of a master race pervaded Rassenhygiene (racial hygiene) movements. When Germany extended its practices far beyond sterilization in efforts to eliminate the Jewish and other non-Aryan populations, the United States became increasingly concerned over its own support of eugenics. Many scientists, physicians, and political leaders began to denounce the work of the ERO publicly. After considerable reflection, the Carnegie Institution formally closed the ERO at the end of 1939.

During the aftermath of World War II, eugenics became stigmatized such that many individuals who had once hailed it as a science now spoke disparagingly of it as a failed pseudoscience. Eugenics was dropped from organization and publication names. In 1954, Britains Annals of Eugenics was renamed Annals of Human Genetics. In 1972, the American Eugenics Society adopted the less-offensive name Society for the Study of Social Biology. Its publication, once popularly known as the Eugenics Quarterly, had already been renamed Social Biology in 1969.

U.S. Senate hearings in 1973, chaired by Edward Kennedy, revealed that thousands of U.S. citizens had been sterilized under federally supported programs. The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare proposed guidelines encouraging each state to repeal their respective sterilization laws. Other countries, most notably China, continue to support eugenics-directed programs openly in order to ensure the genetic makeup of their future.

Despite the dropping of the term eugenics, eugenic ideas remain prevalent in many issues surrounding human reproduction. Medical genetics, a post-World War II medical specialty, encompasses a wide range of health concerns, from genetic screening and counseling to fetal gene manipulation and the treatment of adults suffering from hereditary disorders. Because certain diseases (e.g., hemophilia and Tay-Sachs disease) are now known to be genetically transmitted, many couples choose to undergo genetic screening, in which they learn the chances that their offspring have of being affected by some combination of their hereditary backgrounds. Couples at risk of passing on genetic defects may opt to remain childless or to adopt children. Furthermore, it is now possible to diagnose certain genetic defects in the unborn. Many couples choose to terminate a pregnancy that involves a genetically disabled offspring. These developments have reinforced the eugenic aim of identifying and eliminating undesirable genetic material.

Counterbalancing this trend, however, has been medical progress that enables victims of many genetic diseases to live fairly normal lives. Direct manipulation of harmful genes is also being studied. If perfected, it could obviate eugenic arguments for restricting reproduction among those who carry harmful genes. Such conflicting innovations have complicated the controversy surrounding what many call the new eugenics. Moreover, suggestions for expanding eugenics programs, which range from the creation of sperm banks for the genetically superior to the potential cloning of human beings, have met with vigorous resistance from the public, which often views such programs as unwarranted interference with nature or as opportunities for abuse by authoritarian regimes.

Applications of the Human Genome Project are often referred to as Brave New World genetics or the new eugenics, in part because they have helped to dramatically increase knowledge of human genetics. In addition, 21st-century technologies such as gene editing, which can potentially be used to treat disease or to alter traits, have further renewed concerns. However, the ethical, legal, and social implications of such tools are monitored much more closely than were early 20th-century eugenics programs. Applications also generally are more focused on the reduction of genetic diseases than on improving intelligence.

Still, with or without the use of the term, many eugenics-related concerns are reemerging as a new group of individuals decide how to regulate the application of genetics science and technology. This gene-directed activity, in attempting to improve upon nature, may not be that distant from what Galton implied in 1909 when he described eugenics as the study of agencies, under social control, which may improve or impair future generations.

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eugenics | Description, History, & Modern Eugenics …

The Secret Room, the Nazi Artifacts and an Argentine Mystery – New York Times

Photo Members of Argentinias federal police displayed a Nazi statue at the Interpol headquarters in Buenos Aires. Credit Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

In a hidden treasure room dedicated to celebrating the Third Reich, Argentine police officers have found a trove of Nazi artifacts, including a bust of Hitler, that they believe were brought to the country by fugitive Germans.

The police said on Tuesday that they had uncovered the collection of more than 75 artifacts outside Buenos Aires, in the suburban home of a collector whom they have not yet named.

After investigating, said Marcelo El Haibe, the federal police commissioner for the protection of cultural heritage, we were able to discover those objects that were hidden behind a bookcase. Behind the bookcase there was a wall, and after that a door.

Inside the secret chamber, the police found what they said were authentic Nazi artifacts that probably belonged to high-ranking party members during World War II.

Among the items, the police said, were a magnifying glass and photo negatives that appeared to show Hitler holding the same lens. We have turned to historians, and theyve told us it is the original magnifying glass used by Hitler in the photograph, said Nestor Roncaglia, the head of Argentinas federal police.

The police also found toys and musical instruments, including a box of harmonicas, emblazoned with swastikas and Nazi symbols, that would have been used to indoctrinate children.

There are Nazi objects used by kids, but with the partys propaganda, Commissioner El Haibe said. He added, There were jigsaw puzzles and little wood pieces to build houses, but they always featured party-related images and symbols.

The authorities said they had uncovered the collection in the course of a wider investigation into artwork of suspicious origin found at a gallery in Buenos Aires.

Agents of Argentinas federal police and Interpol, the international police force, raided the collectors house on June 8. The collector was not at the house at the time, and has not been charged, but is under investigation, the police said.

The authorities also found medical devices associated with the Nazis eugenics programs, including a tool used to measure peoples heads as a way of assessing their supposed racial purity.

We know the history, we know of the horrible experiments conducted by Josef Mengele, said Ariel Cohen Sabban, president of the Delegation of Israelite-Argentines Associations, the countrys largest Jewish organization.

Mengele, a notorious Nazi physician, fled to Argentina to avoid prosecution for war crimes in Europe. He lived in the capital for a decade and eventually died in Brazil in 1979.

When I see these objects, Mr. Sabban said, I see the infamy of that terrible era of humanity that has caused so much damage, so much sadness.

Follow Russell Goldman on Twitter @GoldmanRussell.

Michel Vega contributed reporting.

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The Secret Room, the Nazi Artifacts and an Argentine Mystery – New York Times

Planned Parenthood’s Brutal Century | National Review – National Review

Infanticide did not go out of fashion with the advance from savagery to barbarism and civilization. Rather, it became, as in Greece and Rome, a recognized custom with advocates among leaders of thought and action. Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race

Clarence C. Little was a cultivated man. He was a Harvard graduate who served as president of the University of Maine and the University of Michigan. He was one of the nations leading genetics researchers, with a particular interest in cancer. He was managing director of the American Society for the Control of Cancer, later known (in the interest of verbal economy) as the American Cancer Society; the president of the American Eugenics Society, later known (in the interest of not talking about eugenics) as the Society for Biodemography and Social Biology; and a founding board member of the American Birth Control League, today known (in the interest of euphemism) as Planned Parenthood. His record as a scientist is not exactly unblemished he will long be remembered as the man who insisted that there is no demonstrated causal relationship between smoking or [sic] any disease but he was the very picture of the socially conscious man of science, without whom the National Cancer Institute, among other important bodies, probably would not exist.

He was a humane man with horrifying opinions.

Little is one of the early figures in Planned Parenthood whose public pronouncements, along with those of its charismatic foundress, Margaret Sanger, often are pointed to as evidence of the organizations racist origins. (Students at the University of Michigan are, at the time of this writing, petitioning to have his name stripped from a campus building.) Little believed that birth-control policy should be constructed in such a way as to protect Yankee stock referred to in Sangers own work as unmixed native white parentage, if Littles term is not clear enough from being overwhelmed by what was at the time perceived as the dysgenic fecundity of African Americans, Catholic immigrants, and other undesirables. (The feebleminded are notoriously prolific in reproduction, Sanger reported in Woman and the New Race.) The question of racial differences was an obsession of Littles that went well beyond his interest in eugenics and followed him to the end of his life; one of his later scientific works was The Possible Relation of Genetics to Differences in NegroWhite Mortality Rates from Cancer, published in the 1960s.

The birth-control movement of the Progressive era is where crude racism met its genteel intellectual cousin: Birth Control Review, the in-house journal of Planned Parenthoods predecessor organization, published a review, by the socialist intellectual Havelock Ellis, of Lothrop Stoddards The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy. Ellis was an important figure in Sangers intellectual development and wrote the introduction to her Woman and the New Race; Stoddard was a popular birth-control advocate whose intellectual contributions included lending to the Nazi racial theorists the term untermensch as well as developing a great deal of their theoretical framework: He fretted about imperfectly Nordicized Alpines and such. Like the other eugenics-minded progressives of his time, he saw birth control and immigration as inescapably linked issues.

Stoddards views were so ordinary a part of the mainstream of American intellectual discourse at the time that F. Scott Fitzgerald could refer to his work in The Great Gatsby without fearing that general readers would be mystified by the reference. What did Stoddard want? We want above all things, he wrote,

Yesterdays scientific progressives are todays romantic reactionaries.

Sanger, who believed that the potential for high civilization resided within the cell plasms of individual humans, made statements that were substantially similar: If we are to develop in America a new race with a racial soul, we must keep the birth rate within the scope of our ability to understand as well as to educate. We must not encourage reproduction beyond our capacity to assimilate our numbers so as to make the coming generation into such physically fit, mentally capable, socially alert individuals as are the ideal of a democracy.

Such was the intellectual ferment out of which rose the American birth-control movement or, rather, the American birth-control movements, of which there were really two. Sanger, working within the socialistfeminist alliance of her time, was a self-styled radical who published a short-lived journal called The Woman Rebel, the aim of which as described in its inaugural issue was to stimulate working women to think for themselves and to build up a conscious fighting character. To fight what? Slavery through motherhood. The Post Office refused to circulate the periodical, a fact that The Woman Rebel reported with glee: The woman rebel feels proud the post office authorities did not approve of her. She shall blush with shame if ever she be approved of by officialism or comstockism. But Sanger and her clique did not have a monopoly on the birth-control market. Her rival was Mary Ware Dennett, founder of see if this name sounds familiar the Voluntary Parenthood League (VPL).

Where Sanger was a radical, Dennett was a liberal, couching her advocacy in the familiar language of the American civil-libertarian tradition. She was an ally of the American Civil Liberties Union, which had defended her when she was charged with distributing birth-control literature classified (as most of it was at the time) as obscene. While Sangers organization was focused on setting up birth-control clinics (the first was in Brooklyn), Dennetts group was focused on lobbying Congress for the legalization of contraception. Sangers group was characterized by a top-down management structure (the local affiliates had no say in American Birth Control League policymaking) and a cash-on-the-barrelhead approach to social reform: Its membership and coffers were swelled in no small part by the fact that the ABCL would not provide birth-control literature to anyone who was not a dues-paying member.

As Linda Gordon put it in The Moral Property of Woman: A History of Birth-Control Politics:

In the contest between the ABCL and VPL, we see the familiar struggle that has long characterized the broader American Left: On one hand, there are liberals advocating a legislative reform project through ordinary democratic means; on the other hand are progressives, often led by radicals, who are engaged in a social-change project based on coopting institutions and the expertise and prestige associated with them. Gordon concludes: It was Sangers courting of doctors and eugenists that moved the ABCL away from both the Left and liberalism, away from both socialist-feminist impulses and civil liberties arguments toward an integrated population program for the whole society.

Which is to say, the word planned in Planned Parenthood can be understood to function as it does in the other great progressive dream of the time: planned economy.

Who plans for whom?

Sanger herself was generally careful to forswear compulsion in her eugenics program, but in reality the period was characterized by the widespread use of involuntary sterilization. Mandatory-sterilization bills were introduced unsuccessfully in Michigan and Pennsylvania at the end of the 19th century, but in 1907 Indiana became the first of many states to create eugenics-oriented sterilization programs, targeting such unfit populations as criminals and the mentally ill, along with African Americans (60 percent of the black mothers at one Mississippi hospital were involuntarily sterilized) and other minority groups. The Oregon state eugenics board was renamed but was not disbanded until the 1980s. About 65,000 people in the United States were involuntarily sterilized.

European programs went even further, with the Swiss experiment in involuntary sterilization drawing the attention of Havelock Ellis, who wrote up his views in The Sterilization of the Unfit. Ellis, too, objected to compulsory measures up to a point. There will be time to invoke compulsion and the law, he wrote, when sound knowledge has become universal, and when we are quite sure that those who refuse to act in accordance with sound knowledge refuse deliberately. He did not have access to the modern progressive term denialist, but the argument is familiar: Once the science is settled, then the state is empowered to act on it through whatever coercive means are necessary to achieve the end. Two recent press releases from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, both from May, are headlined: State Abortion Restrictions Flying in the Face of Science and Many Abortion Restrictions Have No Rigorous Scientific Basis.

Progressives holding views closer to those of the proto-Nazi Lothrop Stoddard frequently talked about eugenics in zoological terms, but, in the main, eugenics was subordinated to the larger progressive economic agenda: the management of productive activity by enlightened experts. The great economic terrors among progressives of the time were overproduction and destructive competition, both of which were thought to put downward pressure on wages, profits, and, subsequently, standards of living. Contraception was widely understood as a political solution to a supply-and-demand problem, with birth control understood as one element in a broad and unified program of economic control. Ellis sums up this view in his foreword to Sangers Woman and the New Race:

Or, as Sanger insisted: War, famine, poverty, and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap.

There is more to this history than exegesis of Progressive-era thinking. It is significant that Sangers birth-control movement, and not Dennetts, came to dominate the field. The financially driven structure of local affiliates working in complete subordination to a tightly controlled national body of course survives in the modern iteration of Planned Parenthood, but, more important, so does the humans-as-widgets conception of sexuality and family life. The eugenic habit of mind very much endures, though it is less frequently spoken of plainly.

In his Buck v. Bell decision confirming that involuntary-sterilization programs pass constitutional muster for the protection and health of the state the great humanist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. declared: Three generations of imbeciles are enough. Never having been overturned, Buck remains, in theory, the law of the land. But that was long ago. And yet: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a reliable supporter of abortion rights, has described Roe v. Wade as being a decision about population control, particularly growth in populations that we dont want to have too many of. Like Ellis and Sanger, Ginsburg worries that, without government intervention, birth control will be disproportionately practiced by the well-off and not by the members of those populations that we dont want to have too many of. In an interview with Elle, Ginsburg said, It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people. That wasnt 1927 it was 2014. A co-counsel for the winning side of Roe v. Wade, Ron Weddington, advised President Bill Clinton that an expanded national birth-control policy incorporating ready access to pharmaceutical abortifacients promised immediate benefits: You can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy, and poor segment of our country. Its what we all know is true, but we only whisper it.

But it is not true that we only whisper it. In Freakonomics, one of the most popular economics books of recent years, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner argued that abortion has measureable eugenic effects through reduction in crime rates. Of course that debate has an inescapable racial aspect: Fertility declines for black women are three times greater than for whites (12 percent compared with 4 percent). Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions, Levitt and a different co-author had written in a paper that the book drew from. Whatever the merits of this argument, it is very much in line with the classical progressive case for birth control, which was developed as a national breed-improvement project rather than one of individual womens choices. Linda Gordon notes: A content analysis of the Birth Control Review showed that by the late 1920s only 4.9 percent of its articles in that decade had any concern with womens self-determination.

The American Birth Control League was founded by Margaret Sanger in 1921, working out of office space provided by the American Eugenics Society. Sanger would depart seven years later as part of a factional dispute, with various elements of her organization eventually reunited in 1939 as the Birth Control Federation of America. But the words birth control at that time were considered public-relations poison, and so in 1942 the organization was renamed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Sanger herself often wrote critically about abortion, which, especially early in her career, she classified alongside infanticide, offering contraception as the obvious rational alternative to such savagery. Her arguments will sound at least partly familiar to modern ears: Do we want the millions of abortions performed annually to be multiplied? Do we want the precious, tender qualities of womanhood, so much needed for our racial development, to perish in these sordid, abnormal experiences? But that line of thinking was not destined to endure, and by the 1950s Planned Parenthood was working for the liberalization of abortion laws. Sangers successor, obstetrician Alan Frank Guttmacher, also served as vice president of the American Eugenics Society and was a signer of the second Humanist Manifesto, which called for the worldwide recognition of the right to birth control and abortion and, harkening back to the 1920s progressives, the extension of economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe. The repeated identification of birth control with national economic planning rather than womens individual autonomy is worth noting.

Continuing Sangers strategy of courting elite opinion as a more effective form of lobbying, Planned Parenthoods medical director, Mary Calderone, convened a conference of her fellow physicians in 1955 to begin pressing for the legalization of abortion for medical purposes. By 1969, the demand for therapeutic abortions had grown to a demand for the legalization of abortion in all circumstances, which remains Planned Parenthoods position today and, thanks in no small part to its very effective litigation efforts, is the law of the land.

As in Sangers time, Planned Parenthood keeps an eye on the money and has a corporate gift for insinuation: It lobbied the Nixon administration successfully for an amendment to public-health laws, as a result of which the organization today pulls in more than half a billion dollars in federal-government funds alone, largely through Medicaid. In 1989, it founded an advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, that today encompasses a political-action committee and super PAC that ranks No. 23 out of 206 outside-spending groups followed by OpenSecrets.org, putting a little over $12 million into almost exclusively Democratic pockets during the 2016 election cycle.

Is it working? Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy, might be gratified to note that, in Planned Parenthoods hometown of New York City, a black woman is more likely to have an abortion than to give birth: 29,007 abortions to 24,108 births in 2013. African Americans represent about 12 percent of the population and about 36 percent of the abortions; Catholics, disproportionately Hispanic and immigrant, represent 24 percent. In total, one in five U.S. pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) ends in abortion, and most women who have abortions already have at least one child. The overwhelming majority of them (75 percent, as Guttmacher reckons it) are poor. The public record includes no data about the feebleminded or otherwise unfit, but the racial and income figures suggest that Planned Parenthood is today very much functioning as its Progressive-era founders intended.

If Planned Parenthoods operating model remains familiar after 100 years, so does the rhetoric of the abortion movement. Sanger herself relayed the experience of the Scottish ethnologist John Ferguson McLennan: When a traveller reproached the women of one of the South American Indian tribes for the practice of infanticide, McLennan says he was met by the retort, Men have no business to meddle with womens affairs.

READ MORE: Planned Parenthoods Annual Report: Abortions Are Up, Prenatal Care Is Down No, the Planned Parenthood Videos Are Not a Lie A Century of Slaughter

Kevin D. Williamson is National Reviewsroving correspondent.This article first appeared in the June 12, 2017, print issue of National Review.

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Planned Parenthood’s Brutal Century | National Review – National Review

New members of Vatican pro-life academy have defended abortion … – Catholic Citizens of Illinois (press release)

by Staff Reporter, 16 Jun 2017

Avraham Steinberg has approved of abortion in some cases, while Fr Maurizio Chiodi says contraception may be permissible

Two more new members of the Pontifical Academy for Life hold controversial positions on bioethics.

Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg, one of 45 ordinary members of the Pontifical Council for Life appointed this week, has argued for the permissibility of ending a pregnancy in some cases.

Steinberg told Australias Radio National in 2008 that an embryo has no human status before 40 days. After 40 days it has a certain status of a human being, not a full status.

As a result, Steinberg says, Abortion is not permissible by Jewish law, but if the situation of the mother is in a psychological upset to a degree that it may cause her serious trouble, then abortion may be permissible despite the fact that for the foetuss sake, we would not allow it.

So case by case, occasionally abortion might be permissible, something which is probably unheard-of in the Catholic point of view.

When asked about eugenics, Steinberg says he approves of genetic screening for disability, so that parents can avoid the birth of a Tay-Sachs child or of a cystic fibrosis child and so on. He explains that this might be looked at as a form of eugenics, but that is not a forbidden eugenics if you think about it carefully, because what we want is that people would be happy and able and not suffering, but once they are born, they have equal rights and one must support them.

Steinberg also supports stem-cell research involving the destruction of embryos, something forbidden by Church teaching, on the grounds that the embryo at a few days old is not a human being in any sense. So therefore the destruction of it is not murder in any sense. Asked when the embryo becomes a human being, Steinberg replies that it must be 40 days old.

Elsewhere in the interview, Steinberg contrasts the Jewish and Catholic ways of approaching ethics, saying: In the Catholic approach there are a lot of dogmas that are strict, and they cant be changed, and they cant be modified. Whereas in Judaism, in general, there are no absolute values except for values that have to do with the belief.

Another rabbi appointed to the academy, Fernando Szlajen, has said that the prohibition on abortion is absolute, and that the commandment Thou shalt not kill means we should protect human beings from the moment of conception.

Another new member, Fr Maurizio Chiodi, has questioned Church teaching on artificial contraception. According the newspaper LAvvenire, which reviewed a book to which Fr Chiodi contributed, he believes that the use of artificial birth control techniques can be moral. The newspaper quotes Fr Chiodi as saying that the moral norm on responsible procreation can not coincide with the biological observance of natural methods. LAvvenire also say that for Fr Chiodi, It is not the method itself that determines the morality, but the conscience of the spouses, their sense of responsibility, their genuine willingness to open themselves to life.

Pope Paul VIs encyclical Humanae Vitae said that artificial contraception is never lawful, even for the gravest reasonsit is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

This reaffirmed the teaching of the Church, also expressed in Pius XIs Casti Connubii, that contraception is intrinsically vicious and that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death.

Fr Chiodi wrote in 2008 that Humanae Vitae must be interpreted with conscience and discernment.

Steinberg and Fr Chiodi are not the only new members of the academy whose appointment diverges from previous expectations. Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar, an Anglican clergyman who has also joined the academy, has said he only opposes abortion after about 18 weeks.

The academy no longer requires members to sign a statement promising their allegiance to the Churchs teaching. Pope Francis has removed nearly 100 members of the academy, including John Finnis, Luke Gormally, Josef Seifert and Wolfgang Waldstein, while 17 have been added.

The membership term is five years, but it can be renewed.


Read more:

New members of Vatican pro-life academy have defended abortion … – Catholic Citizens of Illinois (press release)

New members of Vatican pro-life academy have defended abortion and contraception – Catholic Herald Online

Avraham Steinberg, a new member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Wikimedia)

Avraham Steinberg has approved of abortion in some cases, while Fr Maurizio Chiodi says contraception may be permissible

Two more newmembers of the Pontifical Academy for Life hold controversial positions on bioethics.

Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg, one of 45 ordinary members of the Pontifical Council for Life appointed this week, has argued for the permissibility of ending a pregnancy in some cases.

Steinberg told Australias Radio National in 2008 that an embryo has no human status before 40 days. After 40 days it has a certain status of a human being, not a full status.

As a result, Steinberg says, Abortion is not permissible by Jewish law, but if the situation of the mother is in a psychological upset to a degree that it may cause her serious trouble, then abortion may be permissible despite the fact that for the foetuss sake, we would not allow it.

So case by case, occasionally abortion might be permissible, something which is probably unheard-of in the Catholic point of view.

When asked about eugenics, Steinberg says he approves of genetic screening for disability, so that parents can avoid the birth of a Tay-Sachs child or of a cystic fibrosis child and so on. He explains that this might be looked at as a form of eugenics, but that is not a forbidden eugenics if you think about it carefully, because what we want is that people would be happy and able and not suffering, but once they are born, they have equal rights and one must support them.

Steinberg also supports stem-cell research involving the destruction of embryos, something forbidden by Church teaching, on the grounds that the embryo at a few days old is not a human being in any sense. So therefore the destruction of it is not murder in any sense. Asked when the embryo becomes a human being, Steinberg replies that it must be 40 days old.

Elsewhere in the interview, Steinberg contrasts the Jewish and Catholic ways of approaching ethics, saying: In the Catholic approach there are a lot of dogmas that are strict, and they cant be changed, and they cant be modified. Whereas in Judaism, in general, there are no absolute values except for values that have to do with the belief.

Another rabbi appointed to the academy, Fernando Szlajen, has said that the prohibition on abortion is absolute, and that the commandment Thou shalt not kill means we should protect human beings from the moment of conception.

Another new member, Fr Maurizio Chiodi, has questioned Church teaching onartificial contraception. According the newspaper LAvvenire, which reviewed a book to which Fr Chiodi contributed, he believes that the use of artificial birth control techniques can be moral. The newspaper quotes FrChiodias saying that the moral norm on responsible procreation can not coincide with the biological observance of natural methods. LAvvenire also say that for Fr Chiodi, It is not the method itself that determines the morality, but the conscience of the spouses, their sense of responsibility, their genuine willingness to open themselves to life.

Pope Paul VIs encyclical Humanae Vitae said that artificial contraception is never lawful, even for the gravest reasonsit is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

This reaffirmed the teaching of the Church, also expressed in Pius XIs Casti Connubii, that contraception is intrinsically vicious and that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death.

Fr Chiodi wrotein 2008 that Humanae Vitaemust be interpreted with conscience and discernment.

Steinberg and Fr Chiodi arenot the only new members of the academy whose appointment diverges from previous expectations. Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar, an Anglican clergyman who has also joined the academy, has said he only opposes abortion after about 18 weeks.

The academy no longer requires members to sign a statement promising their allegiance to the Churchs teaching. Pope Francis hasremovednearly 100 members of the academy, including John Finnis, Luke Gormally, Josef Seifert and Wolfgang Waldstein, while 17 have been added.

The membership term is five years, but it can be renewed.

Excerpt from:

New members of Vatican pro-life academy have defended abortion and contraception – Catholic Herald Online

The Root of Appalachia’s Problems – Jacobin – Jacobin magazine

Catalyst, a new journal published by Jacobin is out now.

In the US and around the world today, political violence is the hallmark of the Right, not the Left.

Two years ago today Jeremy Corbyn made it onto the Labour leadership ballot with seconds to spare.

The Espionage Act turns 100 today. It helped destroy the Socialist Party of America and quashes free speech to this day.

The main problem for Appalachia and the white working class is capitalism. It always has been.

Jeremy Corbyn showed the way for mass radical politics. He only had to fend off attacks from the Right, the press, and his own party to do it.

Todays horrific fire in London’s Grenfell Tower is a symbol of a deeply unequal United Kingdom.

US policy in Central America under Trump appears to be shifting from bad to worse.

Two years ago a left-wing coalition was elected to govern Spains capital. Now it’s locked in a battle with the national government.

In the face of the monstrosity that is Trumpcare, we must demand Medicare for All.

Campaigns against fast fashion scapegoat working-class consumers while doing little to improve the conditions of garment workers.

Theresa May is clinging to power thanks to the support of one of the worst elements in UK politics: the far-right Democratic Unionist Party.

Georgia’s elites are changing the country’s constitution to forever foreclose the possibility of taxing the rich.

Chris Kennedy has thrown his hat and his family’s enormous wealth into the Illinois governor’s race. But does he really represent a progressive option?

Today’s French parliamentary election marks a new phase in plans for a grand coalition of anti-labor forces.

The general election marked a setback for the Scottish National Party. Is the independence dream dead?

Eight reasons why universities cant be the primary site of left organizing.

The results of the UK election are a disaster for the British ruling class.

J.K. Rowling, Barack Obama, the list goes on. Prominent liberals all opposed Jeremy Corbyn and it didnt matter.

The historian Eric Hobsbawm would have turned 100 today. During his life, he never lost faith that the future belonged to socialism.

I don’t care if he didn’t actually win he won. Jeremy Corbyn has given us a blueprint to follow for years to come.

Continued here:

The Root of Appalachia’s Problems – Jacobin – Jacobin magazine

CHOICE/LESS: The Backstory, Episode 3: ‘Some People Say It Was Part of Eugenics. We Say It Was Genocide’ – Rewire

Jun 14, 2017, 8:55am Jenn Stanley

Subscribe to CHOICE/LESS in iTunes,Google Play, or Stitcher, and follow Rewire on Soundcloud.

Sterilization abuse so far has played a role in every episode of CHOICE/LESS: The Backstory, but in our third installment,this abuse is front and center.

Charon Asetoyer is a Comanche activist and womens rights advocate. In this episode, she discusses the Indian Health Services extensive and deliberate campaign to sterilize thousands of Native American women in the 1960s and 1970swithout their informed consent.

Transcript (PDF)

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CHOICE/LESS: The Backstory, Episode 3: ‘Some People Say It Was Part of Eugenics. We Say It Was Genocide’ – Rewire

Was Loving v. Virginia Really About Love? – The Atlantic

Interracial marriage is at a historic high. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, couples with different racial backgrounds made up one in six new marriages in 2015a stark change from previous eras when even looking at someone across the color line with a hint of romance could be a matter of life or death. This radical shift is largely attributed to the Supreme Courts decision in Loving v. Virginia, which marks its 50th anniversary on June 12. In Loving, the Court struck down state laws banning interracial marriage, holding that such restrictions are unconstitutional.

Loving is widely praised as a case about law ceding to the power of love in the face of astonishing harassment and bigotry endured by interracial couples. The redemptive trope coming out of the Loving decision that love conquers all has also influenced other social movements, such as those leading to Obergefell v. Hodgesthe 2015 Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage.

The 1967 Loving decision therefore is often celebrated as an affirmation of love that made America a better and more progressive society. Theres just one problem.

Love is not what the case was really about.

At issue in the Loving decision was Virginias Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited interracial marriage and paved the way for a series of state laws designed to prevent racial mixing. Anti-miscegenation laws had been common in Virginia for centuries. But what often becomes lost in discussions about Loving is that this particular act was signed into law on the very same day the Virginia legislature passed another act that allowed the state to forcibly sterilize people with disabilities, including people labeled with derogatory medical terms such as feebleminded. Questions concerning the lawfulness of Virginias forced sterilization law led to another landmark Supreme Court decision in 1927, Buck v. Bell, in which the Court upheld its legality with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes infamously declaring three generations of imbeciles are enough.

‘Yall Sent Me to Washington at an Interesting Time’

Virginias dual passage of racial integrity and sterilization acts in 1924 highlighted another concern held by lawmakers beyond that of interracial love: the perception that the white race was in danger of being weakened by inferior traits and that laws were needed to promote good racial hygiene and public health.

As legal historian Paul Lombardo notes, these acts showed how marriage restrictions and forced sterilization were deeply connected strategies for promoting a broader agenda of eugenicsa popular social and political standpoint in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that used science, law, and medicine to weed out groups with what were taken to be hereditary defects (disability, poverty, criminality, etc.). Eugenics had been practiced in many nations across the globe and took various forms, including immigration restrictions, incarceration, and the genocides seen during the Holocaust. Supporters worked to encourage the demographic growth of so-called superior people of a predictable class, race, and ethnicity.

Eugenics was a failed political attempt at giving intellectual and scientific cover to what was nothing more than the gross racism and stigmatization of disadvantaged groups. The Supreme Court, in Loving, euphemistically referred to the time when these laws were passed as a period of extreme nativism which followed the end of the First World War. Tied closely to this nativism was the eugenic rearticulation of old entrenched biases that were not only skeptical of foreigners, but deeply invested in controlling reproduction as a means of preserving power for a particular slice of White America.

Within this context, it becomes clear that the issues involved in Loving extended beyond its current popular understanding as a tribute to romance. Indeed, for a case heralded for being about the boundless nature of love, there is surprisingly little discussion about this in the Loving decision apart from the appellants surname and rather dry assertions that marriage is a civil right. By contrast, consider this passage from the Courts opinion in Obergefell, which reflects Justice Anthony Kennedys tone throughout a decision that waxes poetically on loves virtues:

Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there. It offers the hope of companionship and understanding and assurance that while both still live there will be someone to care for the other.

The Loving decision instead responded to the eugenic aspect of Virginias Racial Integrity Act and how it was designed to prevent the perceived dilution of white racial purity. Rather than celebrating love, the Courts opinion states that laws against interracial marriage are unconstitutional because they are measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.

Understanding Loving v. Virginia from this perspective highlights exactly why it is important, 50 years later, to recognize the Courts decision in ways that go beyond affirming that love knows no racial boundaries. Loving v. Virginia continues to be relevant to modern discussions on racial intimacy, and speaks to contemporary social and political initiatives whose true purpose is often masked by distracting and disingenuous rhetoric. This can be seen in current government proposals aimed at banning travel from certain Muslim-majority countries, building a physical barrier on the southern border, revoking health care from millions of people, and decimating civil rights programs and social services that provide support for the most vulnerable. A robust understanding of Loving instructs us to peel back the superficial economic and political justifications for these contemporary proposals. This allows us to appreciate how they are often motivated by an eerily reminiscent Holmesian logic regarding who is weak and who is strong, who belongs and who doesnt, and who deserves to live and who should perish.

At its half-century mark, Loving v. Virginia should be celebrated for fostering multi-racial relationships that have brought joy to many families and made communities stronger. Yet, its also important to understand and appreciate its relevance to not only intimate relationships, but also relationships between government and those who are governed. Loving is a decision that implores us to reject the eugenic and supremacist remnants of a distant past and to pursue a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society. That, in a nutshell, is what love is truly about.

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Was Loving v. Virginia Really About Love? – The Atlantic

The Nobel Prize Sperm Bank Was Racist. It Also Helped Change the Fertility Industry – Smithsonian

The sperm in the Repository for Germinal Choice was intended to create ideal children, but for some prospective parents, it just offered them control over the process of having a child.

smithsonian.com June 9, 2017 6:00AM

Robert Klark Graham made millions with shatterproof lenses for eyeglasses and contact lenses. But he didnt stop there.

Graham, born on thisday in 1906, went on to foundthe Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank that was supposed to produce “super-kids” from the sperm of (white) high achievers, like Nobel Prize winners. This unprecedented attempt at controlling reproduction was quickly shunned by the broader public, but it helped to change the business of sperm donation in ways that continue to raise questions.

The Repository was opened in 1979 in Escondido, California, according to Lawrence Van Gelder for The New York Times. Among Grahams donors were three Nobel laureates. In fact, Nobel Prize sperm bank was the nickname that the initiative quickly gained in the press, according to David Plotz, writing inSlate. Ironic, considering that Graham himself walked away with a 1991 Ig Nobel for the repository.

After Graham tried to sell the press on his idea in 1980, Plotz writes, two of the laureates quickly backed out. Many saidwith reasonthat Grahams theories about to create “ideal” children seemed a lot like the eugenics movement of the early twentieth century that eventually shaped Nazism. All his donors were white and had to be married heterosexuals, among other criteria, and the bank would only supply sperm to women who were the same. In theory, Graham said, the bank would producechildren that were allwhite, intelligent, neurotypical and physically conforming to one ideal aesthetic.

William B. Shockley, the inventor of the transistor and recipient of the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics, was the only one to publically admit to being in the Repository, although Plotz writes that he never donated again. Shockleys longstanding reputation for racism and espousing evolutionary pseudo-theories that strayed far outside his area of expertise helped to discredit the bank.

Over time, Graham downgraded his promises from Nobel-winning sperm, wrote Tom Gorman for the Los Angeles Times in 1992, a decade after the first Repository baby was born. No women ever chose a Nobel laureate’s spermthe men were probably too old anyway, Graham rationalized laterand today there is no Nobel sperm in the bank, he wrote.

Although Grahams approach was quickly discredited, writes Plotz in a different article for The Guardian, some would-be parents still sought out Graham and his vials of so-called genius sperm. 218 children in all were born of sperm from the bank.

But the bank also had a wider influence on the fertility business itself, Plotz writes. Even for people who would find the ideals espoused by someone like Shockley morally repugnant, the prospect of having some control over the process of choosing a genetic parent for their child appealed to parents, he writes. Before Grahams sperm bank, receiving donor sperm was an anonymous experience that was entirely controlled by a physician. Parents knew little more than the eye color of their donor. Graham offered some parents an opportunity to feel safer about their choice of genetic material.

Today, sperm banks are more like Grahams approach than the previous one, and they offer significant donor details to prospective parents. The lure of choice is one of the marketing strategies of sperm banks, which are, after all, businesses. But the question of whether sperm banks are engaging in eugenics on some level has never really gone away.

Offering parents the chance to select for everything from health to intelligence means that sperm banks are still trying to make ideal children, writes George Dvorsky for Gizmodo. Its narrowing humanity at a time when were starting to accept many aspects of diversity, bioethicist Kerry Bowman told Dvorsky. For instance,creativity has a high association with some of the things banned by sperm banks, such as dyslexia.

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The Nobel Prize Sperm Bank Was Racist. It Also Helped Change the Fertility Industry – Smithsonian

Insane 80s Star Wars Theory Claimed Obi-Wan Is a Jesus Clone – MovieWeb

There’s no shortage of fan theories when it comes to Star Wars, and it seems like today we are exposed to them more than ever thanks to various fan generated websites and blogs. But these fan theories are nothing new. And in fact, they’re as old as the Star Wars universe. Who is Snoke, is he a wrinkled up Jar Jar Binks? Who are Rey’s parents? Would all of the Ewoks and half of Endor been destroyed during the Ewok Holocaust when the Death Star was blown to smithereens? Lucasfilm Story Book creative executive Pablo Hidlago decided to share an old theory from 1980 to show just how absurd these conspiracy theories look through the lens of time.

Hidalgo started a thread on his own official Star Wars Twitter, sharing a bonkers Star Wars fan theory from a 1980 Fantastic Collectors Edition magazine that bravely proclaimed that Jedis are clones of Jesus. Luke and Darth Vader are clones created by the Jedi, aka the “Jesus Eugenics Development Institute” and Boba Fett is Luke’s true father “Roberta.” Apparently “Roberta” Fett was the other one that Yoda refers to in The Empire Strikes Back, which we know to be untrue thanks to The Return of the Jedi. Obi-Wan is a clone of Jesus Christ, did you know that?

The magazine attempts to answer the Who, What, Why, and Where about The Empire Strikes Back to set up Return of the Jedi and it pays particular attention to Boba Fett. Boba Fett has always been a fan favorite, but did you know that he was originally a she? Darth Vader lied to Luke about being his father and Boba Fett is the real father, check out the paternity test again, Maury. “Roberta” Fett was thought to be the “last survivor of a group of Commandoes the Jedis exterminated during the Clone Wars, so she could rightfully hold a grudge against all Jedis, including Skywalker. Removing her armor, she tricked Luke’s father into falling in love with her, and led him to Vader’s trap.” Hopefully one day in about 20 years we can look back on all of conspiracies raised and see if they hold up as well as this one.

Star Wars has even gone on to earn its own religion, Jedism. Followers of Jedism use the Force as a guide to live life and have even tried to get Jedism to become an officially recognized religion. Jedism followers believe in peace, justice, love, learning, and benevolence. J.J. Abrams has even proclaimed that Star Wars is more than a movie franchise, that it’s an actual religion because of how seriously people love it. But this theory from 1980 is just straight up hilarious. Sure the Force alludes to spirituality and a way of living life, but that’s all. It’s the classic hero’s tale that’s as old as storytelling itself.

I can’t believe that I didn’t know that Jedi is an actual acronym that stands for Jesus Eugenics Development Institute. That’s some real imagination right there. Hidalgo’s commentary comes at just the right time for Star Wars fans waiting for any type of information about The Last Jedi. It’s fun to speculate and think about the theories, but take them with a grain of salt and try to have fun with it. Check out Hidalgo’s thread below.

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Insane 80s Star Wars Theory Claimed Obi-Wan Is a Jesus Clone – MovieWeb

Appeals judges see no problem with eugenics-compensation cut-off date – Durham Herald Sun

Durham Herald Sun
Appeals judges see no problem with eugenics-compensation cut-off date
Durham Herald Sun
For UNC Center for Civil Rights lawyers and their clients in a eugenics-restitution lawsuit, a March victory in the N.C. Supreme Court turned into a defeat Tuesday in the lower-level state Court of Appeals. Addressing the point on orders from the high

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Appeals judges see no problem with eugenics-compensation cut-off date – Durham Herald Sun

Surviving families of eugenics victims lose latest round in court fight to get compensation – News & Observer (blog)

Asheville Citizen-Times
Surviving families of eugenics victims lose latest round in court fight to get compensation
News & Observer (blog)
The North Carolina Industrial Commission oversees payments from $10 million that the General Assembly set aside in 2013 to compensate the people who had been sterilized between 1929 and 1974 under orders from North Carolina's Eugenics Board.
NC court upholds denial of eugenics compensationAsheville Citizen-Times
Judges: No payments for certain heirs of eugenics victimsWinston-Salem Journal
Court of Appeals panel rules heirs of eugenics victims won't be compensatedThe Progressive Pulse
Minneapolis Star Tribune –McClatchy Washington Bureau
all 7 news articles »

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Surviving families of eugenics victims lose latest round in court fight to get compensation – News & Observer (blog)

This bonkers Star Wars fan theory from 1980 says the Jedi are clones of Jesus – DigitalSpy.com

The return of Star Wars in 2015 kicked off a wave of rampant fan speculation and theorising that feels completely unprecedented.

… But it turns out that the galaxy far, far away is no stranger to bizarre theories that blatantly won’t turn out to be true, as demonstrated by a piece from a 1980 edition of Fantastic Films Collectors Edition.

Lucasfilm story group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo posted pictures from the article on Twitter, and things get very strange very quickly (via The Daily Dot).

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Between the frequent misspellings, the theory suggests that Luke and Darth Vader are actually clones created by the Jesus Eugenics Development Institute (or JEDI), and that Boba Fett is Luke’s father rather than Vader.

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Fett is also suggested to be someone called ‘Roberta’, although the theory still mostly refers to the character as ‘him’. Fett is also supposed to be the “other” (which turned out to be Leia) that Yoda mentions to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ghost.

As for Obi-Wan, it repeats that old favourite theory that he is really OB-1 a designation for a clone. In this case, he is actually a clone of Jesus. Yes, Jesus. This is possible because the Jedi date back to the time of the Roman Republic, which never fell in this alternate reality.

Feeling confused? So are we.

The theory was published half a year after the release of The Empire Strikes Back, so we dread to think what sort of fever pitch was reached before Return of the Jedi arrived in 1983.

Suddenly those theories about Force-sensitive trees and giant eggs don’t sound quite so outlandish, do they?

The idea of Luke being a clone actually predicts the storyline in the well-loved novel trilogy by Timothy Zahn published in 1991-93, which featured a cloned copy called Luuke.

As for fan favourite Boba Fett, he turned out to be a complete waste of space.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on December 14 in the UK and December 15 in the US, hopefully to answer our questions about the Jesus Eugenics Development Institute once and for all.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Digital Spy Facebook page and ‘Follow’ on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you’re all set.

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This bonkers Star Wars fan theory from 1980 says the Jedi are clones of Jesus – DigitalSpy.com

Trump’s Solar-Powered Border Wall Is More Than a Troll – The Atlantic

On Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump shared a new idea with congressional Republicans:

His vision was a [U.S.-Mexico border] wall 40 feet to 50 feet high and covered with solar panels so theyd be beautiful structures, the people said. The president said that most walls you hear about are 14 feet or 15 feet tall but this would be nothing like those walls. Trump told the lawmakers they could talk about the solar-paneled wall as long as they said it was his idea.

One person cautioned that the President wasnt presenting the solar-paneled wall as the definite solution, adds Jonathan Swan, the Axios reporter who first reported most of the news.

Despite the presidents insistence on getting credit, this is not the first time someone has suggested swaddling the wall in solar panels. During the governments call for proposals in April, a small, Las Vegas-based construction-supply firm named Gleason Partners suggested a suspiciously similar plan. It proposed building a wall of cement, steel, and solar panels. Each mile of wall would cost $7.5 million, it said, but each mile would also generate two megawatts of electricity. This power could then be sold to utilities on both sides of the border.

Never mind Mexiconow the sun would pay for the wall. (Or as Tom Gleason, the firms founder, told E&E News: The wall pays for itself.)

Gleasons proposal even included a mockup, which hints at how his firm would solve a tricky engineering problem. Solar panels usually go on roofs, not on walls, because the goal is to keep them out of shadow and expose their surface to as much sun as possible through the day. To get around this issue, Gleason angles two rows of panels slightly off the walls perpendicular:

In North America, solar panels also usually face south, toward the equator. So presumably the most expensive hardware on the wall would look toward Mexico.

From Trump, the idea seemed like a politically simplistic troll. Progressives will not magically come to support a divisive mega-project if it also subsidizes renewable firms. Environmental groups that believe the wall will hurt local ecosystems will still oppose the project even if it becomes carbon neutral. As Brett Hartl of the Center for Biodiversity said in a statement on Tuesday: An ecological disaster with solar panels on top is still an ecological disaster. With solar panels on top.

But it is not the first time that immigration restrictionists have borrowed environmental arguments to bolster their appeal. John Hultgren, a professor of environmental politics at Bennington College, filled a book with examples of the overlap between the two groups: the now aptly titled Border Walls Gone Green.

Some contemporary figures in immigration restrictionism began in the environmental movement. John Tanton, who founded three immigration-lobbying groups, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform, began his involvement in politics through environmental activism. He says he once lobbied the Sierra Club to adopt anti-immigration positions; when they demurred, he founded his own network of groups.

Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center calls Tanton the racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement. They cite a letter of Tantons held at the University of Michigan, in which he writes: Ive come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that. (The New York Times covered the relationship between Tanton and the SPLC in April.) Linda Chavez, a veteran of the Reagan administration, has said that Tanton is both anti-Hispanic and anti-Catholic.

Tantons own website describes him as a supporter of population stabilization and environmentally sustainable immigration numbers.

But the connections between pro-nature sentiment and anti-immigration politicsespecially at their most racistare strongest long before the modern era.

Some of the earliest American environmental groups had interesting and important connections to the eugenics movement, Hultgren told me. The most famous of these is Madison Grant, who worked to conserve huge swaths of American wilderness and helped create the national park system.

As Citylabs Brentin Mock wrote last year, Grant was also a eugenicist and white supremacist. His book, The Passing of the Great Race, served as a bedrock of American and European pseudo-scientific racism until the second world war. Hitler quoted often from Grants writing in speeches and allegedly corresponded with him. (F. Scott Fitzgerald also implies Grants work is a favorite of Tom Buchanans in The Great Gatsby.)

But Grants influence was not just theoretical: He had a material and long-lasting influence on U.S. immigration policy. His statistics and expertise informed the quotas of the Immigration Act of 1924, which banned almost all Asians and Arabs from migrating to the United States. It also placed quotas on the entry of southern and eastern Europeans. These rules effectively prevented many Jews from escaping Nazi Germany, and they were not fully repealed until the Immigration Act of 1965.

It may seem a casual coincidence that an American conservationist was also smitten with racism. But Grants views on the environment were inseparable from his adoration for eugenics. When he helped found the Save the Redwoods League, it was out of the same loyalty to the pure.

To Grant, the redwoods were threatened with race suicide in the same ways that whites were, says Hultgren. These folks really saw national purity and natural purity as being interconnected.

This was true also of Theodore Roosevelts nationalist project, which birthed the U.S. National Park Service. In a 1909 government report commissioned by President RooseveltA Report on National Vitality, Its Wastes and Conservationthe economist Irving Fisher spends a full chapter on Conservation by Heredity.

President Roosevelt has pointed out that race suicide is a sign and accompaniment of coming decay, Irving writes. A race that can not hold its fiber strong and true deserves to suffer extinction through race suicide. The decline of our Puritan stock … need not alarm us if we can replace it with a new influx from the West or from the vigorous stocks of Europe.

Hultgren notes that many environmental groups have now reversed their old anti-immigration positions. In 2013, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, and 350.org all embraced comprehensive immigration reform.

Andof coursemost contemporary advocates of immigration restrictionism do not make racial arguments or share Grants zeal for eugenics.

But the occasional overlap between conservationist and restrictionist rhetoric persists. The Federation for American Immigration Reform and other anti-immigration groups have recently used green-style arguments to push for new legal limits. A magazine ad from the early 2010s argued:

With every new U.S. resident, whether from births or immigration, comes further degradation of Americas natural treasures. Theres not much we can do to reclaim the hundreds of millions of acres already destroyed. But we can do something about whats left.

Stephen Colbert picked up on a TV commercial from the same coalition while in-character on the Report.

Yes, immigrants cause global warming, he said. Saving the planet by demonizing immigrants give liberals and conservatives something they can do together. Now, when a liberal yammers on about the record heat we had this winter, a conservative can say: Lets save the environment by building an electrified border fence that runs on alternative energy.

These Solar Death Panels, as his chyron put it, made for a laugh line in 2012. In 2017, they constitute a serious U.S. policy proposal.

Originally posted here:

Trump’s Solar-Powered Border Wall Is More Than a Troll – The Atlantic

North Carolina court upholds denial of eugenics compensation – Minneapolis Star Tribune

RALEIGH, N.C. Surviving relatives of people involuntarily sterilized by the state of North Carolina decades ago can’t get state compensation because those victims died before a legal cutoff date that determines who’s qualified, a state appeals court affirmed Tuesday.

A Court of Appeals panel unanimously upheld decisions by a state commission to deny compensation to three estates. The North Carolina Industrial Commission oversees payments from $10 million set aside by the General Assembly in 2013.

About 7,600 people deemed “feeble-minded” or otherwise undesirable were sterilized between 1929 and 1974. The law said victims still alive on June 30, 2013 could qualify to receive the money. Payments of $35,000 each have been made so far to about 200 people. The estates of those alive on that date but have since died could still receive payments.

See more here:

North Carolina court upholds denial of eugenics compensation – Minneapolis Star Tribune