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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Eugenics
Posted: November 9, 2019 at 11:46 pm
Lewis Madison Terman was one of the most prominent eugenicists at Stanford. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Lewis Madison Terman was born in 1877 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Deemed a precocious and bookish child, Terman claimed to have performed his first psychology experiment at age 11. He received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1905 before coming to Stanford University in 1910, where he stayed until his death in 1956. Terman is best known for developing the Stanford-Binet IQ test, a development which made both him and Stanford University well-known throughout the United States. Termans interest in intelligence, however, was not it was motivated and shaped by Termans deep belief in eugenics.
Surpassed by perhaps only David Starr Jordan, Terman was the most influential Stanford eugenicist. He was a firm believer in attempts to improve the human race through selective and restrictive breeding. He joined and served as a high ranking member in many eugenic organizations (the Human Betterment Foundation, the American Eugenics Society, and the Eugenics Research Association), and worked alongside many others (such as the American Institute of Family Relations and the California Bureau of Juvenile Research). Terman was a central figure in the expanding network of American eugenicists in the early 20th century, a fact which can be seen clearly in his research interests.
Termans academic research as a psychologist was always linked to the furthering of his eugenic ideals. One of his major fields of study was gender and sexual deviance, as shown in his 1936 book Sex and Personality: Studies in Masculinity and Femininity. In this text, Terman set out to quantify sexual deviancy, using tests and questionaires to scientifically determine if an individual was sexually deviant, non-conforming to gender roles or a potential homosexual. Two years later, Terman extended these findings and argued that marriages could only be successful when parents obeyed tradition gender roles, as he argued in his 1938 book Psychological Factors in Marital Happiness. Terman, like many eugenicists, was dedicated to preserving the marriages of white Americans, promoting them to have eugenically fit children. In Building a Better Race, historian Wendy Kline argues that Termans motives behind both of these studies were rooted in eugenic thought. Terman did not just want to identify sexually deviant individuals: he aimed to promote the eugenic eradication of those who did not fit into his strict gender and sexual roles in the name of preserving the (white), happy heterosexual family.
But Termans most famous contribution to both eugenic movements and society at large was the Stanford-Binet IQ test. Terman did not invent intelligence quotient tests. Many existed before him, with the most prevalent being the Binet IQ test. Developed by French psychologist Alfred Binet, the Binet IQ test mixed quantitative and qualitative methods because Binet viewed intelligence as too multifaceted to be expressed by numbers alone. Terman, however, held a more simplistic view of intelligence. For him, intelligence was an innate trait which could be quantified and acted according to Mendelian theories of inheritance. With this in mind, Terman revised Binets test in his 1916 The Measurement of Intelligence, in which he devised a quantifiable scale of intelligence from idiocy to feeblemindedness to genius all of which could be determined with a simple test.
Early attempts to quantify intelligence included questions such as this one, in which test takers were asked to identify the prettiest face.
From its very conception, Termans Stanford-Binet IQ test had questionable applications. In The Measurement of Intelligence, Terman used his test to present an argument of IQ deficiency in Indigenous, Mexican, and Black communities, supporting theories of racial intelligence that other eugenicists, including Stanfords own Leonas Burlingame, often embraced. He argued that the dullness of these communities were racial, or at least inherent in the family stocks from which they come, and that there were significant racial differences in general intelligence.As historian Alexandra Minna Stern examines in her book Eugenic Nation, contemporary researchers (mainly Termans own students) used the IQ test to determine the intellectual worth of Mexican immigrants and communities, often concluding that Mexicans were racially inferior. Termans test was also used regularly to determine who should be sterilized in the name of eugenics: individuals with an IQ of under 70 (deemed feebleminded) were targeted for sterilization by the state, such as in the famous case of Carrie Buck. In the United States, over 600,000 people were sterilized by the state for eugenic reasons, often because of IQ test results. For many eugenicists, Termans research finally presented a way to efficiently and objectively judge the eugenic worth of human lives.
Even after Terman, IQ tests have been abused and misused for political and eugenic motives. Termans IQ test inspired similar aptitude tests, such as the SAT, which has been used historically and today to limit the quantity of marginalized people in the academy. In recent years, theories of racial intelligence have resurged in popularity one example is Charles Murrays influential 1994 The Bell Curve, often used as an excuse for racist exclusionary practices based on some of the same faulty assumptions as Termans original theories.
Many have criticized the very idea of intelligence existing as a quantifiable and inherited value. Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, for instance, in The Mismeasurement of Man, shows the flawed assumptions made in Termans belief in racial IQ and intelligence as an inheritable trait, showing instead that a) intelligence is far too complex to be understood as a Mendelian trait and that b) the IQ test likely does not measure intelligence (a rather abstract concept) at all. But even if intelligence could be quantifiably valued, Termans approach of ranking human ability, and the application of his methods in determining who was welcome in a eugenic society, would still be unacceptable. A number can never define the worth of a human being.
Lewis Madison Terman has the most complex legacy of the Stanford eugenicists. We, as gifted Stanford students, have a vested interest in believing in the value of IQ and quantifiable ability. We have a vested interest in upholding elite education institutions and in pretending that we are somehow more deserving of resources and prestige than anyone else. We have a vested interest in prolonging the myth that Stanford and other elite academies select only the best and the brightest. There is no building honoring Lewis Terman on Stanfords campus. Terman Fountain is, as the administration is quick to point out, named after his son, esteemed engineer Frederick Terman. However, Stanford University, as an elite and exclusionary institution and a gatekeeper of knowledge, is perhaps the greatest monument to Lewis Terman.
Contact Ben Maldonado at bmaldona at stanford.edu.
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Originally posted here:
Posted: at 11:46 pm
Fitzgerald was mocking Toms concern about the impending demise of white Nordics Americans of English and Scandinavian descent at the hands of subpar colored breeds from Southern and Eastern Europe. But a century ago such anxieties about what was called race suicide were shared by the most influential Americans of the age. An enthusiasm for eugenics, the belief that only men and women of superior racial stock should be encouraged to reproduce, fueled a fervor to sharply restrict immigration. Beginning in the years before World War I, that fervor was communicated by Boston Brahmins, progressive politicians, Ivy League academics, and widely read journalists. Above all, it was endorsed and promoted by scientists.
As Daniel Okrent documents in The Guarded Gate, a riveting new history of the anti-immigration movement of the early 20th century, the flames of racial xenophobia were fanned by respected men with scientific credentials experts in biology, zoology, anthropology, even paleontology and climatology. The threat posed to white Americans of Nordic ancestry by the unchecked influx of low-quality foreigners was not a figment of Fitzgeralds imagination. It was a matter of scientific and scholarly consensus, set forth as incontestable fact in biology textbooks, in prestigious newspapers and magazines, and in bestselling books by activists who saw catastrophe looming.
One of those bestsellers (thinly disguised in Gatsby) was The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy, by the Harvard historian and political scientist Lothrop Stoddard. Published in 1920, it bewailed the headlong plunge into white race-suicide and warned of the calamity Americans faced from the hordes of immigrant Alpines and Mediterraneans, not to mention Asiatic elements like Levantines and Jews. He foresaw cataclysmic possibilities, among them mongrelization and the end of white political dominion.
Stoddards book was effusively praised by Madison Grant, the nations most renowned conservationist and the chairman of the New York Zoological Society. Grant, to whom the media routinely turned for scientific insight, served on the National Research Council established by President Wilson to stimulate research in the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences. He was also the author of his own influential book of white-supremacist nativism, The Passing of the Great Race, which argued forcefully for an end to open immigration before it was too late. Immigrant laborers are now breeding out their masters, and killing by filth and by crowding as effectively as by the sword, he wrote.
Stoddard and Grant worked closely with Henry Fairfield Osborn, a Princeton-educated geologist and paleontologist, professor of zoology at Columbia, and longtime president of the American Museum of Natural History. In 1921, Osborn convened the Second International Eugenics Congress in New York, presiding over a glittering roster of scientific delegates that included Alexander Graham Bell. In addition to exhibits and papers on heredity and evolution, writes Okrent, the theme of immigration restriction was inescapable. In his welcoming address, Osborn proclaimed the urgency of barring the entrance of those who are unfit to share the duties and responsibilities of our well-founded government.
Again and again, the need to overturn US immigration policy above all by excluding Italians, Russians, Jews, and Asians was presented not as a radical political position but as a scientific imperative, something on which all educated people agreed. Science is our polestar," Stoddard averred. There were a few intellectual dissidents, but most skeptics eventually succumbed to the overwhelming scientific and progressive consensus.
The prominent biologist Charles Davenport, for example, disliked the idea that whole ethnic groups should be deemed undesirable. Yet by 1911, readers of his college textbook were informed that unless immigration rules were changed, the population of the United States will, on account of the great influx of blood from Southeastern Europe, rapidly become darker in pigmentation, smaller in stature, more mercurial, more attached to music and art, [and] more given to crimes of larceny, kidnapping, assault, murder, rape and sex-immorality than were the original English settlers.
Leading media voices echoed and amplified the scientists warnings. The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, The Century magazine, Colliers, The Saturday Evening Post all were on the nativist bandwagon, many invoking the authority of science in support of the anti-immigration crusade.
They had their victory. In 1924, Congress passed the harshest immigration law in US history, slamming the gates shut on virtually all non-Nordic immigrants. Before the law was enacted, 76 percent of newcomers were from the nations of Southern and Eastern Europe. That fell to 11 percent after the new law took effect.
The 1924 quotas remained in place for decades. Not even the rise of the Third Reich could induce Washington to lift them. In 1939, the SS St. Louis, carrying 900 refugees from Hitlers Germany, reached the United States. But the quota for German immigrants was filled. The ship returned to Europe, where the Holocaust was waiting.
A century ago, immigration restrictionists were glad to cloak their racial bigotry in the reputable language of science. Like Tom Buchanan, they readily believed those who assured them their prejudices were all scientific, and had been "proved by experts with advanced degrees. But a thing isnt true or false just because scientists say it is. Science is no more reliable a touchstone of right from wrong, or wise from foolish, than any other form of human inquiry. Like all human beings, scientists are prone to fanaticism and confirmation bias and the lure of popular acclaim. Skepticism is always in order when sweeping changes in policy are demanded in the name of science. What Okrent calls "the corrupting potential of scientific authority uncoiled with devastating effect in the last century. If we arent careful, it can do the same in this one.
Jeff Jacoby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jeff_jacoby.
Posted: at 11:46 pm
Premiering this week, Personhood is the latest film highlighting the state of reproductive rights in the United States and how efforts to undermine the constitutional right to abortion cause unnecessary harm. In addition to exposing how fetal personhoodor the anti-abortion idea of legal protection for fetusesimmediately threatens the lives and well-being of pregnant people, the documentary film covers important issues concerning what the future could hold if state and federal policy continues in this trajectory. Personhoodserves as a reminder that more organizing and political activism are needed to meet the challenges ahead.
Produced by Rosalie Miller and directed by Jo Ardinger, the documentary film follows Tamara Tammy Loertscherafter her incarceration as she rebuilds her life and fights to overturn Wisconsins Unborn Child Protection Act, also known as the cocaine momlaw. The law allows state officials to detain, imprison, and institutionalize pregnant people against their will due to current or past alcohol and substance use under the concept of fetal personhood.
As Rewire.Newshas reported, personhood laws seek to classify fertilized eggs, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses as persons, and to grant them full legal protection under the U.S. Constitution, including the right to life from the moment of conception. Wisconsin is one of at least 38 states that grant some form of personhood to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetusesmost states do so through fetal homicide lawsand is the result of the anti-choice movements decades-long effort to pit the rights of pregnant people against the alleged rights of fetuses.
Ardinger first had the idea for the film, her directorial debut, in 2011 after watching a Rachel Maddow segment on the Mississippi personhood amendment, which would have defined life as beginning at the moment of fertilization. Wed been watching the avalanche of these incremental restrictions, but what took me aback about Mississippi was the complete ban and all the other implications, Ardinger told Rewire.News in a phone interview. As I went deeper into the research, my question turned away from what if we become El Salvador? where they prosecute people for miscarriages, because I learned that we were already doing that. This is [about] so much more than abortion access.
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Ardinger had not heard much about the concept of personhoodor seen it in other films, and no one she spoke with knew about it, so she decided to make a film of her own to help expand the national conversation. Ardinger met Loertscherthrough the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), a nonprofit organization working to secure human and civil rights for pregnant and parenting people.
As the film documents, Loertscher struggled with thyroid issues and couldnt afford her medication after losing her job and health insurance. Eventually, she started self-medicating her thyroid-related depression and fatigue with methamphetamine and marijuana. Upon finding out she was pregnant, she stopped using these substances and immediately sought medical care to ensure the health of her fetus. She shared her drug use with members of her care team so they could provide appropriate treatment. Instead, she was detained in the hospital after someone there reported her. Under the law, her fetus was put into protective custody, assigned a guardian, and given a lawyer. Loertscher, on the other hand, was denied legal counsel when she asked for it and subsequently refused to participate in the proceedings, which went on without her.
The state-assigned guardian to her fetus didnt object to Loertscher being placed in jail, where she experienced conditions that are not conducive to a healthy pregnancy. She went without access to prenatal care, says she was abused by jail staff, and was eventually put in solitary confinement. After several weeks, she was released on the condition that she submit to weekly drug testing for the duration of her pregnancy.
Loertschers story isnt unique. In Wisconsin alone, more than 4,000 women have been affected by the Unborn Child Protection Act, as the film notes. Loertscher was just one of few of the legislations victims who fought back.
Across the United States, pregnant people who experience miscarriage or stillbirth, who choose to give birth at home, who seek abortion, or who are exposed to interpersonal violence are criminalized. Those most targeted for criminalization include low-income women and women of color. Astudy from NAPW published in 2013 found that 71 percent of targets for arrest, detention, and forced interventions are low-income women and 59 percent are women of color.
I became a filmmaker to tell stories like Tammys, Ardinger said. These stories get buried. For every one story that makes the headlines, its just the tip of the iceberg.
Tammy represents so many women who are going through this, Ardinger added.
The Cost of Fetal Personhood
Beyond sharing Loertschers story as an example of experiences happening around the country, the film highlights the growing threat of laws seeking to personify fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses. In particular, these laws have the potential to erase human rights for entire groups of people, to deter people from seeking health care by interfering in the patient-provider relationship, and to push the United States further along the slippery slope of eugenics.
In the film, NAPW founder and executive director Lynn Paltrow says, There is no way to add fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses to the Constitution without subtracting pregnant women. But the personhood movement is working to do just that. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the political right has been working to establish fetuses as constitutional persons under the law. In the Roe v. Wade decision, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun suggested that a fetus could be protected under the 14th Amendment if its personhood was established. Lawmakers introduced the first personhood legislation in Maryland only a week later.
The courts have issued mixed rulings on the issue. In early 2017, a federal court ruled Wisconsins Unborn Child Protection Act unconstitutional. But in July of the same year, the nations highest court had issued an order upholding the law. As a result, pregnant people in Wisconsin are still subject to a law that gives the state police power over pregnant women without any protections others would have under similar circumstances, explained Paltrow.
The cost of personhood for fetuses is the human rights of pregnant people. As witnessed inLoertschers case, legal proceedings could go on without regard to the actual pregnant person, as if they simply do not exist. This ideology is best captured in comments from Florida lawmaker Jos Oliva, who referred to pregnant women as host bodies and fetuses as lives in a TV interview earlier this year.
If you recognize fetuses or the unborn from the moment of conception as separate, you subtract women, Paltrow told Rewire.News in a phone interview. If [the personhood movement] succeeds, the people who get pregnant are going to lose their fundamental rights to privacy, to equality, to due process of law.
If the state can protect fertilized eggs, the moment a woman becomes pregnant and poses a risk, she could be locked up, Paltrow added.
Another concern raised in Personhood is that of eugenics. There is a long history in the United States of limiting the reproduction of certain groups of people through forced sterilization and forced or coerced contraception. In the film, Arthur Caplan, a professor of Bioethics at New York University School of Medicine, asserts that legally permitting fetal personhood could have long-term implications for eugenics in the United States.
Speaking by phone with Rewire.News, Caplan explained that the personhood movement could pave the way for a shift away from an ideology in which certain groups are eliminated to one with a focus on making the best babiesboth of which would be a form of eugenics. In the past we had eugenics programs brought about by certain government officials or doctors themselves who took it upon themselves to sterilize. In the future you could have much more systemic national programs. They could treat [embryos] like little people, like little patients, Caplan said.
According to Caplan, the scientific community could do more to challenge rhetoric equating embryos to people. They know that many embryos dont go on to become fetuses much less babies, he said. But researchers are afraid to lose their funding, so they have tended to run away from it.
Laws criminalizing pregnant people for substance use also have the effect of deterring them from seeking care and disrupting the trust between patients and providers. If someone can be detained or imprisoned because their care providers or anyone in a hospital or health-care facility can report them, it follows that they might be more hesitant to share information they believe could get them in trouble at a time when what they really need is help.
When Tammy got pregnant, she went to the doctor, and she did all the right things to get help, Ardinger said. Tammy was working to ensure the health of her fetus, and what they did was put her in a dangerous situation. Theyre discouraging people from getting help.
Advocates say there is evidence supporting this. For example, Tennessees expired law that allowed people to be charged with assault if they had pregnancy complications after using illegal drugs is seen as having discouraged people from seeking care. Cherisse Scott, founder and CEO of the Tennessee-based reproductive justice organization SisterReach, discusses it in Personhood. This law put a wedge between doctors and mothers, Scott said. The law basically turned their doctor into a warden into a probation officer into the police. So, [pregnant people] didnt want to go to the doctor anymore, Scott added.
Pregnant people using substances or experiencing other health-care challenges must be met with compassion, not punishment. Scott continued, SisterReach was involved in this work to shed light on the other things in peoples lives that may lead to them using drugs in the first place. And to shed light on the fact that there were not enough facilities to even service women.
So, where do we go from here? Scott said in the filmwe now have an opportunity to shift how people think about pregnant people, including low-income people and those who use substances.
At the end of the film, viewers are encouraged to vote against fetal personhood. The anti-choice movement has been very coordinated at filling political seats with people who will advance their agenda to strip women, queer folks, people of color, and low-income families of their human rights to reproductive autonomy and health care. Keeping them out of office and defeating anti-choice legislation by voting is important. But tackling these threats also requires those who believe in justice, in reproductive autonomy, and in human rights to do more than vote. It also requires pro-choice, justice-oriented progressive candidates to run for office.
Theres support for people who are interested in running. EMILYs List provides training and support to elect pro-choice candidates, and groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America endorse candidates who prioritize access to abortion and reproductive health care.
Personhood premieres at the DOC NYC Film Festival on November 8 and 14. The filmmakers will announce additional screenings over the next few months.
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Posted: at 11:46 pm
Sexuality educator Isy E. Abraham-Raveson, who specializes in consent, body image, and gender as it relates to children, discussed the history of reproductive rights and advocacy with roughly 20 attendees in Fong Auditorium Thursday evening.
Harvard College ReproJustice Action and Dialogue Collective hosted the event as part of programming for Harvard Sex Week. The discussion focused on how reproductive health issues have affected people of color throughout U.S. history.
Abraham-Raveson opened the discussion by asking attendees how they defined the phrase reproductive justice. Audience members responded with answers relating to abortion, consent, menstrual products, and the landmark 1973 abortion rights case Roe v. Wade.
She then asked attendees to reflect on their experiences related to reproductive health. Audience members spent several minutes writing down their thoughts, which they later shared in small groups.
Abraham-Raveson led participants through an exercise in which they constructed a timeline of historical issues related to reproductive violence, like sterilization and eugenics, as well as modern legal restrictions on access to abortion.
In another exercise, she asked attendees to categorize reproductive health issues that particularly affect certain groups, like immigrants, racial minorities, and BGLTQ people. Participants wrote down their ideas on posters and then shared them with the rest of the attendees.
Toward the end of the event, Abraham-Raveson led the group in a discussion on advocacy for reproductive health.
Isabel MarionSims 23 said she believes one of the most important parts of reproductive health advocacy is education.
It would act as inspiration for a lot more people to join in advocating, which would work as a catalyst for change in general, she said. The more people who know and think its a problem, the easier it is for things to change.
Guadalupe M. Jacobson-Peregrino 21 agreed with MarionSims and said education enables people to understand their rights and medical options available to them.
Many of the attendees said they found the event to be very educational. Maria Keselj 23 said she enjoyed learning about the history and context behind reproductive health issues.
Jacobson-Peregrino said she learned a lot from this event, even though she has taken a number of classes on the subject as a Women, Gender, and Sexuality concentrator.
Now, Im thinking about it as the colonization of womens bodies and how, in order to reverse it, we need to decolonize the female body, she said. How do we decolonize the female body? It brought a whole new jumping-off point for my mind.
Abraham-Raveson said after the event that her goal was to educate attendees and encourage them to share their experiences with one another.
I like to think of myself more as a facilitator than a presenter, Abraham-Raveson said. My mission is to get people excited about something important, get them in conversation about it, provide them with some knowledge that they may not have already had, and direct them towards action steps.
Posted: at 11:46 pm
Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a Humanities Washington Think and Drink event moderated by the inestimable Clyde W. Ford.
Ford is one of the most interesting people most of us will ever have the pleasure of meeting, and in addition to being a respected speaker hes also the acclaimed author of a number of books, including the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award-winning mystery The Long Mile. His latest work, Think Black: A Memoir, chronicles his years working for IBM, and his fathers stint there as Americas first black software engineer.
Think Black is something far bigger than a tech memoir. To begin with, its more than a memoir: Its a biography of Clydes father, John Stanley Ford, and his grandfather, John Baptist Ford, a Pullman porter during the 1920s. Its Clydes story of growing up black in New York City during the civil rights era, torn between parents whose only common ground seemed to be their intelligence, a love of music, and their desire to create a better world for their children.
Its an exploration of the intersection between technology and race in America during the 20th century, and in the world at large. Its also an indictment of IBM, a company that was involved in eugenics in the 1920s, whose technology was used to catalogue Jews during the Holocaust and blacks during South African apartheid, and which has recently come under fire for its creation of technology used by police departments to aid in racial profiling.
I found the books exploration of the inner workings of IBM particularly fascinating. A company that, to this day, presents itself as a forward-thinking problem-solver, its been involved in highly unsavory endeavors for most of its existence. Thomas J. Watson, IBMs founder and the man who hired Stanley Ford, publicly portrayed himself as a Branch Rickey-esque promoter of equality, and perhaps he did see himself as such, but he was a businessman first and foremost.
Within the company, he demanded cult-like obeisance and adoration from his employees; an official songbook was circulated in the organization containing lyrics like that man of men our friend and guiding hand, The name of T.J. Watson means a courage none can stem. Watsons hiring of Stanley Ford and other black men into mid-level positions with the company was a calculated move, as was his cultivation of a family-like atmosphere that kept employees comfortable enough to overlook certain injustices.
During Stanley Fords time with IBM, however, his warm feelings toward Watson cooled somewhat, and after he was denied promotion following Watsons death in 1956, he worked covertly to subvert IBMs hiring practices by coaching other black men on what would be covered on the hiring exam, to help them obtain positions with the company.
Think Black is a lot of things. Its a relatively short book that covers a lot of ground, succinctly and engagingly. Most importantly to me, its a warm and compassionate yet unflinching exploration of the fraught experience of being a black man in the emerging tech world of the mid- to late 20th century. It opens a window to a very important and largely unacknowledged place and time in history, and we are the better for having looked through it.
Think Black: A Memoir by Clyde W. Ford was published in September by Amistad Press. It retails for $25.99.
Emily Ring is manager and event coordinator for Inklings Bookshop. She and other Inklings staffers review books in this space every week.
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Posted: at 11:46 pm
Editors note: This commentary is by Robby Porter, of East Montpelier, a self-employed woodworker and the owner and partner in small scale hydroelectric projects. He is the author of Doodlebug, A Road Trip Journal.
Like the saying about bringing a knife to a gunfight, the Cornices are out-of-step with the times. In small, rural towns across this country, 30 or 40 feet above Main Street, proud, silent and sometimes crumbling, these decorative flourishes along the tops of buildings are clueless against the computer technology, faster than a bullet, that causes the empty storefronts and faded Space for Rent signs at street level.
With their mute communication, the Cornices tell of a time when place mattered, when a small town could be the point of intersection for commerce and ideas, hopes and lives. If their stoic brick and stone could express emotion, they would show bewilderment, sadness and confusion. The Cornices are from a time when a successful person would construct a beautiful building in their hometown not only as an investment, but also with the hope of bequeathing something of lasting value to future generations a commitment to the place they loved and considered theirs and special.
At these thoughts the Spreadsheets scoff, What are they? Sentimental indulgences, thats all. Beauty? Ha! Just one persons arrogant assumption that they know what looks nice to someone else. A building might last 100 years. Compound the extra cost of those cornices for a century and think of the value you could create. Sense of place? You mean xenophobic, provincial, jerkwater.
The Spreadsheets are an extension of the idea that free trade is always good and money is the measure of value. If it makes sense, by the logic of the Spreadsheets, to move manufacturing overseas or import resources from somewhere else, then little by little that logic prevails. The cost to place does not matter to the Spreadsheets, only the bottom line, a number on a computer screen. Place matters only in reference to shipping routes, low taxes and efficiency. Theoretically, the value the next generation gets is money, limitless, borderless, fungible, mobile and unattached.
The Cornices are an extension of place. Someone built something in a particular place, put their name on it and put extra effort into making it beautiful, a cost they were unlikely to receive a monetary return on, because that was their place and they wanted to make it better. People whose parents and grandparents came from countries where they could never hope to own property, made good in this country and then gave back to their communities in a thousand ways, some personal and forgotten but not unimportant and some enduring, like the Cornices. Now, as the ever-increasing gravity of big cities pulls young people away from the small towns and rural areas to jobs that pay a living wage, the Cornices remain, a reminder of a bygone age.
The era of the Cornices wasnt noble. Jim Crow, racism, eugenics, child labor, segregation, disenfranchisement, vast unmitigated poverty and ignorance were features of their time. And yet when you look at the Cornices you feel the commitment to place that emanates from them and the hopeful sense of a future that will be ever better.
The physical representations of the Spreadsheets, the box stores and enormous distribution centers, are as unattached and standardized as the shipping containers which deliver their wares from someplace far away. No commitment to place. No regionalism, provincialism, nationalism and theoretically no racism, sexism or anti-immigrantism, just individuals, atomized, maximizing their consumer choice and personal freedom to whatever extent their finances allow in a supposedly free market.
For a narrow subset of humanity, the promise of the Spreadsheets seems to be working well. These are the very wealthy and also some whose combination of advanced education and technical skills allow them to live more or less as global citizens, nominally citizens of a state, but actually moving their bodies and money around the world as suits their career or entertainment or investments the Elites. They are connected to whatever place and acquaintances suit them best at any given time. The one value they stand for is the system of globalization which allows them to continue maximizing their freedom and wealth.
There is another group reaping rewards from the Spreadsheets, the Hapless Beneficiaries. These are the truly destitute around the world, people living on a few dollars a day, the humanity neglected by the rest of humanity. The Spreadsheets, in their voracious appetite for cheaper labor commodity, have discovered that the hands and lungs of this group are just as able to perform hard and repetitive work as more expensive bodies elsewhere. This reality causes rejoicing by the Elites because it is the perfect counterpoint to the destruction wrought by the system that benefits them. Look, a poor person who used to live on one dollar a day now living on two dollars a day. A 100% increase in wealth. Globalism floats all boats!
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The gains received by the Hapless Beneficiaries and the Elites have come at great cost to the rest of us. Vermont has been spared the worst, so far. The rural Midwest and Appalachia have been less lucky. Cities of a certain size seem to be able to maintain their center of gravity. But all across the country the suction created by the Spreadsheets is pulling communities and people apart. The republic is divided against itself, red against blue, urban against rural.
In Trumps opening campaign salvo the Mexican border and the illegal immigrants crossing there were convenient and exploitable symbols for the destruction of the American middle class caused by the borderless and hard-to-picture Spreadsheets. The vulgarity and racism with which Trump imagined the consequences of open borders diverted the mainstream media, always suckers for a sensational story, from comprehending the enormity of the underlying problem. Trumps language condensed the problem and a solution with compelling imagery Mexican rapists and a wall. If that seems like an oversimplified explanation, it is, but the savant salesman closed the deal and now hes president.
Whether Trump logically understood the connections he was making or just used his magical salesman powers to intuit the connection, like a jazz musician instinctively improvising on a riff, is an open question. When it comes to selling, he is either an intuitive genius or a calculating one a question of tactical importance for his political opponents. As for the rest of us, assuming the republic survives his administration, what matters is that the people in power start thinking seriously about the consequences of running the country on the logic of the Spreadsheets for the benefit of the Elites.
The fact that Trump is the messenger who finally got through with this message shows how isolated the Elites are from the reality most citizens live in. A man whose only known value is money, who is the walking embodiment privilege, whose business tactics involve systematically screwing small tradesmen and ripping off students, this caricature of elitism is what finally got the rest of the elites to recognise that perhaps it is wrong to abandon everything that doesnt smell like money, that the accuracy of the phrase fly-over-states denotes moral failure rather than wit, that everything cant be priced in dollars.
However flawed the product being sold, every successful sales pitch has to contain a kernel of truth. Donald Trump recognized the truth that place is defined by borders and that many Americans feel displaced within their own country. What it means to be part of a place or a country is to have a connection beyond the purely practical or monetary. This idea of value is unquantifiable by the Spreadsheets and therefore incomprehensible to them. If the price is the same, its all the same to the Spreadsheets who stand only for money and its ability to flow unimpeded around the world relentlessly seeking a better return.
Convincing nearly half the country that he, Donald Trump, an elitist who started life making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as a toddler-landlord, would reverse the destruction caused by the Spreadsheets, this was salesmanship as masterful as the famous quip, The prettiest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist. The devil captures souls by offering them something they desperately want, in this case, fulfilling the longing of many people to believe that someone in power would protect their place instead of selling it to the highest bidder.
To rephrase the Rabbi Hillel, If I am not for a place, what place will be for me? But if I am only for a place, what am I? If not now, when?
For all of human history, there seem to be two contradictory actions people will resist until the last drop of their blood has been spilled. The first is any attempt to usurp or relocated them in any way, violently or through persuasion, from the place they view as their homeland, and this applies no matter how harsh or inhospitable the place is.
The second is any attempt to prevent them from leaving their homeland, if they want to, and seeking a better life in some other place, no matter the risks. People will set off on a flimsy raft across a shark-filled ocean, or walk hundreds of miles carrying small children just for the chance of a better life someplace else.
The value of money to the Spreadsheets is in existential conflict with the primal human desire to be connected to a place or to seek a new place.
When the forces of free trade cause a factory to move, the Elites sigh and shrug. Sad, but the market has spoken. Then they move along to a bigger city or a different country. Perhaps they even have to sell their house for less than they paid for it, a capital loss they can no doubt offset against share price gains in the company that will now have lower labor costs in the new place. The people left behind, who either love their place more than they love money, or dont have enough money to leave for a new place, they suffer as do the buildings and roads and schools.
When desperate migrants fleeing economic or climate or political disruption flood over a border, the Elites, connected to no place, are perplexed by the stench of racism rising from the people who already live in that place. What did they expect, that communities and voters drowning under decades of stagnant wages and billowing addictions would all smell sweet when they were swamped with immigrants?
The Spreadsheets dismiss connection to place as an outdated notion, an anachronism like the idea that your last name reflects where you are from. They say that place no longer matters, that in a global economy we all live on one place, the Earth, and we should move around as market forces demand.
But this idea fails even more dramatically on a global scale than it does on a local one. The future habitability of the Earth, the place we all share, is of no concern to the Spreadsheets. The same Spreadsheet logic that inexorably destroys small communities is just as steadily destroying the climate that gave rise to human civilization. Running the world for the interests of people who only value money will have us fighting with each other over who inherits a planet none of us can live on.
Like the rabbis aphorism, its both at once. Were going to have to devise a system that respects our individual connection to place and doesnt destroy the place we all call home. Its going to have to be a system with borders and trade, a system that allows people to migrate but doesnt displace people who want to stay in the place they call home. The principles that form the foundation of this new system will not be measured by money alone but will have to value people and their connection to place. If that sounds like a difficult balance to strike, no doubt it is, but as the rabbi points out, the time for this change is always now.
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Posted: October 27, 2019 at 3:23 pm
One year ago today, a white nationalist stepped into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 Jewish worshippers. Before his shooting, Robert Bowers made clear in a social media post that he believed killing Jews would help block non-white immigrants from entering the United States and ensure the survival of his White race.
Last week, white nationalist Patrick Crusius pleaded not guilty to killing 22 mostly Latinx people in an August 3 mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart. Before the attack, the 21-year-old posted a manifesto online, which said the shooting was a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas and was inspired by the great replacement.
As a Mexican American and as an American Jew, we see the threat of white nationalism affecting our communities firsthand. And as researchers at the social justice think tank Political Research Associates, we spend our days analyzing the strategy and rhetoric of these anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant movements across the right wing.
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Our research has shown us that its not just isolated white nationalist shooters or fringe neo-Nazis with tiki torches who rail against immigrant invasion and replacement and frame Jews as conspiratorial manipulators. In the era of Trump, these views also animate the rhetoric and policy of mainstream right-wing leaders. PRAs new report, Taking Aim at Multiracial Democracy: Antisemitism, White Nationalism, and Anti-Immigrant Racism in the Era of Trump, traces the interconnections between anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy, from White nationalists to the White House.
White nationalist shooters like Bowers and Crusius imagine that immigrants of color and forces of multiculturalism pose an existential threat to the identity and demographic cohesion of the white race, an imagined crisis they call white genocide or the great replacement. In their eyes, the only way to preserve a future for the white race is to establish a homogenous ethnostate where whites are the demographic majority, and from which non-whites must be purged. Dogmatic opposition to any and all non-white immigration is central to this worldview.
Anti-Semitism is also central to white nationalism.
According to white nationalists, for more than a century, Jews have covertly worked to loosen U.S. immigration policies and engineer a slew of progressive forces, including the civil rights and feminist movements. White nationalists believe that the goal of Jews is to gradually corrode the demographic, cultural, and ideological pillars upholding traditional white U.S. civilization. The organized Jewish community, wrote Greg Johnson, publisher of the white nationalist periodical Counter-Currents, is the principal enemynot the sole enemy, but the principal enemyof every attempt to halt and reverse white extinction.
Over the past year, white nationalist shooters like Bowers and Crusius have attacked Jewish, Latinx, and Muslim communities, while several more planned attacks have been thwarted. These white nationalists seem to believe they are blocking great replacement and protecting the white race from extinction. They encourage others by sharing their ideas and tactics with the broader white nationalist movement online before ultimately carrying out each attack independently, enacting a strategy of leaderless resistance championed by white nationalist leaders for decades. Their movement enjoys an expanding base of potential support, aided by misogynist ideas that have also deeply influenced white power shooters. Without appropriate interventions, we can expect these attacks to continue and to escalate.
These ideas werent solely propagated through a violent white nationalist fringe. Right-wing elected officials and Fox News anchors regularly threaten that an invasion of non-white immigrants is causing massive demographic changes in America, and insinuate that a hidden Jewish conspiracy lurks behind this threat. This rhetoric is deployed in different ways, putting all of our communities in danger.
Iowa Republican congressman Steve King uses the great replacement theory to justify attacks on bodily autonomy and support abortion bans, while attacking immigrants. If we continue to abort our babies and import a replacement for them in the form of young violent men, we are supplanting our culture, our civilization, King said. Increasingly, right-wing elected officials such as President Trump, and U.S. Representatives Matt Shea, Chuck Grassley, Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, and others traffic in thinly veiled anti-Semitic memes.
Right-wing politicians blame the so-called immigrant invasion on a conspiracy of globalist elitesan increasingly prevalent anti-Semitic trope, evoking a shadowy cabal behind progressive causes and political and financial institutions. They funnel much of their rhetoric toward liberal Jewish philanthropist George Soros, with the implication that Jewsas a peopleare all somehow globalist elites. By the time of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, a conspiracy that Soros was seeking to undermine American sovereignty by funding a migrant caravan had been championed for over a week by right-wing politicians and Fox News anchors, and had reached hundreds of millions on social media, boosted by this mainstream exposure.
Mainstream media can also be complicit in normalizing racial animus and deploying white nationalist rhetoric. Fox News anchors such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham regularly broadcast great replacement and white genocide rhetoric to millions on their prime-time shows, earning the praise of David Duke and other white nationalists. Diatribes against Soros and globalists appear regularly as well.
Ostensibly centrist and liberal publications can also be complicit. A few weeks before the mass shooting in El Paso, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens decried Spanish being spoken at a Democratic debate and wrote that the party makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us. Similar points were made in Crusius manifesto. Whether intentional or not, Stephens softened the edges of the great replacement conspiracy theory in the pages of the New York Times.
The organized anti-immigrant movement helps normalize the toxic stew of xenophobia and anti-Semitism as well. Anti-immigrant groups like the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform were once thought of as political fringe groups, founded by a white nationalist who advocated for eugenics. These organizations have worked tirelessly to normalize their rhetoric and gain political power. Now in Trumps America, the deeply harmful anti-immigrant policies these groups spent decades advocating for are coming to fruitionand former leaders of these anti-immigrant organizations now hold key positions in federal immigration agencies.
Not surprisingly, FAIR and CIS have dabbled in anti-Semitic rhetoric as well. Days after the Pittsburgh shooting, CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian promoted the conspiracy that Soros was funding the migrant caravan. In 2016, FAIR sued the Obama administration seeking records of its collaboration with open-borders globalist, George Soros and featured an expos at its annual Board of Advisers conference of Soros big money network to destroy U.S. borders. Other prominent anti-immigrant pundits have also trafficked in anti-Semitism, including Michelle Malkin, who argued in a September 2019 appearance on Fox that global financiers including Soros are colluding to undermine American sovereignty by sabotaging our will when it comes to enforcing strictly immigration law.
In these ways, right-wing elected officials, media pundits, and social movements fuse anti-Semitism with anti-immigrant racism to mobilize millions behind an exclusionary nationalist agenda. Millions are trained to view immigrants not as human beings seeking a better life, but as pawns of subversive elites, weaponized to undermine American sovereignty and identity.
Many are led to embrace inhuman anti-immigrant policies, believing theyre joining in illusory revolt against globalist elites. This conspiracism fans the flames of ultranationalism, demonizing immigrants and Jews as absolute Others of the America First project who must be expelled to preserve national identity, traditional values, and Western civilization.
When right-wing leadersincluding elected officials and the president of the United Statesvoice anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant conspiracy theories, it grants these ideas legitimacy and a massive public forum, helping to create a climate that encourages white nationalist attacks on Jews, immigrants, Indigenous people, and Black and Brown people. Because of this mainstreaming, anti-Semitism has become a potent force in mainstream right-wing U.S. politics, and will likely escalate as we approach the 2020 elections. Non-white immigrants, Muslims, Black folks, other people of color, Jews, and women will also continue to be principal targets of white nationalist violence.
To honor the memories of those killed in Pittsburgh and El Paso, we must organize together for policies that advance racial and economic justice, and build safety through solidarity by showing up for each othernot only when our communities are attacked by ICE raids, exclusionary policy, or white nationalist violence, but also and critically as were developing our own alternative vision for multiracial and feminist democracy. This looks like resisting attempts to divide us, and requires engaging with our differences. Through our shared understanding of the Rightin both mainstream and white nationalist versionswe can overcome the tactics used to exclude, incarcerate, disenfranchise, criminalize, and scapegoat our communities and silence our allies. For it is the very communities targeted by white nationalism that can, through deep solidarity and the practice of building collective power, form the cornerstone of a reconstructed We, the people.
If we are to defend the safety and deepen the vibrancy of our communities, we must understand how anti-Semitism, racism, and anti-immigrant rhetoric work together to create a cohesive ideologyand we must interrupt this totalizing, conspiratorial narrative with a bold, expansive vision of real, inclusive, feminist, multiracial democracy that allows all of us to thrive.
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Posted: October 25, 2019 at 2:43 pm
Two weeks ago (in Preterm Cleveland v. Himes), a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit barred the state of Ohio from enforcing its law that prohibits medical providers from performing an abortion if they have knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion, in whole or in part, because her baby has been diagnosed as having Down syndrome.
In her majority opinion (joined by chief judge Guy Cole), Judge Bernice Bouie Donald declared that the Roe/Casey regime confers a categorical right to abortion before viability. (Donald was appointed by President Obama, Cole by President Clinton.)
In her dissent, Judge Alice Batchelder (an appointee of President George H.W. Bush) argued that the undue-burden analysis under Casey instead requires a fact-intensive inquiry that also takes into account the States interests and the benefits of the law, not just the potential burden it places on women seeking an abortion. Having failed to conduct that inquiry, the majority and the district court had no basis for enjoining the law.
Batchelder further pointed out that the Supreme Courts ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) allowed the federal ban on partial-birth abortion to apply before viability. She also invoked Justice Thomass observations (from his forceful concurring opinion last spring in Box v. Planned Parenthood) that laws like Ohios promote a States compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics and that the Courts abortion rulings do not require states to allow eugenic abortions.
Im pleased to see that the state of Ohio has today filed a petition for rehearing en banc. The petition argues that the panel majority erred when it concluded that there is a categorical right to a pre-viability abortion: Indeed, Casey itself upheld a law prohibiting minors from getting abortions without parental consent or court approvalthat is, a law that banned those who could obtain neither consent nor court approval from getting an abortion. The petition also emphasizes the two critically important state interests that the law advances:
First, anti-eugenics laws protect the dignity of people living with conditions or traits targeted for abortion. The practice of targeting unborn children with Down syndrome for abortion devalues the lives of people living with Down syndrome.
Second, anti-eugenics laws are necessary because eugenic abortions do deep damage to the integrity of the medical profession. [Quoting Batchelder dissent.] Humans are not show dogs or racehorses. Every human life matterscertainly the people of Ohio may enact laws reflecting that viewand the medical profession [which actively promoted eugenic solutions in the early 20th century] must never again be associated with a contrary view.
Posted: October 24, 2019 at 11:51 am
Surf City Beginning in 1912, the people of the New Jersey Pine Barrens were under attack and faced extermination. It didnt come from an enemy army or disease, but from the modern science of eugenics and the progressive political movement of the day. Two government-funded reports had labeled the residents in the press as incestuous inbreeders who lived a life of crime. Soon, shouts of what will we do with those people resounded from the states urban centers. It wasnt long until the politicians answered the call.
The April 23 edition of the Camden Courier reported, The startling conditions that have been reported as existing in the pines of Burlington county, by Miss Elizabeth Kite, will be investigated by the grand jury summoned at the opening of the term of court of Burlington county yesterday. Action along this line has been caused by the publication of Miss Kites report. Attracted by Miss Kites touch upon the alleged unlawful conditions and responding to suggestions made by the public press, Prosecutor Atkinson had Miss Kite summoned to appear before the grand jury.
On May 13, the Asbury Park Press told readers there had been some action.
The grand jury also disposed of its investigation into alleged immoral conditions in the pines of Burlington county, as presented in recent reports by Miss Elizabeth S. Kite. There was action in one case, Gardner Hendrickson of Southampton township, being indicted for bigamy. He thought, he declared, because his wife had married his brother, he had a right to marry another woman.
The problem was also handed over to the state saying, The grand jury in its presentment stated that it was the duty of the state to provide that the propagation of deficient classes be stopped by the enforcement of adequate laws made for the purpose.
By the spring of 1913, Gov. Woodrow Wilson, who signed a bill authorizing forced sterilizations, had left the state to become president, leaving behind his hand-picked choice, James Fiedler, to serve as temporary governor.
On June 26, the Paterson Call announced, Acting Governor Fielder, moved by the recent report of Miss Kite on immorality in the section of South Jersey known as the pine belt, will make a personal tour of inspection tomorrow to study the habits of the people in that section. The executive intends to spend the entire day in the country embraced in the exhaustive report of Miss Kite. If there is any immorality going on Mr. Fielder wants to see it.
Today what took place would be called a media circus, as a governor went in search of immorality. The Asbury Park Press of June 28 explained, Following a strenuous days tour of the notorious belt the executive diagnosed the trouble with the inhabitants of the pine lands. Discussing the subject with a staff reporter from The Press he set forth his views in no uncertain words. He laid the blame to a great extent at the door of those who live among the people whose morality is practically null and who have raised no hand to aid them. (H)e suggested that he would use his influence to bring the grand juries of the counties affected to indict those whose vices are responsible for the mental, moral and physical degeneration of the inhabitants of the belt.
The governor had other dignitaries traveling with him.
The Rev. A.W. Bostwick a member of the party who made the tour suggested during the day that the state establish segregation colonies where the mentally defective could be sent and where the immoral could be detained. Even more radical surgical steps toward the obliteration of the deplorable conditions were spoken of but neither appealed to the executive as practical. In the former case the segregation, it was argued might work toward the introduction of more revolting actions and the second would require trial.
Being a good politician and thinking about re-election, Fielder proposed a gentler remedy.
He advocated the introduction of properly censored motion pictures, illustrated lectures, and any form of amusement that would serve to interest the people in a cleaner form of living. He said that from his observations he did not think that it was due so much to the fact that they were imbued with a desire toward immorality as it was that they were uneducated, illiterate. They must first be taught what they must not do and then it will be time to show what they must do. On his trip today he found much that needed immediate remedy.
The Press concluded, The need of social workers was strongly apparent to the governor when he entered a little two room house where the front room served, he said, for living room, bed room, kitchen, dining room and hen house. He said that while he was in the front room the chickens were walking over the bed, and the house was in a filthy condition. In the heart of one of the principle towns in the belt he found a man and woman dwelling together with children, tho, they had never been married. Everyone in town knew it, he said but paid no heed to the effects that might come.
While the Asbury Park newspaper was generally sympathetic, the New York Sun took a hard line.
NEW JERSEY should do something quickly about the Pineys, that degenerate race which dwells in the sand and pine barrens in the heart of the State, decided acting Governor James E. Fielder on Friday night after an all-day trip through the wilder parts of Burlington county. Not much longer should these degenerate descendants of a fine stock be allowed to multiply and inbreed to swell the States list of public charges, he declared. Segregation will be tried and perhaps sterilization to stop the birth of idiots and criminals and defectives. Social centres are to be established in the little red school-houses. The decent folk of the district are to be pilloried if they do not see that the law is enforced against their worthless neighbors.
To the Sun, Fiedler didnt seem as kind.
I have been shocked at the conditions I found. Evidently these people are a serious menace to the state of New Jersey because they produce so many persons that inevitably become public charges. They have inbred and led lawless and scandalous lives till they have become a race of imbeciles, criminals and defectives.
The state must segregate them, that is certain. I think it may be necessary to sterilize some of them. They tell me there are as many as 1,500 right here in Burlington county and several thousand in the pine belt of the state.
For the children we must have social centers in the schools, and these would do something for the grown persons. There must be sharp heed that the children attend school, and it will be possible to educate parents in many cases.
He concluded his interview with The low mentality of these people is the great handicap, and it is plainly responsible for the low moral standards among them. Lack of education is another factor, and the universal poverty and the fact that the children all have to go to work at a tender age contribute to keep these people down. But from what I have seen today I believe that the Pineys largely know their plight. They are now generally sending their children to school. They are no longer indifferent to whether the child can read or write. There is hope for a race that knows where it stands. But I will act on the situation at once.
Segregation camps and sterilization or movie theaters and recreation centers which way would the state of New Jersey go when it came to dealing with those people in the pines?
Next Week: the colony.
Posted: at 11:51 am
TVF International sends slate to MENA
Indie factual distributor TVF International has secured a raft of sales to broadcasters across the Middle East and North Africa region.
Pan-MENA news network BBC Arabic picked up a package of titles, including Attitude Pictures In My Mind series; You, Me and Eugenics (Furnace for BBC); and Prisons Uncovered, the one-off special commissioned by Spring Films ITV.
Al Jazeera, meanwhile, has licensed a package of 35 hours for the Documentary Channel. The package includes: New Species(pictured), a ZDF/ARTE/Globo co-production; and Channel News Asia commissions Algorithms: How They Rule our World and Coming Clean About Green.
For Discovery Familyin MENA, the pay-TV broadcaster licensed seasons one and two of Raw Recruits, a Burning Bright production for Channel 5.
Discovery also picked up the CW-commissioned magazine series Did IMention Invention? and Choice TVs The Healthy Food Guide.
Pan-MENA channel Alhurra licensed two one-off current affairs films from Channel News Asias Undercover Asia strand and the history doc Partition.
Lastly, satellite provider OSN acquired the one-off documentary Apollos New Moon.
Big Brothertravels to Australia
Australias Seven Network has picked up Endemol Shine Groups Big Brotherfranchise the sixth comeback for the format this year and the first outside Europe.
The series, produced by Endemol Shine Australia, returns to the region in 2020 for the first time in six years, ushering in a new era of the global reality competition format.
Viewers can expect a dynamic new house and new rules designed to create show stopping twists.
DOK Leipzig to award record-setting prize money
DOK Leipzig plans todole out 82,000 (US$91,000) at this years festival, in addition to non-cash prizes valued at 11,000.
The non-cash prizes can be used by filmmakers to develop projects.
Additionally, all the Golden Doves in the long film competitions are endowed by prize sponsors for the first time.
German pubcaster MDR will once again sponsor the Golden Dove in the International Competition. The Medienstiftung der Sparkasse Leipzig is contributing the prize money for the Next Masters Competition, as in previous years.
Three new awards will be presented at DOK Industry,the festivals platform for film professionals: Development Prize for the Best Female Documentary Film Project for a Female Director, the D-Facto Motion Works-In-Progress Prize and the EWA Womens Talent Development Award.
A total of 24 awards will be presented at the Leipzig, Germany-based documentary festival, held Oct. 28 to Nov. 3.
Sportel Awards recognize documentaries at 30th event
Jaime Murciegos filmBoxgirls andVincent AlixsPresque parfait (Almost Perfect) were awarded at the annual Sportel Awards Ceremony.
Spain-based Murciego took home thePeace and Sport Documentary Prize at the event, held Oct. 21 in Monaco. Presque parfaitfrom Alix and France premium television channel Canal+ was presented the Jury Prize.
Short documentary The Guardian Angel of Nazar from Mikey Corker (Austria) and Red Bull Media House earned the Discovery Prize.
The international competition jury is presided over by Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.