Speaking of Nazi-Like Behavior...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Speaking of Nazi-Like Behavior...

I read this article on government-forced sterilization programs yesterday and was amazed at one of two things (I'm not sure which yet):
1. How ignorant I am with even the most important historical happenings
2. How pathetic it is that historical happenings like this are completely unknown to even people who think they are good at paying attention to the world around them.

Until as late as the mid 1970s, "[m]ore than 30 other states had eugenics programs" and that these programs
were ruled constitutional in Buck v. Bell, a 1924 Supreme Court decision that is still the law of the land. Roughly 70,000 Americans in all were sterilized before the notion fell out of favor, becoming linked in the public's mind to Hitler's Germany after World War II. But North Carolina is the first to appoint a panel to study what to do now for its victims, from health care and counseling to financial reparations.

It's no surprise who was targeted in the programs:
North Carolina's sterilization program zeroed in on welfare recipients. Over the last 15 years of its operation, 99 percent of the victims were women; more than 60 percent were black.
Despite being one of the main perpetrators of this terrible practice, at least North Carolina feels obligated to recognize its history and do something about it.

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