Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nazi America

A BBC documentary recalls that Nazism adopted many practices that was common in the so-called democracies . One was "science" of eugenics .

This year marks the centenary of the first eugenics laws passed in the United States.
Policies were drawn up in over 30 states in the US to sterilise women, men and children who were considered to be physically, mentally or morally 'defective'. But in reality the majority of those who were sterilised were simply poor women. More than 60% of those sterilised were black women. State records conservatively estimate that between 1943 and 1963, over 63,000 people were sterilised under the eugenics laws in America.The federal government has never acknowledged that any sterilisation abuses have ever taken place.

Between 1929 and 1974, across the state of North Carolina, more than 7600 men, women and children were sterilised. Documents from the state's eugenics board reveal how for nearly 50 years this unelected body authorised 90% of all sterilisation cases brought before it. Social workers used gossip in their reports for the Eugenics Board.

Elaine Riddick , grew up in North Carolina with a violent father and an alcoholic mother.
She believes that the state used her chaotic childhood as a justification to sterilise her.
"When I was 13, I was raped. I had my beautiful son and when they cut me open, I had a caesarean, they sterilised me at the same time," she said. "I didn't know anything about it until I was 19. I got married and tried to have a child. The doctor told me I had been butchered."

Elaine Riddick's form refers to "community reports that she was 'running around' late at night" and her "promisicuity" and her "inability to control herself" constituted grounds for sterilisation.

Five states, including North Carolina, have issued apologies for the sterilisations carried out under eugenics laws .

Saying sorry is far from being enough .

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