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North Carolina’s lone effort to make reparations for eugenics

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Readers are doubtless familiar with the eugenics scandal, driven by the belief that society could be improved by forcible sterilization of people whom natural selection had not eliminated.


In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Eugenics Compensation statute, and last week the state’s department of commerce began the long-awaited disbursement of financial reparations to victims of sterilization. Two hundred twenty living victims will receive checks of $20,000 each—220 checks, out of 768 claims. Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina sterilized at least 7,600 people. However mortifying the disparity here, we must give the Assembly credit for passing legislation that no other state has so far brought to a vote; by contrast, California has kept positively mum about its own similar history, which accounts for a third of all American sterilizations.

Yes, re California. See here (California accounted for one third of all known cases.)

Of course, it’s hard to put a price tag on preventing people from having children. One’s child could be a Nobelist, a terrorist, a careerist, a loving son who put his mom in the finest old age home in the district and visits weekly with the kids … It really amounts to the government deciding to prevent people from interacting with what life brings, for their own good. It should serve as a strong warning against all similar types of social engineering.

All the more so because in its day, eugenics was a “cool” cause, one that the smart set bought into. Don’t think jackboots in Berlin. Think cocktails in Manhattan.

(Yes, it was all true about the jackboots in Berlin. But to grasp what happened in the United States and Canada, think cocktails in Manhattan.)

See also: Eugenics may have been the best-organized philanthropic project of all time – philanthropy expert It was certainly Darwinism’s only important contribution to medicine.

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Need We Say It? "Directed Evolution" Is a Contradiction in Terms (...) This is not "natural selection and evolution." It is artificial selection -- a form of intelligent design. Artificial selection implies intelligent minds selecting roses, cattle, dogs or any other living organisms for a "desired function." It doesn't matter if the intelligent agent works by creating a random pool to select from, or outlines a carefully planned sequence of rational steps: selection by a mind for a purpose is intelligent design. (...)
I currently live in Virginia. The Eugenics test case selected for approval by the US Supreme Court was a "feeble minded" woman from Virginia. The Supreme Court FULLY agreed that The State could FORCIBLY sterilize any person who had been declared "feeble minded". In Virginia, that included anyone who was classified as a "hillbilly". No other testing was necessary. The German racial hygiene laws were simply translations of a law passed in California in 1919. Read "Better for All the World" or "War Against the Weak". Eugenics was a DIRECT extension of Darwinism. After pictures emerged from the Nazi death camps, Eugenics in the US kept a VERY low profile. But as noted, forced sterilizations in the US continued for almost 30 more years. mahuna

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