Skip to comments.‘Reckless Hands' looks at state's history with eugenics (Oklahoma)
Posted on 08/03/2008 10:18:59 AM PDT by wagglebee
Oklahomans may be surprised to learn the state shares a dark past with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Eugenics, the wonder science of the early 1900s, hailed by academics worldwide as a means to improve a race by sterilizing those who possessed serious heredity defects, was also embraced by Gov. Alfalfa Bill Murray. This book, "In Reckless Hands: Skinner v. Oklahoma and the Near-Triumph of American Eugenics (W.W. Norton, $24.95) by Victoria F. Nourse, examines how a scientific theory about nature was transformed into the basis of social policy ordained by the power of the state of Oklahoma.
The case's backdrop began in 1927 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a forced sterilization of a feebleminded girl in the case of Buck v. Bell. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "Three generations of imbeciles [were] enough. The law deferred to the state of Virginia's right to regulate health and safety.
Jack Skinner, 24, held in the McAlester prison for stealing 23 chickens and armed robbery, challenged the 1935 Oklahoma law that mandated sterilization for undesirable persons in prisons or state asylums. Subject to the law were three-time repeat criminals or the feebleminded. The law mandated his sterilization before he could return to society after his sentence was satisfied.
The book's title comes from a line in the 1942 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Skinner v. Oklahoma striking down this Oklahoma law, warning that "in reckless hands an entire "race or types might "wither and disappear. Not coincidentally, this was the year Nazis were trying to eradicate the Jewish race on the theory of natural inferiority. Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas can produce horrible consequences. Yet, as late as the 1960s, more than 100,000 people had been sterilized under U.S. federal health and welfare programs, the author writes.
Nourse, a law college professor at Emory University, provides a fascinating story of gritty and determined Oklahoma lawyers who took Skinner's case to the nation's highest court. This book should appeal to general readers of Oklahoma history and those interested in the modern science of genetics, which likewise promises a better future through the selection of desirable genetic traits. Will the history of human engineering repeat itself?
Members of the culture of death regularly become offended when it is pointed out how similar their agenda is to Nazism.
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America was far ahead of Germany in eugenics in the 20’s and 30’s.
And Roe v. Wade has taken it to levels that Hitler never even dreamed of.
Black America is starting to get wise to the liberal genocide against them.
I still think Eugenics could play a part in America, anyone with a liberal, left wing agenda( a test will be given)should be sterilized. Would solve a host of problems, likewise we could get the muslims in on it also, two birds with one stone! Wow, before you flame me I was basically kidding but think about this, if the left gain control over the country, for instance Obama and a left wing senate and house, how long before the conservatives are victims of eugenics, or firing squads for that matter?
And hopefully that will soon be reflected in their voting habits.
Eugenics is too complicated to be treated with a knee-jerk reaction, because it is not one idea, but several.
1) Selective breeding. People have been selectively breeding animals for a very long time, producing truly amazing diversity while at the same time creating some problems with inbreeding. Dogs are an excellent example of both. Any number of breeds are specialized to do amazing things, but pure bred dogs suffer from many systemic problems not found in mutts. Yet not all mixes are good, either. Lots of variables.
Selective breeding in humans has also been done, with amazing results. The leader of an idealistic commune in NY State bred his followers just based on his opinions of who was smart and who was strong. In three generations this small group of people produced over 60 national leaders in any number of sciences and the arts. But had they continued to a fourth generation, they might have had a genetic collapse due to inbreeding.
2) Genetics. While even today we are only taking baby steps with the study of genetics, Eugenics pioneered some basic ideas by comparing the lives of identical twins separated at birth, as far back as the 1920s. Sharing the identical genome, it really started up the “nature vs. nurture” argument that continues today (even though we know both are very important.)
3) Genetically transmitted terrible diseases, from Tay-Sachs, hemophilia, sickle cell, and dozens or hundreds more might be eliminated forever by using *caution* when reproducing. How many people might choose to not marry if they knew any children they had would be crippled and die young? Or if they truly love each other, to just adopt instead of making their own children? This is eugenics as well, giving people a choice not to harm their offspring.
Yet at the same time, leaders of the French medical establishment in the government poisoned every French hemophiliac with HIV-tainted blood, murdering every hemophiliac in France to eliminate the disease.
4) Eugenics has of course been used in horrific ways out of racial hatred. Not just the Nazis used eugenics against those they hated; but Americans tried to wipe out many blacks by not telling them that the horrible disease pellagra was easy to treat and cure by eating brewer’s yeast, supplements which were provided to white children living side-by-side with the black children.
Americans also created the infamous Tuskegee experiment, allowing black men to suffer and die of syphilis when a cure was known, so they could “study” the progress of a disease observed for centuries.
Many Indian tribes were wiped out through forced integration, making it near impossible for them to maintain their racial integrity until there was no tribe left.
5) Forced sterilization of undesirables was done around the world, from Sweden to Australia, and in most of the western world. While such programs were designed to, and did, eliminate most of the mentally deficient, they quickly turned into programs to eliminate undesirable families and the poor.
This meshed perfectly with the industrial genocide of the 20th Century, in Turkey against the Armenians, in Mexico against the Yaqui Indians, the general persecution of indigenous peoples in the Americas, in Asia and Europe as well.
6) Abortion is the great eugenics program today, and is applauded by those who see it as the elimination of “unwanted” people from society. Though by this twisted logic, in just a few generations, abortion should die off, because all the “unwanted” people and their genetic lines will be gone.
Can you document this astounding statement?
Can you name and document, say, 3 or 4 to whcih this happened?
It began even before the United States, with the French and Indian War, followed by the bloody Pontiac’s Rebellion.
Fortunately, during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, a survey of the known tribes of America was conducted. It was a major undertaking and listed some number well over 200 tribes. It is a huge collection, of at least a dozen volumes.
During his presidency, Andrew Jackson drove the eastern tribes across the Mississippi river, which wiped out a bunch of the smaller ones.
After the post Civil War, Indian Wars, and the reservation settlement of the Indians, a strong effort was undertaken to either integrate or force out the far more homogeneous tribal bands in the Indian Territories, much of which today is Oklahoma. This was the first creation of “generic” Indians, busting up tribes and rapidly fading culture. Vast numbers intermarried with non-Indians.
In Canada, there was a far more systematic effort to Anglicize, Christianize and educate Indians, in which children were taken from their parents and put into public boarding schools. This was done to a lesser extent in the US, and by this time only exclusively out West, with the creation of off-reservation “Indian schools”.
“American policy toward Native Americans has continued to evolve. In the late eighteenth century, reformers starting with George Washington and Henry Knox, in efforts to “civilize” or otherwise assimilate Indians (as opposed to relegating them to reservations), adopted the practice of educating native children in Indian Boarding Schools. These schools, which were run primarily by Christian missionaries, often proved traumatic to Native American children, who were forbidden to speak their native languages, taught Christianity instead of their native religions, and in numerous other ways forced to abandon their Native American identities and adopt European-American culture. There were many documented cases of sexual, physical and mental abuse occurring at these schools.”
Only in the 1960s was any effort made to preserve Indian cultures or languages to any great extent, except with artifacts. This happened concurrently with efforts to return stolen artifacts and religious icons to the tribes, and active efforts to document such cultures before they were lost.
Ironically, anthropologists and historians did have large collections of information that had already been lost to some of the tribes, and had to be reconstructed by the tribes.
Today, officially there are 562 “tribal entities” recognized by the United States government, but this is a very redundant list, because different bands from the same tribe are seen as independent.
The Nazis studied the "contributions" of American scientists in this regard. (Yale Study: U.S. Eugenics Paralleled Nazi Germany) Eugenic conforms in principle with Darwin's fallacious theory of evolution and "survival of the fittest" --a theory with no explanatory or evidentiary power whatsoever.