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N.C. should help sterilization victims now
Winston-Salem Journal ^ | April 17, 2011 | John Railey

Posted on 04/21/2011 6:36:48 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby

Eight years ago, Nial Cox Ramirez stood up in a Raleigh conference room and bared her soul about the pain she endured after North Carolina forcibly sterilized her in 1965. "I tried so hard to bury this, but it just won't go away. It's like a cancer that eats you and eats you and eats you," she said on that March afternoon.

On another afternoon 38 years before, in a building just a few miles away, five strangers had voted to have her sterilized. The Eugenics Board of North Carolina, a bureaucracy oblivious to the pain it caused its victims, hadn't known anything about her. It had acted on the basis of a form petition, several pages typed out by an aggressive social worker. Ramirez was 18, a minor under the law at the time, and pregnant out of wedlock. The "consent" she and her mother signed came only after her family had been repeatedly threatened_ The family would lose its welfare payments if she didn't give in. The petition to sterilize identified Ramirez as "feeble-minded," a diagnosis that the eugenics program often made on the basis of flawed intelligence testing.

Ramirez, one of more than 7,600 victims of one of the most aggressive sterilization programs in this country, made her short speech in 2003 to a committee appointed by Gov. Mike Easley to consider compensation for the victims, many of whom suffer from mental and physical pains left by the operations. Back then, soon after the Journal exposed the program's inner workings through our investigative series "Against Their Will," it seemed as if that compensation was on the fast track. But eight years later, the victims haven't received a dime, nor have they received any help with health-care or education benefits from the state legislature, as Easley's committee had recommended. And Gov. Bev Perdue, who promised to help the victims as she ran for her post in 2008, has set up yet another committee to study compensation.

"It doesn't take that long to do something," Ramirez said last week. "They don't want to do anything. They want to be able to say, 'Well, we were going to help them, but they passed away.' "

The legislature must help Ramirez and all the other living victims before the current session ends this summer. The issue has been studied at length. These people were clearly wronged. They were coerced into the operations in bustling cities such as Winston-Salem and rural hamlets such as Plymouth, the northeastern North Carolina town where Ramirez was raised. The victims included farm workers and inmates at reform schools. They were whites, Indians and blacks. The one characteristic the victims shared was that they were poor and lacked the money or means to fight back. The program, once publicly supported by progressive leaders and the powerful and rich in Winston-Salem and other cities and carried out by doctors both black and white, sunk beneath the radar screen toward the end, carrying out its business with cool precision, even as its base, the junk science of eugenics, crumbled amid academic challenges.

The program, which was also aimed, albeit unofficially, at thinning the welfare rolls, assumed that people like Ramirez shouldn't reproduce. But the one child she'd had before she was sterilized is a college graduate who works in the computer industry. That daughter, Deborah Chesson, told that committee in 2003 that she wondered what the children of those sterilized might have accomplished. "One of those babies could have grown up and found a cure for cancer or diabetes or MS," she said.

The program was a betrayal of the scenario North Carolina was presenting to the world, that of a Southern state progressive on business, transportation and race relations. North Carolina was the good-roads state, not some dirt-road backwater. Many of the victims of its sterilization program, including scared children, were driven to their operations on some of the best roads in the South.

Give each living victim some money, perhaps $20,000 each, a figure that has been pushed by Democratic Rep. Larry Womble of Winston-Salem and alluded to by Republican Rep. Paul Stam, the House majority leader. If as many as 3,000 victims are still with us, that would cost the state $60 million, money that Stam says could come from the state's share of the national tobacco settlement. And give the victims health-care and education benefits, too.

The clock is ticking.

Before the legislature's session ends, it must finally do right by these vulnerable residents that our state so grievously wronged.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: cultureoflife; entitlements; eugenics; freelove; hippies; prolife; sterilization; taxes; welfare

1 posted on 04/21/2011 6:36:51 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby
If you have to use public welfare to berf, and feed yer cheeruns, you should be sterilized.

Society doesn't OWE YOU to support your proclivities!

2 posted on 04/21/2011 6:39:46 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (It is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; ~Vattel's Law of Nations)
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby

Sounds to me like the writer of this diatribe just ADORES welfare queens squiting out as many youn’uns as possible and sticking Joe Taxpayer with the bills.


3 posted on 04/21/2011 6:42:09 PM PDT by Grunthor (The man or woman who doesn't forgive has forgotten the price that Christ paid for them on the Cross.)
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby

1965—When the South was solidly Democrat.

I’ll bet $5.00 on the party affiliation of the members of the State Eugenics Board—No, make it $10.00.


4 posted on 04/21/2011 6:48:40 PM PDT by Arm_Bears (I'll have what the gentleman on the floor is drinking.)
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To: FReepers
We Can Do This

Become A Monthly FR Donor

5 posted on 04/21/2011 7:07:28 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are at your door! How will you answer the knock?)
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To: rawcatslyentist

That’s reasonable enough as far as those on welfare, but a eugenics board would probably go further than that. Targeting people with low IQ scores, for example.


6 posted on 04/21/2011 7:08:55 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby
a eugenics board would probably go further than that. Targeting people with low IQ scores, for example.

Would it target homosexuals too?

7 posted on 04/21/2011 7:52:01 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: newzjunkey

Homosexuals could only be targeted if openly gay. Now if a gay gene were ever discovered, that would open a can of worms. Gay activists attempting to prove the existence of a gay gene haven’t thought out all the ramifications of this.


8 posted on 04/21/2011 8:01:34 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby

Targeting people with low IQ scores, for example.

I don’t think so. Who would they get to vote for democrats if they did that?


9 posted on 04/21/2011 8:01:54 PM PDT by adgirl
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby

If the most casual contact with the term “eugenics” doesn’t send a chill of horror down your spine, you are not a Republican, nor are you a conservative.

Which begs the question...Why are you posting here?


10 posted on 04/21/2011 8:14:35 PM PDT by sarasmom
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To: adgirl

True. I was thinking more of early 20th century eugenicists who were concerned with the heritability of intelligence.


11 posted on 04/21/2011 8:15:37 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
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To: rawcatslyentist

If the most casual contact with the term “eugenics” doesn’t send a chill of horror down your spine, you are not a Republican, nor are you a conservative.

Which begs the question...Why are you posting here?


12 posted on 04/21/2011 8:15:57 PM PDT by sarasmom
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To: Arm_Bears

Strange, isn’t it?
Democrats/Socialists/Progressives “claim” to be all about an individuals right to choose.

As long as “they” get to dictate the scope and terms of the choice.


13 posted on 04/21/2011 8:30:16 PM PDT by sarasmom
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To: sarasmom

My opinion is that people have the right to have children as they choose without government interference, and without government support. When the second condition is missing, it becomes easier for the state to justify taking away the first condition.


14 posted on 04/21/2011 8:35:17 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby

“Gay activists attempting to prove the existence of a gay gene haven’t thought out all the ramifications of this.”

They certainly should; India is the largest democracy in the world, and they’ve had to put limits on abortion with a strange twist: once parents realized the baby in the womb was female, they would abort them. The government stepped in, and banned abortion after ultrasounds had determined the gender of the baby. The freedom-loving Indians have responded by 1) having covert abortions done anyway, or 2) carrying the child to term and leaving them on the roadside to die. It is inevitable, I guess, in areas where a dowry can cost 5 years’ wages...


15 posted on 04/21/2011 8:59:29 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: kearnyirish2

Good argument for abolishing the dowry system. Though my father has opined that the tradition of a bride’s parents paying for her wedding is a form of dowry.


16 posted on 04/21/2011 9:20:07 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby

Your opinion falsely supposes our Government has, or should have, jurisdiction over the private, individual sexual activities of mutually consenting adults.

The government does have legal jurisdiction to protect minor children from all forms of sexual predation, and also “protects” adults, via laws against rape and prostitution, and specific restrictions against incest, pornography and many other matters related to sexually deviant behavior.

Our government does not have the authority to dictate that certain conditions must be met, prior to adult procreation.

Are you certain you are on the right website?


17 posted on 04/21/2011 9:44:10 PM PDT by sarasmom
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To: sarasmom

Then let’s end the welfare entitlements.


18 posted on 04/21/2011 10:09:11 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
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To: sarasmom
Eugenics is evil incarnate.

Leeches are leeches.

If you can't tell the difference, why are you posting here?

19 posted on 04/22/2011 1:41:01 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist (It is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; ~Vattel's Law of Nations)
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To: TheDingoAteMyBaby

“Though my father has opined that the tradition of a bride’s parents paying for her wedding is a form of dowry.”

I agree with him, but it isn’t five years’ pay. That practice is slowly disappearing here in the northeast, where weddings can run $30K for what many (here) would consider an average wedding. Oftentimes, with people I know, the brides’ parents put up something, and let the couple determine how to spend it in terms of what kind of wedding they want.

India also is a little different in that often the sons (and their wives) rather than the daughters care for their parents later in life.


20 posted on 04/22/2011 4:00:35 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: sarasmom
Your opinion falsely supposes our Government has, or should have, jurisdiction over the private, individual sexual activities of mutually consenting adults.

No.

His comment as written ONLY suggested that the young woman and her guardian were solely responsible for the costs and care of the child she was giving birth to.

Charity had already been given them - they were not paying their own way as it was.Those offering them a handout had every right to toss them out on their ears.

They offered to keep on supporting them if the young woman were sterilized. That was wrong - they should have been sumarily turned out to fend for themselves - unles the girl had been sexually abused rather than typical teenage promiscuity.

Where this went wrong was not the sterilization - it was badly wrong before that.

The terms of not adding another mouth to feed should have resulted in the end of government subsidy.

Don't like that? Then don't live on the taxpayer's forced largess.

People who are paying their own way can do what they like. People sponging off of soemone else have to jump through the someone else's hoops.

The woman and her mother should have (I know this just isn't done in some circles) gotten jobs and taken to heart that promiscuity has costs someone always has to pay.

21 posted on 04/22/2011 1:24:01 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: rawcatslyentist

Two wrongs (welfare, sterilizatio) don’t make a right. Your views are repugnant.


22 posted on 04/23/2011 9:50:54 AM PDT by impimp
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To: impimp
>"Two wrongs (welfare, sterilizatio) don’t make a right. Your views are repugnant."

Slavery is repugnant!

Paying women to not marry and reproduce is repugnant!

Bastard children created for profit is BOTH!


I am not against procreation.

Just unchecked welfare/slavery procreation.

Stop fuming and hear me out.
Sterilization, or 0 zero welfare for the Mother after the first child. Half pay if she can't produce the Father. Father fully pays child support, or half support if sterilized, 0 support if they marry and raise the child together.


Now compare that to what we have today.

23 posted on 04/23/2011 5:10:04 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (It is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; ~Vattel's Law of Nations)
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To: rawcatslyentist

Then stop the welfare. Sterilization is considered mortally sinful to Catholics. Since there are so many of us here in the US you sort of have to make us happy when you pass laws.


24 posted on 04/23/2011 7:09:11 PM PDT by impimp
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To: impimp
Your right.

Just cutting off the funding for slave multiplication is sufficient.

25 posted on 04/23/2011 11:54:09 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (It is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; ~Vattel's Law of Nations)
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