By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chilling Eugenics: Why the Disabled, Minorities, and the Unborn Are All In the Same Boat

Here is a link to a chilling article on a 1918 Michigan Supreme Court case on forced sterilization originating in Lapeer County, where the state had a large facility for the "feeble-minded." This case can be traced back to events in 1913 (100 years ago), when Michigan passed a sterilization law. The case name is Haynes v. Lapeer County Circuit Judge.

The article masterfully sums up the eugenics agenda (often openly racist) of many American elites in the early part of the 20th century. These elites included judges, physicians, university professors, and academic leaders. The Nazi debacle put a brake on the eugenics fad; but, as Santayana famously said, we need to remember history to avoid a repetition.

If you are part of or care about these categories (the disabled, minorities, the unborn), you should be very interested in stopping any revival of eugenics in the future. Read the article and think.

Note: I include the unborn in the endangered category not only because of disability issues affecting the unborn but also because of the trend to treat the unborn, whether disabled or not, as disposable commodities whose helplessness and voicelessness automatically make them subject to eugenic whims or to the whims of personal convenience. What all the categories (disabled, unborn, minorities) have in common is lack of power and the label of inferiority whether that label is based on alleged lack of sufficient intelligence or on the lack of fully developed human abilities. Notice that even for the ostensibly healthy unborn there is still a range of excuses for termination: bad timing, wrong sex, overpopulation, wrong demographic or ethnic category, bad environment, poverty, unwanted physical traits and appearance, etc.

(Images of historical marker and interior of the 1846 Lapeer County, Michigan, Courthouse by blogger; this courthouse is the oldest actively used courthouse in the state of Michigan; other images of the same courthouse in public domain)