Race Cleansing

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  • Topic: Eugenics, Compulsory sterilization, Buck v. Bell
  • Pages : 5 (1859 words )
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  • Published : November 9, 2010
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Dhruba R. Tripathee
Prof. Christian Hanns
ENG 096-KN2/1101
Race Cleansing in America
There is always a binary opposition to living beings’ existence. Binary opposition is the principle of contrast between two mutually exclusive terms: on/off, up/down, left/right, and strong/weak. To be born as an epileptic and to be labeled as feebleminded is not the child’s fault. Such a child has his/her own right to live on earth. Where there is birth, there is death no matter whether the person is rich or poor. Eugenics-the theory as well as the word (which means “wellborn”) -originated with Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin who is inspired by Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Eugenics movement started sterilization (making infertile): to stop a person or animal from reproducing, e.g. by surgical removal or alteration of the reproductive organs of epileptics and feebleminded people in America. Poor and powerless people were victimized by the Eugenics movement. The poor were victimized because of a lack of money and power. All movements like Eugenics violated the human rights of the weak and poor people in America. Poor and powerless people were victimized by the Eugenics movement. Though the movement was trying to do its best for individuals, families, societies and nations, it had its own weakness. Carrie Buck was one of the victims of sterilization. The justice Oliver Wendell Holmes left no doubt about either the overall legality of the procedure of its appropriateness for Miss Buck. None of the judges who decided Buck’s fate ever saw or met her. Justices relied in part on the expert opinion of Dr. Hamilton Laughlin to help them make up their minds and a report has been sent at the Eugenics Record Office, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. By those false reports made by Dr. Hamilton, Buck was condemned as an epileptic and as a feebleminded person and recommended to have sterilization even though she had refused it. The case finally made its way to the nation’s highest court and the report was made to those who did not know Buck. The author, Peter Quinn, says, “Though Laughlin had never met her either, a report had been sent to him at the documentation, including a score on the Startford-Binet test that purportedly showed Buck had the intellectual capacities of a nine-year-old and was further characterized as “shiftless ignorant and worthless class of anti-social whites of the south “whose promiscuity offered “a typical picture of the low-grade moron” (2). Like thousands of women and men involuntarily stripped of their capacity to have children, Carrie Buck had not committed any offence against the law of nature. Her crime was for the ancient one of being poor and powerless. The author of “A Modest Proposal”-Jonathan Swift also mansions, “That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them plump and fat for a good table” (2). Poverty and suffering is always and everywhere. Poor people were victimized because of a lack of money and power. There have been always a conflict between the haves and the have nots. The world has been governed by money and power. People are always ready to give up their lives for the sake of money and power. The rich and powerful people had blamed the weak and poor people saying ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the inferior animals, a group of criminals, born for evil. Quinn mentions, “Lombroso wrote: “ There exists, it is true, a group of criminals, born for evil, against whom all social cures break as against a rock-a fact which compels us to eliminate them completely, even by death” (2). Many rich people had invested in such movements like-Marry Williamson Harriman, a widow of the railroad magnate E.H. Harriman, the Philadelphia soap millionaire Samuel Fels, John D. Rockefeller, and Dr. Clarence Gamble who had offered the job of superintendent...
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