February 2001


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"S. E. Anderson" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 19:58:56 -0500
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                                                  CROSS THE "BIOTECH

                                                 THE NEW HUMAN
                                           genetically engineering human
eggs and sperm
                                                     artificial human
                                                        The human genome

manufacturing sperm

human cloning
                                            HISTORY OF EUGENICS AND
                                   CONNECTING WITH THE GLOBAL FIGHT

                                 SUNDAY -  FEBRUARY 25TH 1-3 PM
                                  HUNTER COLLEGE - 68th St. + Park
Avenue- New York City
                                 ROOM to be announced at the coolege

                                 SPONSORED BY: (in formation)
 Public Interest Biotechnology, The National Congress for Puerto Rican
Rights, The Black Radical Congress -
 NY Metro chapter, the Committee Against Anti Asian Violence, The Forum
of Indian Leftists, the Filipino
 Committee, Malcom X Grassroots movement, the Audrey Lord Project


 Historians of medicine and science know well how the history of
eugenics (1) and biomedical abuses (2) in the
 last two centuries has tainted the study of human genetics. The
co-mingling of racist and eugenic thought and
 practice in the United States in previous centuries is never far from
people's thoughts when thinking about
 biomedicine and biotechnology. The history of American eugenics,
including studies of "feeblemindedness"
 and forced sterilizations of the mentally retarded, the incarcerated,
and women of color as ways to promote
 "racial hygiene", are part of this ugly legacy. Far too many biomedical
abuses have led many people of color
 to the perception of science "being used against us". The Nazi
establishment's borrowing of this tradition with
 the concept of racial hygiene reaching its climax in the Nazi
atrocities, is our culture's prime example of
 "genetics" gone insane.  The Human Genome Project in particular has
raised criticism in part related to this
 historical context.

 It is our belief that the nature and pace of biotechnological
developments demand attention progressive
 people of color. Certain biotechnologies have such power to affect
society and so little democratic input in
 their development, that their development must be prudently slowed or
stopped until such measures are in
 place. Most progressive people of color will recognize the eugenic
implications of these technologies. The
 history of racism and eugenics in the U.S.A. call people of color and
conscience to be extremely skeptical of
 what is now euphemistically called "genetic enhancements. Especially in
the light of statements such as the
 one belowS
 [In the futureS] "The GenRich-who account for 10 percent of the
American population-all carry synthetic
 genesS All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment
industry, and the knowledge industry are
 controlled by members of the GenRich classS Naturals work as low-paid
service providers or as laborersS
 [Eventually] the GenRich class and the Natural class will becomeS
entirely separate species with no ability to
 cross-breed, and with as much romantic interest in each other as a
current human would have for a
 chimpanzeeS But in all cases, I will argue, the use of reprogenetic
technologies is inevitable, whether we like
 it or not, the global marketplace will reign supreme."
Lee Silver,  professor of molecular biology and
 neuroscience at Princeton University.

 However, a serious problem towards addressing these technologies is the
"biotech border"...most people, and
 especially most people of color, don't even know these developments are
occurring. Learning about these
 technologies is CRITICAL.  In addition, a race analysis of human
biotechnologies in a global context is absent
 in most discussions going on amongst global-minded progressives.

An awareness of racism in the anti-globalism movement is
growingSElizabeth "Betita" Martínez called the question in her article,
"The WTO: Where Was the Color in Seattle?" (See

                                  Together we will LEARN and DISCUSS
                 biotechnological developments and their implications,
                         history of racism and eugenics
                 Connections to the UN World Conference Against Racism
                        Durban, South Africa, August 28 to September 7

                             Speakers include
                 Jose Morales Ph.D. Director, Public interest
                Richard Hayes, Exploratory Initiative on the New Human
Genetic Technologies

 The session would be concurrent (Hunter College, Sun February 25th) a
teach-in on Technology and
 Globalization sponsored by The International Forum on Globalization,
New York Open Center, The
 International Center for Technology Assessment, The Turning Point
Project, Lapis Magazine, and the Nation

Saturday, February 24 & Sunday, February 25, 2001 Hunter College, 695
Park Avenue at 68th Street in
New York City
 ...with 40 Speakers + 25 Workshops