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Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 11:52:35 EST
Subject: Virginia Admits Eugenics Sterlizations-Wash Post 2/3/2001
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When people read my articles mentioning eugenics, many think I am referring
to some conspiracy theory or am unfairly juxtaposing a legitimate scientific
interest in genetics with the horrors of Nazi Germany. The following
Washington Post article makes the reality of the American eugenics movement
unambiguously clear. Hundreds of thousands of American citizens, most of whom
were normal, were forcibly sterilized based on laws in 30 different states.
The sterilizations were just one small aspect of Amnerican eugenics. Much of
psychiatric medicine is based on eugenics and on the work done by Nazi
scientists-quite a few of whom were imported into the US following WWII. The
US military has its own very extensive eugenics program. Many of the
population control agencies of the US and UN are fronts for eugenics. Our
current Presidents' family has been in the forefront of the eugenics movement
for 70 years. The Human Genome Project admits on its own website that
eugenics was the origin of this scientific project. This article from the
most mainstream of newspapers just begins to open this aspect of the hidden
history of racial genocide in the US.
Robert Lederman

Va. House Voices Regret for Eugenics
State Was Once a Leader In Forced Sterilizations
    Del. Mitchell Van Yahres (D-Charlottesville) sponsored the resolution.
"Scientifically we're greatly advanced, but morally we have a problem," he
said. (Bob Brown - AP)
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 3, 2001; Page A01

RICHMOND, Feb. 2 -- The House of Delegates voted today to express regret for
Virginia's policies of selective breeding during the 20th century, including
the forced sterilization of 8,000 mostly poor, uneducated men and women for
supposed hereditary "defects."

The 85 to 10 vote came after some of the hundreds of victims of Virginia's
forced sterilizations spoke out in television and newspaper reports
spotlighting the state's leading role in a movement called eugenics. It
sought to use government power to breed away such chronic social problems as
poverty, immorality, crime, addiction and ignorance.

The resolution, which requires the approval of the state Senate, would make
Virginia the first among the 30 states that once had forced sterilization
laws to formally express regret. The resolution passed today would declare
"profound regret over the Commonwealth's role in the eugenics movement in
this country and the incalculable human damage done in the name of eugenics."

It was a remarkable moment for a state whose leaders prefer to talk about
Virginia's role in helping found the nation -- and lately, its high-tech
dominance -- instead of its prominent role in such historic evils as slavery,
segregation and forced sterilizations.

Even today's resolution was changed to remove the word "apology." Some House
members, including Del. Harry J. Parrish (R-Manassas), wanted to go further
and remove the passage expressing regret, though he called the resolution's
intentions admirable.

"We're offering regrets for something that was done legally," Parrish said.
"It's improper for us to now second-guess the General Assembly then."

Virginia officials and academics had a leading role in the American eugenics
movement, which paralleled the Nazi drive for a super race. The U.S.
Holocaust Memorial Museum has requested documents from Virginia as it
prepares an exhibit in 2004 tentatively called "Nazi Race Science."

The eugenics movement began in the United States at the beginning of the 20th
century. Indiana passed the nation's first sterilization law based on
eugenics in 1907. Over the next seven decades, government hospitals
sterilized 60,000 men and women. Only California, with 20,000 sterilizations,
had more than Virginia.

Virginia passed its Eugenical Sterilization Act in 1924 -- which targeted
"socially inadequate offspring" -- on the same day it passed the Racial
Integrity Act prohibiting marriage between whites and nonwhites. Both grew
out of eugenicists' drive for what they deemed a superior stock of humans.

"Virginia eugenicists saw themselves as the vanguard of the future," said
Gregory M. Dorr, a University of Alabama historian who studied Virginia's
role in the eugenics movement.

More than half of Virginia's sterilizations happened at the Virginia Colony
for Epileptics and the Feebleminded in Lynchburg, though others happened at
hospitals in Petersburg, Staunton, Williamsburg and Marion. Most victims were
white, but some African Americans and Indians also were sterilized,
historians say.

"People were sterilized not because they were feebleminded, but because they
were 'poor white trash,' " said Steven Selden, a University of Maryland
professor who wrote a book on eugenics that was published last year.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld forced sterilization at the Lynchburg facility
in a case involving a woman named Carrie Buck, who had become pregnant as a
teenager. In allowing her sterilization in 1927, Chief Justice Oliver Wendell
Holmes assessed Buck, her mother and her daughter, then declared, "Three
generations of imbeciles are enough."

A surge of sterilizations followed nationwide, tapering off when Nazi
brutality in World War II turned public opinion against eugenics.

"The Nazis took great comfort from the eugenics movement in America," said
Paul A. Lombardo, a University of Virginia historian.

Forced sterilizations continued on a very limited basis in Virginia until
1979. Today's resolution calls on society to "reject absolutely any such
abhorrent pseudo-scientific movement in the future."

State lawmakers urged particular vigilance at a time when scientists are
decoding the human genome and making possible far more profound manipulation
of genetic traits than envisioned by eugenicists during the last century.

"We're tampering with DNA, with genes. And scientifically we're greatly
advanced, but morally we have a problem," warned Del. Mitchell Van Yahres
(D-Charlottesville), the resolution's sponsor. "We don't want to go down that
road again."

A key supporter of House Resolution 607 was the chamber's top Republican,
Speaker S. Vance Wilkins Jr., a veteran lawmaker from the small town of
Amherst, just north of Lynchburg. He helped the resolution get past a
reluctant committee this week.

"It's the right thing to do," said Wilkins before today's session. "They're
facts of history . . . and we shouldn't try to cover them up."

Claude A. Allen, Virginia's secretary of health and human resources, said
Gov. James S. Gilmore III's administration had taken no position on the
eugenics resolution and is seeking a legal opinion on the threat of civil
liability for the state before taking a stand. He said forced sterilizations
"clearly were atrocious."

One Virginia victim of sterilization was Jesse Meadows. He was sent to the
Lynchburg colony in 1940 after his mother died and his father remarried.
Meadows was just 17. More than 60 years later, he can remember the names and
faces of the two doctors and the nurse who performed a vasectomy against his

Meadows married after leaving the facility and made a living as a house
painter, but he could never have children. Now 78, he lives alone in
Lynchburg, in the same neighborhood as several others who were sterilized at
the colony there.

"They ought to apologize for doing something like that, treating them like
animals," Meadows said. "They ruined a lot of people's lives."

© 2001 The Washington Post Company
For Va. coverage of this story see:
Richmond Virginia Times-Dispatch
House 'regrets' eugenics
Recognizes harm to 8,000 residents
For detailed info on eugenics and its realtionship to the Bush family see:

Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T.
(Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics)
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