Over 64,000 people forced to be sterilized in the US! Are you serious??
To control the spread of “undesirable” and “negative” traits “such as pauperism, mental disability, dwarfism, promiscuity, and criminality,” numerous state laws around the US “resulted in the forced sterilization of over 64,000 people in the United States (Lombardo n.d.). At first, sterilization efforts focused on the disabled but later grew to include people whose only “crime” was poverty. These sterilization programs found legal support in the Supreme Court. In Buck v. Bell (1927), the state of Virginia sought to sterilize Carrie Buck for promiscuity as evidenced by her giving birth to a baby out of wedlock (some suggest she was raped). In ruling against Buck, Supreme Court Justice Wendell Holmes opined, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind….Three generations of imbeciles is enough” (Black 2003). This decision legitimized the various sterilization laws in the United States. In particular, California’s program was so robust that the Nazi’s turned to California for advice in perfecting their own efforts. Hitler proudly admitted to following the laws of several American states that allowed for the prevention of reproduction of the “unfit” (Black 2003).”
This article also discusses the fact that we are not taught about this eugenics movement in typical US history classes – is this topic not important??