At the beginning of the 20th century, Harry Laughlin, mentioned in the first part of the story, was the initiator of the eugenic sterilization of all persons who are potential parents of socially inadequate offspring. At the same time, Laughlin was very categorical - there was no division by sex, age, personality type, marital status, race or income level. What does Laughlin mean by the term "socially inadequate person"? Here the pseudoscientist developed a whole pseudoscientific theory that the level of inadequacy is known by comparison. If the suspect differs from a socially effective person for the worse, then his genotype should be excluded from the further development of the people. In her model law, Laughlin helps future judges and doctors identify eugenic victims by clearly dividing the indications for sterilization.
So, the presence of the following ailments or personality traits, according to the American elite of the early 20th century, should be punished by deprivation of offspring:
2. Mental illness;
3. Criminal inclinations;
5. Alcoholism and drug addiction;
6. Chronic diseases (tuberculosis, syphilis, leprosy and others);
9. Severe injuries;
10. Orphans, homeless people, prostitutes, vagabonds and beggars.
Laughlin even suggested organizing a new bureaucrat responsible for implementing eugenic cleansing in each state. And the flywheel of genetic cleansing spun. Already in 1907, the state of Indiana adopted the first sterilization law, in 1909 a similar document appeared in California, and five years later 12 states could be proud of such progressive legal norms. In the first decades, the state of California took the lead in genetic cleansing - by 1924, about 2,500 people had been forcibly sterilized. An interesting situation has developed in this regard in North Carolina. On the one hand, they could deprive offspring even for an IQ level of less than 70 points, and on the other hand, while the beggars were paid a considerable bonus of $ 200 at that time. A chance, so to speak, to start a new life.
Buck vs Bell
In the legal practice of the United States, the court case "Buck v. Bell", dating back to 1927, became a landmark. The story began with the decision to sterilize the imprisoned penal colony Kerry Buck, who had just turned 21 and had already seen a lot. Her mother was an insane prostitute living out her days in prison. Young Kerry was adopted, she studied at a comprehensive school, there were not enough stars from the sky, but she was not among the outsiders either. At the age of 16, she was raped by a close relative of the family, she gave birth in 1924 and immediately fell under the administrative rink. She was caught in prostitution, immoral behavior and dementia. As a result, she ended up in the Virginia Colony for the Impaired and Epileptics, where she was sterilized against her will on October 19, 1927. One of the reasons for the operation was the following opinion about the Buck family: "These people belonged to the category of unlucky, ignorant and useless, antisocial representatives of the white South."
Laughlin in this situation behaved very immorally (however, as always) - without a personal meeting with the patient, he wrote a report on her mental disability. It is noteworthy that Kerry's sister Dorris Buck was also sterilized, and she was not even informed about the nature of the procedure. They staged an attack of appendicitis in the unfortunate woman, laid her on the surgical table and … Dorris Buck subsequently married and only in 1980, after many years of fruitless attempts to have children, learned about her own sterilization.
Kerry Buck challenged the decision to sterilize her own in the US Supreme Court, but she was not at all lucky with the judge. Oliver Wendell Holmes was a big fan of eugenics, read Laughlin's writings, and if he had the opportunity, he would sterilize Kerry Buck again. It is he who owns the famous words in the final decision of the court: “It will be better for the whole world if, instead of waiting for sentences against degenerate offspring for their future crimes or allowing them to suffer from their own dementia, society can prevent the continuation of a kind of those who are obvious not suitable for this. Three generations of imbeciles is more than enough."
The Kerry Buck case has become a typical conspiracy of the system against a defenseless victim. Investigators, judges, and doctors at the Virginia Colony were all opposed to the girl. The Anglo-Saxon legal system is, first of all, the primacy of precedent. In this light, the Kerry Buck case is an excellent precedent. In Virginia alone, after the decision of the US Supreme Court, more than 8 thousand people were sterilized. In further judicial practice, they actively used the outcome of the Buck v. Bell case, expanding the geography of sterilization almost every day. In California, the average age of those undergoing surgery was 20, but decisions were often made for 7-year-olds as well. The most famous minors subjected to barbarism were the Relph sisters, who were deprived of the opportunity to have children in 1973. One was 12 years old, the second was 14.
Kerry Buck, after sterilization, was married twice and died in 1980. They buried her next to the grave of her daughter Vivian, who died at the age of 8 …
Skinner v. Oklahoma
In this story, the protagonist was a real repeat offender. By 1942, he was tried three times for stealing chickens and twice for robbery. According to all the rules of the J. Skinner Sterilization Act, it was required to immediately deprive them of the opportunity to have children. But here the judges drew attention to such a nuance - a criminal convicted three times for embezzlement was not subjected to a barbaric operation, and three times convicted for stealing chickens was quite suitable for this. As a result, Skinner's testicles were left alone, but forced sterilization was not done in the United States. Until the 1970s, about 80,000 citizens were subjected to such operations and, of course, special attention was paid to the African American population. Thus, according to some reports, in many colonies, out of 11 women sentenced to forced sterilization, 10 were black. Also, a lot of the indigenous American Indian population of the United States went through sterilization procedures, sometimes it was carried out fraudulently. In 1980, the first lawsuits against the state were rained down, demanding compensation for moral damage. But these initiatives were brought to the root with a hot iron. By the way, the judges in these cases appealed to the famous decision of the US Supreme Court in the Kerry Buck case of 1927, which even now has not been officially canceled.
In modern America, it seems, have not yet completely said goodbye to the anti-human essence of eugenics. From 2006 to 2010, about 150 women in the California colony were illegally sterilized.
Could the great Beethoven be born if his alcoholic grandmother and alcoholic father were sterilized in time? Such a question has often been asked of eugenicists in the West. There was no intelligible answer. And now in the scientific community there are thoughts about the excessive contamination of the genotype of the human race. They say that there have been no global wars for a long time, we also seem to be protected from hunger and infections, perinatal medicine is working better, but natural selection, on the contrary, does not work. Can the eugenics story repeat itself?