Eugenics, Margaret Sanger now part of Texas textbook controversy

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Backstory, from, May 1…

The TX State Board of Education is embroiled in a battle over textbook content that, media reports claim, could dictate public school curricula nationwide. As the single largest textbook purchaser in the country, TX is a major decision-maker regarding content of books available on the market, since publishers naturally cater to their most lucrative client.

… and from Fox News, May 20:

The TX Board of Education has 5 Democrats, and 10 Republicans, 7 of whom vote as a conservative block.
What does that mean? They control what happens here….

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[W]hen Democrats enjoyed an identical majority, they too manipulated the curriculum to fit their agenda.
The debate began when a review group of teachers recommended replacing Christmas with a Hindu holiday and removing partially or entirely Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, religious references, and Christopher Columbus….

… which brings us to yesterday and today, from

The TX Board of Education is putting the finishing touches on a final set of proposed social study standards. For months the 2 sides have been far apart on a number issues ranging from race to religion.

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The divide grew with the introduction of new amendments Thursday, including one that says high school books should outline the practice of eugenics – the sterilization of a selected group of people.
The idea supported by early progressives like Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger [pictured above left].
The board is set to vote Friday.

Here was one of the 2 changes proposed yesterday, the insertion of one little but potent word (click to enlarge) into the curriculum:
recommended change.png
The justification given for the curriculum change is compelling. I don’t know why anyone would oppose educating our children about this sordid component of U.S. history:

[F]rom War Against the Weak, by Edward Black, 2003:
In the first 3 decades of the 20th Century, American corporate philanthropy combined with prestigious academic fraud to create the pseudoscience eugenics that institutionalized race politics as national policy. The goal: create a superior, white, Nordic race and obliterate the viability of everyone else.
How? By identifying so-called “defective” family trees and subjecting them to legislated segregation and sterilization programs. The victims: poor people, brownhaired white people, African Americans, immigrants, Indians, Eastern European Jews, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the superior genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists.

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The main culprits were the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune, in league with America’s most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, operating out of a complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island.
The eugenic network worked in tandem with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, the State Department and numerous state governmental bodies and legislatures throughout the country, and even the U.S. Supreme Court.
They were all bent on breeding a eugenically superior race, just as agronomists would breed better strains of corn. The plan was to wipe away the reproductive capability of the weak and inferior.
Ultimately, 60,000 Americans were coercively sterilized – legally and extra-legally. Many never discovered the truth until decades later. Those who actively supported eugenics include America’s most progressive figures: Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

This is all just simple, sad, documented truth. Who would argue against teaching it? What would their arguments possibly be?
[HT: Susie Allen at Pro Life in TN; top photo via the New York Times]

36 thoughts on “Eugenics, Margaret Sanger now part of Texas textbook controversy”

  1. I’m not a fan of some of the Texas School Board’s hyperpartisan recommendations, but like you said, there is no debating the fact that the eugenics movement played a sad role in American history. Students already learn about other stains on our history like the Japanese internment during WWII. The whole point is that, by teaching history, we hope that the next generation of leaders will be able to avoid repeating it. Perhaps the real objection to the inclusion of historical eugenics is that some bright students may realize that history is already being repeated…

  2. After Christ comes back to rule and rein from Jerusalem, and Satan has been bound in the bottomless pit for 1000 years, there will be no eugenics. There won’t even be anyone thinking about it. People will be able to see that the wisest course of action is to let God decide who gets born and who doesn’t. It is His business to decide who is “fit” and who is not. It is His business to decide how many of what race, color, ethnicity, or combination thereof should be living on the earth.
    About handicaps: What people call a handicap, God may have a purpose for. We don’t know. Who are we to decide who should live and who shouldn’t. That’s God’s business.

  3. The agenda these rubes are pushing is despicable. The sooner they get thrown out of power (which shouldn’t be long; conservatives always overreach and it usually backfires), the better.

  4. “The agenda these rubes are pushing is despicable.”
    What agenda? In what way is it dispicable? Do you even know what changes were suggested or are you just parroting the line the Daily Kos told you to use?

  5. And the entire concept of “eugenics” has been completely misunderstood by most people. The only fair way to judge it is to look at it in the abstract: eugenics is simply about making healthier people, period. Some governments throughout history have abused the concept to promote racial supremacism, but that’s not what eugenics is at all, so shame on anyone who tries to equate the entire theory of eugenics with Nazism.

  6. Marissa, do you have anything else in your playbook other than outright denial? Don’t let facts get in your way, do you? In practice, eugenics eliminates the “human weeds”, as Margaret Sanger called the “unfit” in her darkened opinion. BTW, we don’t make people. What are your criteria for “healthier”? Would, say, someone like Stephen Hawking be worthy of living, in your opinion?

  7. Marissa, it is completely fair to judge eugenics outside of the abstract, because its application has led to human rights violations every time.

  8. Are you kidding me? Are you seriously, freaking kidding me, Marissa. You’re going to stand here and defend eugenics? Seriously?
    You know, I thought you were just some stupid college kid who is trying on the cool ideology of her hip women’s studies professor, but now I see that you are a heartless monster of a human being.
    Please, dear Marissa, enlighten me. What positive has eugenics brought to society? Any society. What level of human rights violation are you comfortable with in order to justify a “healthier society” as you say? What level of racism or classism?

  9. “”Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying … demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism … [Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant … We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”
    Margaret Sanger. The Pivot of Civilization, 1922. Chapter on “The Cruelty of Charity,” pages 116, 122, and 189. Swarthmore College Library edition. ”
    You’re right, Marissa. There’s nothing sinister in that at all…

  10. “The third group [of society] are those irresponsible and reckless ones having little regard for the consequences of their acts, or whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers. Many of this group are diseased, feeble-minded, and are of the pauper element dependent upon the normal and fit members of society for their support. There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.”
    Margaret Sanger. Speech quoted in Birth Control: What It Is, How It Works, What It Will Do. The Proceedings of the First American Birth Control Conference. Held at the Hotel Plaza, New York City, November 11-12, 1921. Published by the Birth Control Review, Gothic Press, pages 172 and 174.”
    “Give dysgenic groups [people with ‘bad genes’] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.”
    Margaret Sanger, April 1932 Birth Control Review.
    Darn those idiot hicks in Texas, clearly they misunderstand euginics. These are perfectly harmless quotes just working towards a more perfect union!-Marissa

  11. Lauren, you make some good points but all of us need to refrain from name-calling no matter how tempting it is (and trust me, I am tempted!).
    Marissa keeps coming back here. She’s hungry for something. Let’s feed her and people like her the food they need: truth. Positive eugenics is the encouragement of healthy people to make more healthy people. However, Margaret Sanger was a passionate promoter of Negative Eugenics which is the brutal destruction of ‘unwanted’ people. I was the recipient of one of the Rockefeller’s educational grants. Now I am sickened by the thought of it. I left my hometown with one set of values and by the time I graduated from college, the wholesale slaughter of children seemed reasonable to me. I thank God every day that I finally woke up from it. I hope everyone everywhere will wake up and see that killing children is never ever justified. Even an atheist can see that a species that destroys its children is a species that sick with a widespread dis-ease.

  12. You’re right, Ninek, I just have a hard time dealing with someone who has said:
    A)Slaves weren’t human beings because society said so.
    B)Called a Cardinal a “witch doctor.”
    C)Defends a man who pushed his wife into an unwanted abortion and refuses to even acknowledge that women are sometimes coeresed into abortion
    D)Defends eugenics

  13. Lauren, I so understand! Sorry for the double post, I was trying to edit & thought I had stopped the first one in time.
    In my more grimly optimistic moments I console myself with this thought: the destructive generation(s) will eventually die out because they are the ones who will not reproduce or will reproduce at such a low rate as to be unable to replenish their culture. Pro-life individuals will continue to reproduce at a higher rate, thus ensuring the survival of their own DNA.

  14. Ninek, I’m optimistic that we won’t have to wait that long. I don’t deny the influence of upbringing, but the children of abortion advocates aren’t predestined to share their parents’ views. My generation is questioning the values of earlier generations when it comes to abortion. I know several pro-life activists who were raised in “pro-choice” homes; my own parents don’t really care either way.

  15. Thank You, Lauren for those quotes directly from Margaret Sanger herself. I think they need to be reprinted often, so MORE people can read for themselves just how TWISTED this woman really was.
    Ironic that SHE should think there are people the world would be better off without…”people who should have never been born at all”.

  16. This only goes to show how the textbooks and curriculum are used by the schools to push an agenda with most teachers ignorant of the true facts. I wonder how many parents in the district think that their kids are in a “good school”?
    Undermine what they are trying to do to your kids and pull ’em out this summer!
    Chesterton wrote a book called Eugenics and Other Evils available here:
    In it, he tells you how to debate a eugenicist and breaks down the moral implications in his trademark way.
    Those foundations, Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller, et al, are responsible in large part for the decline of our nation. Check out John Taylor Gatto’s exhaustive documentation of how these foundations sought to undermine public education and reduce the world population.
    Researching and learning about all this treachery make my head spin, but I get excited too, because The King is Coming!

  17. Eugenics really was highjacked by racists etc. Now it has morphed into genetic counseling. Some orthodox jewish matchmaking services keep confidential records of which clients have the Tay Sachs gene and do not introduce men and women who both have the gene. That way they are protected but not shamed. Similarly people can get genetic testing and counseling if they know they have a family history of genetic disease before they get married or try to get pregnant.
    The field of genetics is exploding and it is responsible to have discussions of ethical behavior in light of the new findings. It is possible to use information ethically and responsibly and without being racist or discriminatory. However, we likely won’t get there by accident. It will take concerted effort. Plenty of religions are developing discussions and recommendations in keeping with their faiths. Such efforts are necessary and appropriate as are secular efforts at ethical guidelines for genetic counseling.

  18. That entire quote should be in every high school textbook. Let them see who those elitists in the Ivy League really are. Better yet have the kids read Sanger’s and Black’s books for themselves in their AP US history classes before they run off to their college political science classes.

  19. I just checked out the book Beyond Choice written by Sanger’s grandson, Alexander.
    I could hardly stomach the inside cover.
    It looks like Alexboy could have saved alot of time and just wrote one sentence, “Yeah, what Grandma said.”

  20. Hippie: I don’t think eugenics was highjacked by racists, I think the racists were there from the start. I’ve been watching “Maafa 21” on YouTube (in bits and pieces – rotten Internet connection) and it really illustrates how racism was always an aspect of eugenics. “Undesireables”, as drawn by eugenicists in their brochures and propaganda, had darker skin, thick lips, flat-ish noses, and textured hair.
    Margaret Sanger was really a despicable person. She gets portrayed by pro-choicers as a concerned feminists who just didn’t want nice Mrs. Johnson or nice Mrs. Smith to inevitably have an unwanted fourteenth child. Didn’t want feeble-minded Mrs. Johnson and degenerate Mrs. Smith to produce more human weeds, is more like it. “Feeble-minded” didn’t just mean mentally retarded. It could mean illiterate, or unable to find work, or from a poor family. “Degenerate” included unwed mothers. Several of Margaret Sanger’s colleagues and allies received glowing praise from Hitler. One of them even distributed a Nazi film about eugenics to thousands of American high schools.

  21. “And the entire concept of “eugenics” has been completely misunderstood by most people. The only fair way to judge it is to look at it in the abstract: eugenics is simply about making healthier people, period. Some governments throughout history have abused the concept to promote racial supremacism, but that’s not what eugenics is at all, so shame on anyone who tries to equate the entire theory of eugenics with Nazism.”
    I know that I’ll draw a severe reprimand from Jill and the Mods on this one, but God, Marissa, are you really that ignorant and stupid or that chillingly evil?
    Personally, I think you’re both.
    Because polite words such as ‘misinformed’ and ‘ill-advised’ simply cannot encompass this statement juxtaposed with your others regarding a Catholic Cardinal from Africa (witch doctor), or your stated belief that African slaves were not human because they couldn’t function in our society.
    (Of course being kidnapped from THEIR society, beaten, chained, kept illiterate, and enslaved probably had nothing to do with their degree of functionality in a society that refused them the freedom and equal standing that are necessary prerequisites to functionality. Their only ‘function’ was as slave labor, subject to the lash and execution if found to be secretly learning how to read.)
    Now, to matters at hand.
    The mechanism by which eugenics works is to target entire classes of people, such as the handicapped, for sterilization. This was a favorite in 37 states, and upheld 8-1 by the US Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell.
    The mechanism necessarily requires an elite group (self-appointed) who deem themselves most fit, who would have society most resemble themselves. This elite then uses the machinery of government and politics to begin their targeting. They also employ elitist philanthropists, which is how Margaret Sanger got her start.
    She was a nymphomaniac who screwed half of the upper class of England and America in her trans-Atlantic sex-fueled pursuit of money and political favors. Everyone who was anyone got into Maggie’s drawers, and that’s a fact. I have a whole folder of well-documented articles that I have written on this whore:
    Start reading if you want to do something about that gross illiteracy of yours. In that folder is the link to her book, The Pivot of Civilization, available for free online as a pdf.
    Your ignorance and evil aren’t avant-garde, Marissa. Rather, they are predictable, boring in their lack of dimensionality, childish and churlish. You’ve ceased being shocking weeks ago. Now you just come off as an illiterate and pathetic creature.
    How sad.
    This isn’t a game here. Lives are at stake, and are being lost by the thousands daily.
    If you want respect, try showing some: for people’s intelligence, for their faith, and for their passions. Otherwise, you’ll be increasingly dismissed for the goon you sound like.

  22. Marauder,
    Eugenics was an example of politicizing science. There were some scientists and such who with political advocates instituted policies based on their racist views and their desire for power or whatever. To me it is another one of those labeling arguments like pro-choice or pro-abortion etc. Now the field is just called genetics. Understanding genetics has helped people and farmers etc. make choices based on a solid scientific understanding about the role of genes in biology and health. The racists who wanted to eliminate people for various reasons just goes to remind us that science and politics can make dangerous allies.

  23. Marissa: a question for you
    would you abort a child that would be born without one hand?
    Would you abort a child born with a mild cleft lip defect?
    How about in this situation?
    A woman has tuberculosis, and the father has syphilis. Together they had four children.
    Their first child was born blind…
    The second child was stillborn…
    The third child was deaf & dumb…
    and their fourth was born with tuberculosis.
    They’re now pregnant with their fifth child.
    Would you recommend that they abort this child?
    You are a fan of eugenics. Margaret Sanger was a big fan of HITLER.

  24. “Marissa: a question for you
    would you abort a child that would be born without one hand?
    Would you abort a child born with a mild cleft lip defect?”
    A cleft lip, a missing body part, or other disfiguring defects are fair grounds for seeking an abortion, yes.
    “How about in this situation?
    A woman has tuberculosis, and the father has syphilis. Together they had four children.
    Their first child was born blind…
    The second child was stillborn…
    The third child was deaf & dumb…
    and their fourth was born with tuberculosis.
    They’re now pregnant with their fifth child.
    Would you recommend that they abort this child?”
    Hell, why even bother? They’ve already got themselves a circus going, what’s one more freak?
    “You are a fan of eugenics. Margaret Sanger was a big fan of HITLER.”
    Lots of people were fans of HITLER. Have you ever taken any aspirin or other drugs made by the Bayer Corporation? Driven a vehicle made by Ford (or any German car manufacturer, or any other Germany company that existed during WW2, for that matter)? Big fans of Hitler, all of them.

  25. Congrats Marissa, you just aborted JIM ABBOTT, who at the time was a future baseball pitcher AND you also would have aborted my 9 year old nephew, who was born with a cleft lip/pallet which is fixable by surgery.
    Eugenics is disgusting. It basically is eliminating those who are ‘imperfect’.

  26. Mardupissa,
    Do you find that you have issues with head spinning and projectile vomiting?

  27. A woman has tuberculosis, and the father has syphilis. Together they had four children.
    Their first child was born blind…
    The second child was stillborn…
    The third child was deaf & dumb…
    and their fourth was born with tuberculosis.
    They’re now pregnant with their fifth child.
    Would you recommend that they abort this child?”
    So what explains YOU Marissa?
    In all seriousness, I’m beginning to believe that you have been horribly abused in the past. Nobody from a loving home speaks as you do. That said, the healthy response to malevolence is to seek out sound counsel, not to recapitulate it in your adult life.
    Still, you are as malevolent sounding as any I have ever heard. It’s a shame.
    Get Help. You need it.

  28. by the way, Marissa, had you suggested killing the 5th child, you would have aborted a great composer, also known as Beethoven.
    It seems to baffle people when they see the unborn as “potential life” rather than how pro lifers see the unborn: “Life WITH Potential”, such as overcoming a disability to become a great baseball pitcher or becoming a great composer of music.

  29. I see the desire to try to convert Marissa (and others like her) in these posts. A piece of scripture comes to mind when the apostles asked Jesus why they could not drive out a certain persistent demon. His response was that this kind could only be removed with prayer and fasting. Kids…lets all double down on the prayer and fasting.

  30. Eugenics as it has been practiced is despicable, and we all should be educated about it, but clearly the agenda in the Texas textbooks, in the right-wing context, is to discredit birth control in general and Planned Parenthood in particular.

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