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Sunday, August 13, 2017

America's Eugenicist Presidents

Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909):
I agree with you if you mean, as I suppose you do, that society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind. It is really extraordinary that our people refuse to apply to human beings such elementary knowledge as every successful farmer is obliged to apply to his own stock breeding. Any group of farmers who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum. Yet we fail to understand that such conduct is rational compared to the conduct of a nation which permits unlimited breeding from the worst stocks, physically and morally, while it encourages or connives at the cold selfishness or the twisted sentimentality as a result of which the men and women ought to marry, and if married have large families, remain celebates or have no children or only one or two. Some day we will realize that the prime duty the inescapable duty of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type.
William Howard Taft (1909-1913): From 1924-1927 a legal test case, Buck vs. Bell, was fought all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Despite the presence on the bench of such humane jurists as William Howard Taft and Louis Brandeis, the court voted 8:1 in favour of forced sterilization of a young Virginia girl, Carrie Buck, whose only crime had been to have an illegitimate child. Only one judge, a Roman Catholic, voted against. William Howard Taft was the Chief Justice of the court.

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921): In 1911, he approved "AN ACT to authorize and provide for the sterilization of feeble-minded (including idiots, imbeciles and morons), epileptics, rapists, certain criminals and other defectives”. He was also an avowed racist. He passed legislation to make interracial marriage a felony in Washington D.C., and, as president of Princeton University, he discouraged blacks from applying. “The whole temper and tradition of the place are such that no Negro has ever applied for admission," he said of the university, "and it seems unlikely that the question will ever assume practical form."

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923): American president Warren G. Harding publicly praised eugenicist Lothrop Stoddard’s book, The Rising Tide of Color, at a public speech on 26 October 1922

Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929): President Calvin Coolidge stated: "America must be kept American. Biological laws show . . . that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races."

Herbert Hoover (1929-1933): attended 2nd International Congress of Eugenics hosted by the American Museum of Natural History in New York in the fall of 1921.
"Give dysgenic groups [people with 'bad genes'] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.“  - Margaret Sanger, April 1932 Birth Control Review.
FDR (1933-1945): “Subjects to do with breeding and race seem, indeed, to have held a certain fascination for the president…. Roosevelt felt it in order to talk, jokingly, of dealing with Puerto Rico’s excessive birth rate by employing, in his own words, ‘the methods which Hitler used effectively’ [to make them] sterile.” His Vice President, Henry Agard Wallace, said, “if we could practice eugenics on people. We could turn out a beautiful golden race.” In order to keep low-life enlisted men from breeding, FDR introduced condoms to the military as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 sent 120,000 Japanese Americans to internment camps (including thousands of Germans and Italians). The act itself affected many families strictly due to their ancestry, even if they were American citizens. Roosevelt also refused to invite 1936 Olympic hero Jesse Owens, an African American, to the White House after he returned from Germany. Owens famously said, “Hitler didn’t snub me—it was our president who snubbed me. He didn't even send me a telegram." FDR also didn't support anti-lynching laws until after WWII.

Margaret Sanger founded the American Eugenics Society to advance the cause of eugenics in the United States. She advocated for contraceptives and sterilization. Like all eugenicists, she saw these as central to advancing eugenics. Due to the negative connotations surrounding eugenics following the discovery of the Nazi death camps, the American Eugenics Society was renamed to "Planned Parenthood". Despite the renaming, the organization never disavowed its original goals.

Harry Truman (1945-1953): co-chair of Planned Parenthood’s honorary sponsors council, 1966. Truman once called Adam Clayton Powell that "damned n****r preacher," and wrote in a private letter that, “I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s not a n****r or a Chinaman.” 

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961): was a co-chair with Truman. At a White House dinner in 1953, President Eisenhower had told Chief Justice Earl Warren he could understand why White southerners wanted to make sure “their sweet little girls [are not] required to sit in school alongside some big black buck.” In 1958, he advocated a "good two-cent contraceptive" that anyone can afford to the UN.

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963): John F. Kennedy endorsed foreign aid for population control in April 1963 in reply to a reporter's question planted by Planned Parenthood. Before John F. Kennedy's 1960 election to the presidency, a Senate colleague had asked Kennedy how he, as a Catholic, viewed the issue of making "family planning information" available at home and abroad. Kennedy responded, "It's bound to come; it's just a question of time. The Church will come around. I intend to be as brave as I dare." As President, Kennedy cautiously gave encouragement to those who wanted to involve both the U.S. government and the United Nations in population control. He did not, however, share with the public his views on abortion. According to journalist Benjamin Bradlee, a friend of Kennedy's, in 1963 JFK privately "said he was all for people solving their problems by abortion (and specifically told me I could not use that for publication in Newsweek)..." 

LBJ (1963-1969): received Planned Parenthood’s first Margaret Sanger award, 1966, along with MLK.  LBJ's "war on poverty" included using food "as leverage" for fertility control. He called the Civil Rights Act the "n****r bill." 

John D. Rockefeller III appointed Frederick Osborn, a celebrated eugenicist, author of “Preface to Eugenics” (New York, 1940) and one of the founding members of the American Eugenics Society (AES) as the first president of the Population Council. Osborn served as President of the Population Council until 1959. However, in 1968 Osborn wrote, “Eugenic goals are most likely to be achieved under another name than eugenics.” Moreover in 1972, right after Roe v. Wade was reargued on October 11th, the American Eugenics Society was reorganized and renamed to “The Society for the Study of Social Biology” and now known as “The Society for Biodemography and Social Biology.
“The name was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time.”

Richard Nixon (1969-1974): “It is my view that no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition. I believe, therefore that we should establish as a national goal the provision of adequate family planning services within the next five years to all those who want them but cannot afford them. This we have the capacity to do.“ He initiated the Commission on Population Growth which called for legal abortion by 1972 in order to prevent the birth of “little black b*st*rds”.  "I have the greatest affection for them [Negroes] but I know they're not going to make it for 500 years," he said. "They aren't. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they're dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like."  "There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white... Or a rape.""

Gerald Ford (1974-1977): Adopted NSSM 200 in 1974 as official US policy. This classified document gives "paramount importance" to population control measures and the promotion of contraception among populous countries. The US deemed rapid population growth inimical to the socio-political and economic growth of these countries and to the national interests of the United States, since the "U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad", and these countries can produce destabilizing opposition forces against the United States.  13 countries of "special U.S. political and strategic interest" were primary targets: India, Brazil, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia 

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981): January 14, 1981, his farewell address re-emphasized the overriding importance his administration had attached to the problem of “overpopulation.”

1st non-eugenics President - Ronald Reagan (1981-1989): Initially requested increased “Population Planning programs” by 33% over Carter’s 1981 budget. Reagan administration will then ask the budget to be zeroed out the following year, on the ground that population growth was a "natural phenomenon" that could stimulate economic growth.

George HW Bush (1989-1993): President George H.W. Bush earned the nickname “Rubbers” as a congressman for his passion for increasing access to contraception. Created the National Center for Population and Family Planning in the Department of Health Education and Welfare also know as HEW. Worked with Planned Parenthood, Houston, 1969. However, three presidential administrations, that of Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush withhold funding from the UNFPA, after the organization is accused of promoting coerced abortions and sterilizations.

Bill Clinton (1993-2001): The Clinton administration nearly doubled U.S. spending on world population control programs (from about $300 million in 1992 to $585 million in 1995) and, in keeping with the United Nations action plan, sought to double population control spending again in the next five years (up to $1.2 billion for fiscal year 2000).

2nd non-eugenics President - George Bush (2001-2009): withholds funding from the UNFPA, after the organization is accused of promoting coerced abortions and sterilizations

Barack Obama (2009-2016): Obama established the President's Global Development Council, run by USAID. It advises on all aspects of U.S. global development policy. Nine appointees were announced in December 2012. The majority of them are associated with organizations that promote reproductive rights and population control policy.

His science advisor, John Holdren, co-wrote  Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment; which discussed solutions to overpopulation: enforced population controls, including compulsory abortion, adding sterilants to drinking water or staple foods, forced sterilization for women after they gave birth to a designated number of children, and "the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences" such as access to birth control and abortion.

Donald Trump (2016-2020), "“You have to be born lucky,” President Donald Trump told Oprah Winfrey in 1988, “in the sense that you have to have the right genes.” His biographer Michael D’Antonio explained to Frontline that Trump and his family subscribe “to a racehorse theory of human development. They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”

So does Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon... Sources told The New York Times this November that despite his devout Catholicism, Bannon “occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.”

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