Friday, December 10, 2010

A Good Primer On Eugenics In The US

If you’re not up to speed on eugenics and people with disabilities, this is a good place to start. Of course, I would go further and suggest that we have eugenics of people with disabilities happening n the 21st century in the good ol’ US of A.
When America believed in eugenics
In the second of her series to mark disability history month, Victoria Brignell investigates America's past enthusiasm for eugenics and the profound suffering this inflicted on disabled people.
In the decades following the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, a craze for eugenics spread not only through Britain but through America as well. Overbreeding by the poor and disabled threatened the quality of the human race, American campaigners warned. Drastic measures must be taken to avert a future catastrophe for humanity.
Amid popular fears about the decline of the national stock, one of the main drives behind the formation of American immigration policy at the end of the 19th century was the desire to exclude disabled people. The first major federal immigration law, the Act of 1882, prohibited entry to any 'lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.' more

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