Skip to comments.Secrets behind state institutions (Eugenics)
Posted on 08/25/2007 11:18:39 AM PDT by wagglebee
Everyone has a couple of buried skeletons hiding behind their secret closet door. America is no exception. During the mid 20th century, state institutions for individuals with developmental disabilities began popping up all over the country, due in part to the Eugenics movement. These institutions were primarily human warehouses for the feebleminded. Eugenics actually began in America and was adapted by Nazi Germany and continued long after Hitler's genocide of 6 million European Jews.
It was believed, at that time, that those with mental defectives were inferior and polluting the gene pool. Under the movement, Eugenics attempted to keep these individuals from reproducing by sterilizing and locking them up in state institutions. During the 1920s, early science developed I.Q. tests that were used to place individuals into the state's hands, believing that intelligence was inherited.
As I.Q. testing gained social popularity, new research started to suggest that environment played a major role in the scoring process of the I.Q. tests. A child from an unloving, hectic family usually scored low on the test but when placed in a nurturing home, the child could flourish and raise their score. A lot of the children placed in these institutions were not mentally retarded but poor, uneducated with no family or home to call their own.
Today, we are fully aware of the significant role the environment plays in the development of a child.
Mentally impaired individuals and the socially disadvantaged were integrated together in these institutions, receiving much of the same care, deficient support, and cruel treatment. By the 1930s, this was very much socially acceptable and part of the legal system. Stigmas and stereotypes were placed on individuals with disabilities or low I.Q.s. Oftentimes, doctors would advise parents to hand newborns over to the state after birth if there were any disabilities. At that time in American history, little to no supports were available to meet the needs of children with disabilities in schools and homes.
A recent CNN article, Families Get Help Finding Loved Ones Lost in Institutions, by Lisa Cohen notes that by 1967, 100,000 children were institutionalized among the 162 state facilities across the United States. Stories of cruelty and mistreatment were rampant and are still remembered by those who survived the institutionalization of thousands of American children. Institutionalized children became victims of sexual abuse, neglect and cruelty. At times, these children were heavily sedated, isolated and restrained. These children grew up believing they did not belong on earth, and they weren't part of the species.
In 1994, Senate hearings established that the Fernald State School for the Feebleminded in Massachusetts institutionalized many children during the Eugenics era, using them as guinea pigs for an experiment conducted by MIT scientists. As part of a science club, a selection of children were fed radioactive oatmeal as a nutritional study by Quaker Oats. The children were never informed nore did they give consent to be part of the experiment, even though laws had been established just 10 years before stating the need for consent. Since the experiments became public knowledge, members of the science group have since sued MIT, Quaker Oats and the government, receiving $60,000.
Institutions or human warehouses have begun to close and shut down leaving medical terms such as imbecile and moron on state records. By sterilizing and imprisoning individuals with disabilities, America thought they were improving the future, creating a healthier, more intelligent society. Today, individuals with disabilities are living independently, playing strong, active roles in the community.
They should OWN Quaker Oats!
We now have a large government run institution for the feeble-minded. It’s commonly known as the House and Senate.
The simple truth is that society will never be allowed to revert to true survival nature because compassion acts as a brake on selection of the fittest...
Yeah, sometimes I have to step over them on my way to work.
Were some people improperly warehoused and medicated? You bet.
Has closing the "warehouses" and throwing them on their own resouces been a rousing success? I don't think so.
“At times, these children were heavily sedated, isolated and restrained.”
Today the schools just mandate they take Ridilin or other drugs.
We’ve come a long way... (sarc/off)
This should always be remembered, along with the Tuskegee experiment; human radiation experiments; and the lack of government provision of brewer’s yeast or information about its ability to treat pellagra (niacin deficiency) to blacks in the South, long after white children were being provided supplements and information; as examples of failures of scientific and medical ethics.
Eugenics was, and remains, a tantalizing subject, and one which dances right on the edge of ethics. Ironically, much of the theory of Eugenics is provable, but applications of Eugenics are frequently cruel and inhumane.
Ironically, one of the first successful experiments in pseudo-Eugenics was made by the founder of one of New York State’s idealistic immigrant communities. While the community believed in voluntary marriage, it was up to the founder to decide who would mate with whom.
His guesses, to the effect of “You are smart, and you are strong, so create a child that will be raised by the woman and her husband”, in just four generations, produced no fewer than 60 national leaders in a multitude of fields.
Fortunately, for all concerned, had the commune not broken up, within a generation or two beyond that, the inbreeding would have resulted in some degree of genetic collapse, with many defective offspring.
Today, and with only our limited understanding of genetics, China has begun a program of selective breeding among its elites. However, it has not exhibited much success so far, in that its genetic pool may be too narrow.
But efforts in the US, on the other side of the spectrum, to improve society by eliminating its defectives, was instantly corrupted, the wealthy and powerful protecting their less than perfect offspring from involuntary surgery and confinement; and intelligent and healthy, but poor families losing children to such solely because of their poverty.
It should also be noted that not too long ago, a health minister of France actively permitted HIV tainted blood products to be administered to hemophiliacs, with the idea that with their deaths, hemophilia would be eradicated from the country.
And that is the bottom line of Eugenics, that it is too easy to corrupt to questionable ends.
My sister who taught special ed ended up teaching the GRANDCHILDREN of her original students....and there were LOTS of them because the retarded have a difficult time with birth control. Low IQ is strongly influenced by heredity. At the rate we are going society will be overwhelmed by the “marching morons” within two generations. While forcible sterilization, institutionalization, and drugging are horrible, our society needs to discourage low IQ people from procreating faster than the rest of the population which they are currently doing.
“Institutions or human warehouses have begun to close and shut down leaving medical terms such as imbecile and moron on state records. By sterilizing and imprisoning individuals with disabilities, America thought they were improving the future, creating a healthier, more intelligent society. Today, individuals with disabilities are living independently, playing strong, active roles in the community.”
Far more humane to allow them to wander aimlessly in city streets, forage in dumpsters, utilize alleyways for restroms, and sleep on steam grates - when they’re not freezing to death. These days, no one ever misses an opportunity to bash America and the people who made it the greatest nation in the history of the world. Maybe - just maybe - they were on to something.
As Americans we should hang our heads in shame! Not all the Nazis lived in Europe, and Doctors are not always nice people! How much of this unforgivable abuse is still practiced in our ‘institutions’? Man’s inhumanity to man has not changed.
Without the retarded, your sister would be unemployable.
I am touched by the compassion of your family.
I’ve always wondered about this. While there is obviously a strong environmental component to intelligence, it is equally obvious that there is a hereditary component that is at least as strong.
Isn’t artificial assistance to those who are incapable of succeeding in society a rather anti-evolutionary approach? Given the relative reproduction rates of successful and less successful people, aren’t we breeding for low intelligence? Survival of the least fit?
Given enough generations, what could the consequences of this approach be?
This sounds suspiciously familiar.
The meek shall inherit the earth.
I am touched by the compassion of your family.
Maybe, instead, she would be employed in a factory or the service sector actually producing goods and services to add to the Commonwealth of the nation. I'm touched by your reasoning.
What’s stopping her now? She would not have a long vacation or the sweet public teacher pension. You seem to be implying that her brilliant mind has been wasted on the less fortunate. Never mind that she makes more money teaching undeserving students than the teachers who serve regular students.Did someone force her to serve them? I’m sure her students would be better off without her kind.
Thanks, for the complement. I aim to please.
Has closing the “warehouses” and throwing them on their own resouces been a rousing success? I don’t think so.
Amen to that. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water.
So your sister owes her success and livlihood to “marching morons” and yet you want them warehoused and sterilized. Without them, where would your sister be? Honestly, I’m sitting here laughing at the hypocrisy and ignorance.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.