Eugenics in America

In my novel Julianna’s Secret, the evil Julian DeSantis is a member of the Race Improvement Society. What exactly does that mean?

Julianna and Nils

Julianna and Nils

Well, every country has its good and bad history. America has more good than bad, though some people believe it has all bad. That’s nonsense.

One stain on American history is the eugenics movement, which has its origin in Great Britain. Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, a liberal scientist of many fields, believed that moral traits and intelligence was passed on through genes. He was so influential his policies influenced America and many other nations. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was one of his early supporters.

So why was eugenics popular in the early 1900s?

One answer: fear. Eastern Europeans flooded into America. They had large families, and they were largely uneducated, unskilled workers; whereas, other waves of European immigrants were educated and from Anglo cultures. This put fear in the American ruling classes. White Anglo-Americans wanted to keep their position of power. They first responded by closing America’s borders to the mentally ill and to people with diseases. The same holds true today: Close America’s borders to unskilled workers and to the disease-ridden. However, these European immigrants came to America legally.

The next step, I’m sorry to say, was America practiced sterilization on “lowlifes,” that being white trash, blacks, idiots, rapists, the mentally ill, alcoholics, perverts, and so on. Eugenics can be found in numerous periodicals. Don’t take my word for it. Research it yourself. Margaret Sanger, as well as many prominent doctors and scientists supported bans on immigration and forced sterilization of people. Some physicians even killed defective newborns without the consent of their parents. Race Improvement Societies were formed to promote “good breeding.” They held beautiful baby contests.

The next step in the eugenics movement was to “euthanize” patients with poison gas. By this time, eugenics started to fall out of favor in most of America, but forced sterilization was still practiced in California, North Carolina, and Virginia into the 1960s and 1970s.

Are you shocked? I certainly was.

Unfortunately, Hitler and the Nazis practiced these horrible policies. If Hitler sterilized and euthanized his own people—mainly the mentally retarded and children with birth defects—is it any wonder that he murdered Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, Poles, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so on? The Nazis practiced eugenics, which North America and other European nations had also practiced.

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