Between 1929 and 1974, the North Carolina Eugenics Board sterilized thousands of men and women without their knowledge or consent, most of whom were poor, black, disabled, institutionalized, or undereducated. According to TPM, an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 of them are still alive, and 146 of them have been found and verified. After years of working with victims to come up with an acceptable solution, the state’s House, led by Republican speaker Thom Tillis, proposed paying $50,000 to each of the living victims of the state’s foray into messing with the gene pool. A total of $10 million was set aside for currently known and to-be-discovered victims.
Upon reflection however, today’s Senate Republicans would rather not do that. After all, it was just sterilization.
Sen. Don East said, “I’m so sorry it happened, but throwing money don’t change it, don’t make it go away. It still happened.”
Sen. Austin Allrand “I’m not so sure it would lay the issue at rest because if you start compensating people who have been ‘victimized’ by past history, I don’t know where that would end.”
After all, these people were ‘feeble minded’ and illiterate guardians signed their X’s, so it was all legal.
Elaine Riddick Jessie is an African-American woman who, as a 14-year-old girl in 1968, was forcibly sterilized by the Eugenics Board of North Carolina, which argued that she was “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.”
Prior to the sterilization (at age 13), Jessie had been kidnapped, molested, and raped.
The South rises again.