Well, at last, here it is. Watch, enjoy, share, like.
Well, at last, here it is. Watch, enjoy, share, like.
h/t Anne Pasek
In October 2011, BBC released a documentary series entitled “Mixed Britannia.” A related news article can be found at the link below:
The first couple of parts spend quite a bit of time touching on the pseudo-science of eugenics in Britain, and the role it played in shaping its society, as well as its views on women.
The Racial Hygiene Society focused in the early 1900s on looking at race, and most specifically, mixed race. As one quote from the documentary stated, Continue reading
The preliminary report of The Governor’s Task Force to Determine the Method of Compensation for Victims of North Carolina’s Eugenics Board (available beneath the fold) was delivered today. In it, North Carolina State Representative Larry Womble says, at the final meeting of the committee, held three weeks ago:
Eugenics [is] a fancy name for sterilization. I am very compassionate about this issue and have worked on it for 10 years. If I’ve been involved for 10 years, what do you think about the victims themselves and it is a shame and disgrace what has happened to them. I thank the Task Force for all their work. But at the same time, I cannot be timid about this, I can’t be Mille mouthed. I cannot be cute about this because it’s not a cute and nice subject. We did to humans what we do to animals, we spade and neuter animals not people. And we did this to children 10 and 11 and 12 years old, they were not criminals, they did nothing wrong. We talk about we are the land the free and the home of the brave and when we do this to children and I’m wondering how sincere we really are. Continue reading
h/t Doug Wahlsten.
The state of North Carolina has recently been revisiting its extensive eugenic past, and the latest move is a statement of support for compensation for sterilization victims from the director of Legal and Regulatory Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Eugenic sterilization legislation was in place in NC until 1979; there are slightly fewer than 3000 living survivors of the regime of sterilization that was in place in NC until that time.
The full story is in the Lincoln Tribune.
I was recently surprised to learn in a pyschology class of a professor at the University of Western Ontario by the name of Dr. J. Philippe Rushton. Apparently he is known for his work on the relationship between intelligence and racial difference and for his controversial book, Race, Evolution and Behavior. Beyond this, I know very little about his research and its legitimacy. I’m curious to know the thoughts of those who are more familiar with his work.
Access to information and information ethics need have revolutionary voices and here is an excellent reason why!
Here are five What Sorts posts that I had particular fun writing–from mid-2008 to early 2009–that can serve as a kind of bon voyage for 2009 … despite the fact that only two of them were written in 2009, and pretty early on, at that. Farewell 2009, farewell! May 2010 bring more sunshine and fewer clouds.
As someone as interested as much in the sorts of people we as a society think valuable as in the processes that we use to produce more of those we value, and fewer of those we don’t, I was was struck by a brilliant post last week at Like a Whisper on a topic that might not be suspected of raising deep points about both these values and how we shape people to realize them: Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary. Like many people born in the past 50 or so years, I grew up on a steady diet of Sesame Street, initially in black and white in the back streets of Broken Hill, and later in full colour in the beach-laden northern suburbs of Perth.
I remember, quite vividly still, a particular episode that has made its way into family lore. My parents had decided that they needed to make a break from a gritty mining town in the outback of Western New South Wales for somewhere that at least had grass (really), or even water in visible supply, and took me on a trip with them east, touring through the eastern part of the state, through Tamworth (my first sight of real greenery), Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, and all the way up to Lismore, before torrential rainfall ended any more northerly ventures. While in Coffs Harbour, Sesame Street was doing its usual share of child-minding while my folks got on with other things. We were in some very cheap motel that included a coin-fed television, what we might think of as the early version of pay tv. Continue reading
The following letter by What Sorts Network member Nick Supina III, an Edmonton-based artist with a cognitive disability, was published in the Edmonton Journal on Sunday, 25th October, 2009, in response to an article by Paula Simons on October 13th. Nick’s letter can be viewed at the journal site right here. Congratulations to Nick on getting the letter published!
Re: “Posthumous Senate appointments bittersweet victory,” by Paula Simons, Oct. 13.
Paula Simons applauds Canada’s Senate for naming Alberta’s “Famous 5″ suffrage pioneers as honourary senators to mark the 80th anniversary of the landmark “Persons Case” ruling, which established that Canadian women were “persons” with the right to hold public office, including a Senate appointment. To her credit, Simons acknowledged that some of these appointees were “staunch advocates of Alberta’s despicable eugenics program of forced sterilization of people deemed ‘unfit to breed.’ ” Simons also wrote, “Certainly, it is one of the painful ironies of Alberta’s history that some of the same crusaders who led the flight for votes for women, then turned around and used the political power they had won to undermine the human rights of some of the most marginalized and vulnerable citizens.”
To know the history of eugenics is to know the “eugenics irony” is more than that which Simons acknowledged. Continue reading
The first part of Ed Stein’s talk at the Human Kinds symposium on sexual orientation, especially in equal protection under US jurisprudence.
Did Governor Richardson get it roughly right about sexual orientation, as Ed claims?
On October 25, 2008, the What Sorts Network hosted a public symposium to examine, well, philosophy, eugenics, and disability in Alberta and places north. Four speakers were featured on the panel, Dick Sobsey, Simo Vehmas, Martin Tweedale, and Rob Wilson. This event was video recorded and over the next month we will highlight these videos on this blog. Videos will be featured on average twice a week, roughly every Saturday and Wednesday.
To download the full description of the symposium please click here.
We begin this series with the first two parts of the presentation by Dick Sobsey titled “Varieties of Eugenics Experience in the 21st Century.” This presentation amounts to a summary of various kinds of eugenic motivations, justifications, and practices from the 19th century to today with a good collection of anecdotes and trivia. A transcript of both parts follows the fold.
Highlights from part 1 include: shift from religious to scientific view of the world; quality of life; social Darwinism vs. biological capitalism.
Some of you may know this already, so apologies for cross-posting. Liz Crow, a British filmmaker, has been engaged in putting together a commemorative and interactive installation chronicling Aktion Tiergartenstrasse 4, an extermination plan enacted in 1939 by the Nazi’s with the goal of eliminating people with disabilities from a society that sought Aryan perfection. Aktion T4 became the ‘successful’ blueprint for extermination camps with a broader mandate as the war progressed. In this clip–which is captioned in English, with spoken English as well–Liz Crow outlines the project and the film she’s working on.
You can also see more at the Roaring Girl Productions website, including a 3-D tour of what the installation will look like.
And so a tale already fraught with controversy unleashes an ethical bombshell… Continue reading
Over at the mostly awesome Project on Law and Mind Sciences (PLMS) blog, they have opened up PLMS Tube about a week ago. It’s a collection of about 80 videos so far, chiefly it seems from their first two annual conferences and visiting speakers. One of the videos, which they have running on their blog right now, is an amazing 30 minute talk from Jennifer Eberhardt‘s talk from 2007, “Policing Racial Bias”. Eberhardt is a psychologist working on the implicit cognition of racial bias, and its relevance for policing, the justice system, and ordinary cognition. Some of the experimental results are truly scary. Check it out.
If you think that racial bias is a thing of the past, or something that those who profess only the most liberal and inclusive attitudes about race are free of, watch the video below; it’s Part 3 of the talk, running to around 8 minutes. The whole talk covers ways in which implicit bias operates on racial grounds, and some of the results are staggering. In Part 3, Eberhardt focuses on punishment and racial proxies for evil or wickedness, but works up to the study results that had her exclaim “Have Mercy!”, starting at around 3.45 or so of this clip with a reminder from W.E.B. DuBois. Links to the whole thing beneath the fold. Update: Kudos to the folks at PLMS for getting these videos captioned! Continue reading
In a two previous post I argued against Peter Singer’s position that humans with profound intellectual disabilities should be considered nonpersons without moral status or fundamental rights. In this post, however, I want to support his concern for about the treatment of nonhuman animals and endorse his view that some fundamental rights should be recognized for nonhuman animals. In supporting his view that nonhuman animals deserve greater respect and better treatment, however, I do want to suggest that the arguments that he presents against respecting the moral status of humans hurts rather than helps progress in improving the status and treatment of nonhuman animals. Here are five reasons why. Continue reading
From the Associated Press, courtesy of DAWG Oregon; it looks like the reference (below the fold) to Illinois as the first state to enact sterilization should be to Indiana, though if I’m misreading this (or am just wrong), let us know! Note that the dates for eugenic sterilization in NC were 1929-1975, almost the same as for Alberta, 1929-1975. *****
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers pushed Thursday to offer reparations to thousands of victims of a forced sterilization program now recognized as a shameful part of U.S. history.
A state House panel recommended the state give $20,000 to victims of the eugenics program, which sterilized about 7,600 people between 1929 and 1975 who were considered to be mentally handicapped or genetically inferior. Though North Carolina and several other states have apologized, none had offered reparations.
“Yes, it is ugly. It’s not something that we’re proud,” said state Rep. Larry Womble, D-Forsyth, who has been working on the issue for several years. “But I’m glad that North Carolina has done more than any other state to step forward and not run away from it.” Lawmakers in the full General Assembly will have to approve the idea. They convene next month. Continue reading
Close-up photo of Chris Bell from the shoulders up. He is wearing a midnight blue t-shirt, rectangular glasses, silver hoop earrings, and has a thin moustache/goatee. There are books on the shelves of bookcases in the background.
“This is not a death sentence”
by Rebekah Jones
When Chris Bell found out he was HIV-positive, he went home, sat down and watched “Law and Order.” He didn’t cry or lash out at his partner who infected him, he said. He watched television and started his homework. “I had papers to grade,” said Bell, a post-doctorate research fellow and soon-to-be professor at Syracuse University. Eleven years after his diagnosis, at 6-foot-2 and 135 pounds, Bell’s emaciated figure proves how the infection plagues his body. His medicine makes him tired and sick, and he keeps losing weight.
Bell isn’t doing well health wise, but he’s pushing forward. He’s learned too much in his 34 years of living to just quit – giving up isn’t in him, he said. “This is not a death sentence; we’re all dying,” Bell said. “Nothing has changed but my level of awareness.” While the virus overwhelms his body, Bell continues to focus on what’s important to him: being an activist and an educator.
Bell’s first class as a professor at SU, CFE 600 (Disability, AIDS & U.S. Culture) starting Spring 2009, will be the only class at SU focused specifically on HIV and disability studies in American culture. His class will examine, critique and aim to redefine the way people think about disabled persons and HIV/AIDS patients. Read the entire story here:
Acknowledgement to Beth Haller at Media dis and dat