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.
And whatever term we want to call it to make it seem nice, it is compensation. That’s what I’ve been calling it in my bills and in my legislation. You compensate people for something you’ve done to them that they do not deserve. And I understand being on a committee and being on a Task Force, I’ve been on one myself. Some things you may not say and you don’t want to say, something you may feel are inappropriate. But when you have those live human beings come before you like they did at the last meeting how in the world can you stand to dismiss them?
How do you have victims come forward and speak before you and you don’t stand aggressively
for them? I don’t care how much it hurts the State, the State did it. The State should have to pay for it! I’m here to represent the state of NC and not for anyone to like me. This is horrendous. It almost borders on genocide. We talk about the communist countries, Osama Bin Laden, third world counties. Well we have done things just as bad, if not worse. To children!
I come just a little frustrated when I see people try to skip around it. Dance around it, rather than face an issue for what it is. It’s an ungodly thing that we have done to these children. I’m here because right is right and right won’t wrong nobody. It is no amount of money that you can give to somebody. But it can’t be something that will be a double whammy to them. You’re victimizing them again! What is $10,000? What is $20,000? What is $50,000? It is really nothing, that you have destroyed your family. And this was done forcibly, by the welfare department, county departments, and you talking about private rights and citizens rights. They didn’t have any rights and if they did you violated them! I’m not talking about you personally on the panel or the staff. I’m talking about the state of North Carolina, the government. And yes I’m talking about the legislature, I serve in the legislature and it’s a wrong thing what the legislature did.
You can download the full preliminary report here. The NC Justice for Sterilization Vicitims Foundation website is here.