DISTURBING HEADLINES out of Louisiana suggest the specter of eugenics, again. Let's sterilize the poor people. We'll pay women on welfare $1,000 to have their tubes tied and pay poor men to have vasectomies. That is the legislative proposal of Louisiana State Rep. John LaBruzzo. And he suggests introducing additional legislation to pay college graduates to have babies, with tax incentives.
Where does this guy come from? A republican from Metairie, LA, LaBruzzo represents the same district David Duke used to represent, according to WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. Yes, the same Grand Wizard David Duke, of the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan and probably America's best-known racist. "Baton Rouge NAACP President Lamont Cole believes LaBruzzo has "re-incarnated David Duke in his own thought processes."
TO END DEPENDENCE ON WELFARE and rid Louisiana of poverty are his motivations claims LaBruzzo. However, many believe his sterilization proposal unfairly targets African Americans and perceive it as racist. Sterilization is his idea for a way to stem generational welfare (folks on welfare have kids who also end up on welfare). And it came to him when Hurricane Gustav headed to the coast of Louisiana and "thousands of impoverished people flocked into shelters, where some of them seemed unprepared to take care of their young children's basic needs, forgetting to bring along diapers or medicine," reported ABC News.
"After this recent storm, we had some issues where these people were going into shelters and taking their cigarettes and welfare but didn't have diapers or insulin for diabetic kids, and they felt they were entitled to say, 'Give me, give me.' None of them didn't want to set up cots or do anything," said LaBruzzo.
IDEA NOT EUGENICS, SELECTIVE BREEDING like that used in Nazi Germany, LaBruzzo denied. Most Americans do not realize that Germany used America's eugenics legislation as a model for developing their own. Yikes, this is frightening stuff!
By the early 1930s, some 30 American states had adopted eugenics laws. After the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of Virginia's sterilization law in 1927, there was a rapid rise in the quantity of forced sterilizations in the U.S. American eugenicists also pushed for anti-immigration measures. Whoa! This is all sounding very familiar to current American issues. Awareness will help ensure that we do not repeat history. It's not all ancient history -- Oregon didn't repeal its sterilization law until 1981. And, did you know that a number of our revered institutions of higher learning -- like Harvard, Columbia and Cornell -- actually taught courses in eugenics ?
Responding to inflammatory charges that eugenics is tied to "liberal Christianity," David Gibson writes in Belief Net's "Pontifications:"
"America's ugly dalliance with eugenics is replete with instances of progressives who were so enamored of social engineering or bringing about paradise on earth that they succumbed to the worst temptations to make it happen. And of course, conservatives, perhaps like the GOP legislator in Louisiana, were no better; maybe Sarah Palin will have him to dinner if she's elected."
WELFARE ROLLS HAVE GONE DOWN, NOT UP as Rep. LaBruzzo suggests that the number of people on welfare in Louisiana has continually and dramatically increased over the past several decades, necessitating control such as sterilization of the poor on welfare. But apparently, just the opposite is true, according to Louisana officials who state that the number of welfare recipients in the state has actually plunged from a monthly average of 280,177 in fiscal 1990-'91 to 13,504 people in 2006-'07, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Many are calling the proposal "coercive," and "racist," Among them is Shana Griffin,interim director of the New Orleans Women's Health Clinic, who says it is obvious who LaBruzzo is targeting -- the welfare recipients and those dependent on city-assisted evacuation -- poor, black women.
"If someone doesn't have a car and needs to utilize city-assisted evacuation, that makes them a social burden? " asked Griffin. "The fact that he (LaBruzzo) feels so comfortable and entitled to make these statements is a reflection of our society, that we're OK with the most vulnerable of our community being blamed for the social, economic and political rises that we're experiencing... (LaBruzzo) wants to use a form of medical experimentation and forced sterilization on poor women of color, using their economic status as a way to make them more vulnerable to the offer."
Griffin said that referring to people as social burdens is the same as calling them "social degenerates," and that the working class people LaBruzzo wants sterilized are those who keep the city of New Orleans afloat.