Things You’ll Never See on TV #3

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, 1934

Feeble-minded persons, habitual congenital criminals, those afflicted with inheritable disease, and others found biologically unfit by authorities qualified judge should be sterilized or, in cases of doubt, should be so isolated as to prevent the perpetuation of their afflictions by breeding.

Proposed “American Baby Code”, American Weekly, Mar. 27, 1934
Author: Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood
Source: New York University

Third of a series, brought to you by Alternate Reality TV, Inc.

26 thoughts on “Things You’ll Never See on TV #3

  1. Looking at what we do see on TV these days, I’m not so sure that Sanger was all that wrong. News shows, Sunday morning talking heads, politicians.

    Pardon my cynicism…

    • It’s more than cynicism, Desertrat. It’s a broad tar brush that does little to further our wisdom or understanding of the upheavals the world faces.

      The whole world is suffering from growing pains and unprecedented massive migrations whose long-term effect is hard to judge. But each of us is equally deserving until we prove ourselves otherwise. Too bad so many 3rd worlders are landing on our shores and proving they have a loong learning curve ahead of them. Don’t you think the landless, poverty stricken Indians and Chinese would be working their way west if they could figure out how to do so?

      The numbers of bodies they find on cargo ships of failed stow-aways is testament to the eternal hope hardwired into the human heart. We can respect their hopes even as we are forced to set limits on their incursions.

      To do any less is to become as feral and despairing as they.

  2. In the vein of ‘You Might Be a Redneck’ jokes: If you remember a TV set with a vertical hold knob, you might be old.

    • I remember a TV that was a big wooden box surrounding a small B&W screen.

        • Old joke: A fellow goes over to his friends house and sees his friends children sitting around their new color TV. He tells his friend, “Hey you shouldn’t let them sit so close, I heard color TV’s will make people sterile.” The host replied, “Really?” and then picked up the cat and put it down in front of the kids.

      • My family’s first TV was a wood box containing a 14″ b&w screen. That was about 1957. And several years later when my parents bought our first colour TV, I had the luxury of having it in my bedroom. I’ve been blessed all my life and can’t believe God has been so kind to me.

    • Who, us? Are you pointing at us, Rick?

      Hah. Little did you know that your moderators are bubble-gum chewing, twerking teeny boppers of uncertain gender. We found that picture in a Way Back machine. It was labelled or we wouldn’t have known what it was.

      Pass the pipe, Baron.

  3. A beastly outfit, indeed. Although I chose to ignore the horror for many years, how can anyone, post-Gosnell, get to sleep at night while supporting the hools?

  4. Eh, hooligans. I suppose “ghouls” would have been more appropriate. Hooligans probably couldn’t be bothered.

  5. Dymphna, I don’t have a clue as to what you meant with the broad tar brush comment.

    I’m negative on the idea of eugenics, although having watched the US population more than double in my lifetime, I do indeed feel crowded. Watching any TV makes me feel that I’m crowded by idiots. 🙂

    Hey, Baron, many of those old cabinets were indeed wood. Take out the old TV, make a nice end table or cabinet. But I saw my first TV in Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver in late 1957. B/W, pro football was popular among us “inmates”.

    Wood cabinets for radios, also, back in WW II.

    • Dymphna,

      Concerning eugenics, population changes are already here. You can see the results. Simple logic and an elementary knowledge of genetics will tell you that if you apply medical techniques to overcome an inherited defect, at best, that defect is going to spread in the population.

      Similarly, as long as you take resources from productive people and give the resources to non-productive people, you will select for non-productive traits. The Muslim men who bring in several wives and put them in separate apartments, all on welfare, are promoting a particular type of population. What are you selecting for? A propensity for passivity on the part of the women, and a selection for producing huge numbers of non-productive, but fervent Muslim children on the part of the men.

      In other words, we have to look at the genetic consequences of our actions.

      Now, using government to make decisions for people: that’s an entirely different matter. The Nazis gave eugenics a bad name because they 1) tried to exterminate races like the Jews because Hitler didn’t like them; and 2) killed people against their will, which is immoral in anybody’s book. There is a scene in the classic movie, Judgement at Neuremberg, where the mildly retarded man recounts his involuntary sterilization, in spite of the fact that he was self-supporting and not a dependent.

      There were cases in the US where people were sterilized, and not told about the procedure. Later on, the records appeared to have been deliberately destroyed. But generally, in those cases, the people involved were public charges.

      I think it would be a huge mistake to put government in charge of selecting for population traits. They would invariably get it wrong. Further, there would be no appeal, just like a total government control over medical care.

      In the not-too-distant future, we will probably be able to control a good part of the alleles (gene trait expressions) that will be in individuals. Our increasing knowledge and technology makes a type of eugenics inevitable. The only way to get around it would be for the government to explicitly make genetic tampering illegal. This would be somewhat equivalent to making genetically-modified foods illegal, on the grounds of vague, morality-based arguments based on speculation.

      But, inside our borders or outside our borders, the populations are booming, and the populations which are expanding the fastest have almost no individuals at all that would be beneficial to import. So, the choice is to destroy our own society accommodating them, impoverish ourselves in sending them more resources (without materially affecting the results anyway), or letting them starve or succumb to diseases. This is the natural way through history, but not necessarily better than some kind of conscious, non-coercive eugenics.

  6. Is something garbled in the Sanger quote? My brain’s parsing algorithm breaks down at “others found biologically unfit by authorities qualified judge should be sterilized”.

    • I believe they left out “to”, or it might have needed an apostrophe at the end of “authorities”. I couldn’t figure out which error it was, so I left it as I found it — check the original, that’s what it says.

      Otherwise I would have inserted a correction in square brackets.

      • Nope, no words left out. You could rewrite it, the qualified judge of the authorities.

        • Then there’s an apostrophe missing. It has to be that or the missing word; otherwise the syntax doesn’t work.

  7. Sanger should be honorable mention to Rachel Carson in the Guiness “Largest Genocide” category.

  8. I always find it astonishing that people who complain about the world being overcrowded, mass migration, etc. have a problem with abortion. Sure, sterilization as proposed by Sanger is now considered repugnant, but it wasn’t always so. You want to complain about people having babies to get a welfare check? Let’s go the other way. You should have to pay the rest of society to have a baby. A one-child policy like China, and if you want a second one it’s $500k. Third one is $1M. I’m sick of being surrounded by [epithets] with seven delinquent children while hard working people can’t afford to put one through college.

    • The problem is that fertility rates are going down all over the place. Check these. Anything less that two means that your group is disappearing.

    • I rather agree, You Are Upside Down. She was way too extreme by suggesting governments should have power over people’s sterility, but I don’t see anything about poor families in this quote. Let’s look at who she thought should not reproduce:

      1. Habitual congenital criminals. Well, isn’t it proven that people who can’t get themselves out of criminal behaviour make terrible parents? If there was some humane way to prevent people from reproducing until at least they had sorted themselves it seems sensible.

      2. Those with inherited diseases. This makes sense and anyone with a good brain but a hereditary disease could wisely make this decision themselves. I have made that decision, partly due to epilepsy in my family, which I don’t want to inflict upon anyone.

      3. Those found biologically unfit by authorities. This is too vague and extreme. Can’t agree with this concept.

  9. This is way above my head. However, I always thought Sanger was a creep.

    • For goodness’ sake! Look below the image; it says: “Source: New York University“, which includes the embedded link.

      Did you want me to go up to NYU and cart the archives to your door??

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