Monday, November 24th, 2003
Disturbingly, the practice of keeping genetic files on Americans at the Cold Springs Harbour eugenics lab is to some degree replicated today – on a voluntary basis – by IBM and their support of The Genographic Project and its constellation of national spinoffs, such as Ancestry.ca
Edwin Black, San Francisco Chronicle
November 24, 2003
Mr. Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust and the just released War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, from which the following article is drawn.
Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a so-called “Master Race.”
But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn’t originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little known, role in the American eugenics movement’s campaign for ethnic cleansing.
Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed “unfit,” preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in “colonies,” and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.