Salon has a good essay on Charles Davenport, a prominent American biologist from the first half of the 20th century who was one of the loudest voices promoting the eugenics movement. Oh, let’s call it what it was: the Wealthy White Racist movement. It begins with the tale of Carrie Buck, as was previously told by Stephen Jay Gould (pdf) — a young woman, raped by the nephew of her foster parents, who was then punished by sterilization for being one of the
shiftless, ignorant and worthless class of anti-social whites of the South. It’s all part of the ongoing war on women, especially poor, minority women, that has been going on for a long, long time.
Davenport’s awful and influential work is discussed — read it and gag — but one thing that jumped out at me as particularly creepy was Davenport’s Eugenics Creed.
I believe in striving to raise the human race to the highest plane of social organization, of cooperative work and of effective endeavor.
I believe that I am the trustee of the germ plasm that I carry; that this has been passed on to me through thousands of generations before me; and that I betray the trust if (that germ plasm being good) I so act as to jeopardize it, with its excellent possibilities, or, from motives of personal convenience, to unduly limit offspring.
I believe that, having made our choice in marriage carefully, we, the married pair, should seek to have 4 to 6 children in order that our carefully selected germ plasm shall be reproduced in adequate degree and that this preferred stock shall not be swamped by that less carefully selected.
I believe in such a selection of immigrants as shall not tend to adulterate our national germ plasm with socially unfit traits.
I believe in repressing my instincts when to follow them would injure the next generation.
Oh, my, his precious germ plasm — it must be promulgated to fend off the brown hordes. Blech. Must take a shower now. It’s like reading vdare.com…it just incites extreme disgust.