Can someone please help me debunk this bullshit about Margaret Sanger being a racist and eugenicist?
I had some right-wing nutjob telling me how Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was involved in the Eugenics movement, and actually wanted to exterminate African-Americans. Indeed, a quick Google search of Margaret Sanger brings up several websites accusing her of saying some pretty horribly racist stuff.
My gut tells me that this is nothing more than a well-orchestrated right wing smear campaign against Ms. Sanger, in an attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood. But is there a way to actually debunk this bullshit?
Sanger was the product of her times and, from most of what I've read over the years (I did a research paper profile on her in Grad School), she had some pretty ugly beliefs about race and genetics by todays standards.
Back then a lot of people believed you could actually predict criminal and anti social behavior based solely on looks. Look up Lombroso (sp?) for another example.
If you find anything else with a decent source I'd be interested. I'll keep track of this thread to see if anyone turns something better up.
6. She wanted poor women to have the same reproductive choices as wealthy women.
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 03:59 PM by Quantess
Poor women kept having so many unwanted children, and with no affordable birth control available to them, they had little control over the fate of themselves and the resulting worsened poverty of their large families. Wealthy women already had these options. Legal or not, wealthy women paid doctors for abortions, and were able to afford birth control. Sanger wanted poor women to have access to birth control.
I think Margaret Sanger is a remarkable Women's Rights pioneer for that.
in F. William Engdahl's book, Seeds of Destruction. Well referenced information on her that supports what you heard. BTW, I highly recoommend the book for anyone to read about other marvelous things our controllers have in store for us.
and MANY prominent people looked for reasons for some of the deformities & infirmities they saw.. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why they might have dabbled in eugenics.. We were an agrarian society, and farmers knew about breeding stock animals , to arrive at the "perfect" specimens they all wanted..
"Science" in that era, was on the cusp of understanding, but not quite "there" yet.. Racism was still mainstream, and in all segments of society. There was no TV, not much radio...(many did not even have electricity, phones or indoor plumbing) , and many people were iliterate..The common people trusted science, and if a scientist thought that "selective breeding" of certain groups of people would help society, many people were quite okay with that..
Looking at the era, from our vantage point is not totally fair, since we now know that their ideas were not valid..but at the time, they thought they might have been "onto something"..
Educated people of that era mostly missed the fact that, perhaps the reason there were so many "morons" and people of low intelligence, could have been that people were mal-nourished as kids and never went to school.. It was also an era of intense immigrant-bashing (sound familiar?), so to them , it made sense to portray people from "there" to be of low value, and not worthy of reproducing..:(
Think about it.. Even today, it's not about how many young strong men come here to work in car washes, trim palm trees, work in the fields for shitty wages... it's a "problem" when those young men form FAMILIES and need services for their wives & children.. It';s always about finding the money to provide SERVICES to "people we don't like"..
She was a leading proponent of eugenics back in her day(along with several other prominent Americans, Henry Ford among them), and her support of eugenics was based, at least in part, upon her inherent racist outlook.
16. Right--Progressives 120 years ago were different. So were Democrats,
(at least the Southern ones) also racists and leaders of the KKK--until the Civil Rights laws passed Congress, after which they all jumped off the Civil Rights loving Dem train and became Republicans, happy to welcome racists and the KKK into their dwindling demographic.
People used to think Lead was good in makeup, too, and they used to put radium on clock dials, cuz they didn't know any better.
After 120 years, Progressives got smarter, Republicans got stupider. Go figure.
I'm no expert, but it jives with what I know of her.
But so what? Nobody is a caricature of good or evil in every aspect of their lives, and people who do great things can be slimeballs. PP is not into eugenics or racism. What if its founder was? Hitler loved the same dog breed I do. Wagner was a virulent anti-semite who wrote some of the most sublime music in history. Ulysses S Grant saved the Union but was a total lush. When we seek to completely whitewash those who do good things, or believe it devalues those good things when they cannot be whitewashed, we are exhibiting bias every bit as troubling as those she is accused of, because we are not treating people equally and allowing them the freedom to err like the rest of us. Heroes on the side of causes we agree with can be despicable. Villains on the other side can be noble in other areas.
21. There is some peripheral information in 'War On the Weak'
by Edwin Black.
It's a mixed bag. She had her attitudes, but distanced herself after awhile from the purely eugenics crowd and associations. I think she was more classist than racsist. She also genuinely wanted to better women's places in life, as opposed to the eugenics types, which was anathema to them, desiring women who were genetically capable to serve as brood mares.
The deal for their respective associations to merge their forces in 1936 fell apart when the eugenisists realized that Sanger could siphon off a huge number of their more moderate supporters. Sounds like a plum time for Prescott to have been involved.
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