Sunday, March 27, 2011

Breeding

Theodore Roosevelt has always been one of my favorite Presidents, admired for his character and many of his policies. But if I had known that he harbored opinions like these my admiration would have been considerably tempered. From a letter written and signed by Roosevelt to a prominent eugenicist:
.... I agree with you if you mean, as I suppose you do, that society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind. It is really extraordinary that our people refuse to apply to human beings such elementary knowledge as every successful farmer is obliged to apply to his own stock breeding. Any group of farmers who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum. .... Some day we will realize that the prime duty - the inescapable duty - of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type. .... [more]
Letters of Note: Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind