Thursday, January 22, 2015

"To Create a Race of Thoroughbreds"

Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood. In 1926 she spoke before a New Jersey chapter of the KKK. Paul Kengor reminds us what the KKK and Sanger had in common:
"for Better Stock"
Sanger was a passionate racial-eugenicist with a crowning vision for what she openly called “race improvement.” The Planned Parenthood founder lamented America’s “race of degenerates.” The nation’s landscape needed to be purged of its “human weeds” and “the dead weight of human waste.” This included the “feeble-minded,” the “insane,” and the just plain “idiots.” Sanger shared the disparaging view of humanity held by another progressive icon, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who declared that “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Like Holmes...Sanger hoped to finesse and refine the “gene pool.” She would do so not with gas chambers and concentration camps but with birth-control pills, eliminating human life before conception rather than after birth. Thus, her Planned Parenthood, which was originally called the American Birth Control League.

One of Sanger’s favorite slogans, so much so that it adorned the masthead of her Birth Control Review, was this: “Birth Control: To Create a Race of Thoroughbreds.”

In this Sangerian vision, blacks were singled out.

Progressives today dare not raise the alarming specter of Sanger’s “Negro Project,” or her correspondence with Dr. Clarence Gamble, one of her Negro Project collaborators. In a remarkable December 10, 1939 letter today held in the Sanger archives at Smith College (I have a photocopy), Sanger urged Gamble: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” .... [more]