Monday, November 7, 2011

Massive Numbers of Minority Women Were Sterilized in North Carolina

Your Black World reports

Elaine Riddick was 13-years old when she got pregnant after being raped by a neighbor.  This happened in 1967, and right after she gave birth, the state ordered her to be sterilized. 

“I have to carry these scars with me.  I have to live with this for the rest of my life,” she said.

Riddick was never told that she was being sterilized.   “Got to the hospital and they put me in a room and that’s all I remember, that’s all I remember,” she said.  “When I woke up, I woke up with bandages on my stomach.”

The records show that a eugenics board approved a recommendation for Riddick to be sterilized.  She’d been labeled by the state to be “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.”

They also said that she “does not get along well with others.”

“I was raped by a perpetrator [who was never charged] and then I was raped by the state of North Carolina.  They took something from me both times,” she said.  “The state of North Carolina, they took something so dearly from me, something that was God given.”

When Riddick was married at 19 and wanted to have more kids, she found out that she couldn’t have children.   A doctor in New York, where she was living at the time, told her that she’d been sterilized. 

“Butchered.  The doctor used that word…  I didn’t understand what she meant when she said I had been butchered,” Riddick said.

North Carolina wasn’t the only state in the country to have a sterilization program, 31 other states had similar initiatives in place.  Eugenicists believed that poverty, promiscuity and alcoholism were inherited traits that could be controlled through sterilization.  African Americans were highly affected by the program, with girls as young as nine years old having their fertility destroyed.

The state of North Carolina is now seeking ways to compensate women for what they’ve gone through.  Between 1929 and 1974, 7,600 people were sterilized in North Carolina.  Roughly 40% of the victims were non-white, and 85% of them were women.

“You can’t rewind a watch or rewrite history.  You just have to go forward and that’s what we’re trying to do in North Carolina,” said Governor Beverly Perdue in an interview with NBC News.


Anonymous said...

White america has all kinds of "TuskegeeInstitute" programs going on. In the '90s I was told by a hispanic doctor after a failed job interview there was one goning then. I beleive it to be with Aids. The job I did not get was on a medical van serving inner city Blacks. All the staff was white. And it was the staff on the truck who decide who they wanted to work with and made hiring decisions. So they chose another white to care for my Blacks. A very capable AfroAmer. was looked over. I wonder what they were using in their IM injections of young children??? Maybe no Blacks were hired to reveal the truth about service or lack there of they were rendering.

Anonymous said...

People need to read up On euginics, and planned parenthood. That happend in 67, not long ago! The plan is still in effect and there are multiple layers to this elaborate scheme to destroy people of color! Why is this story not on mainstream news? White people get upset anout these things and do something..seems like blacks always, rotfl, ctfu, and smh'ing, but we never form a crowd of 100 and go to the court buildin and raise hell until we get answers, and even when we do, one of our leaders comes out amd tells us to go home because this is not the way to do it. They want us to vote for change..puh lease!

Anonymous said...

I remember my Dad told me about this happening back in the 70's. I was 10 yrs old, and I asked "Dad, why wont anyone stop them?" He replied, "how do u stop the government?" My Dad has long since passed. I never got a chance to ask him how he knew this was happening? It's amazing how I never thought about it again until now when I saw the report. This is so heartbreaking.

ShLanda said...

I am black woman, that worked in a Public Health Department in Stokes County, North Carolina. When I worked there as a WIC Director. I personally saw minority Latino and the Aging population treated poorly. To make matters worse when I spoke up to my former employer, Josh Swift.
I was willing to, nobody made me "Rock the Boat" but the thing that really made me want to take a stand was not seeing people hurt. I was asked by Mr. Swift to tell breastfeeding women to leave the Public Health Department Lobby, and help them find somewhere else to go "private". I refused, I advised him that it was against the law in North Carolina to do that to a woman. He told me he did not care, it was his Health Department. I was of course, wrongfully terminated. Media tends to keep people like me non-existent.

Anonymous said...

This is very real! The article stated that this atrocity also happened in 31 other states. I'd like to know which ones, as I coincidentally was told a similar story by two African American females who don't know one another. One grew up in Indiana and the other in Ohio. Both became pregnant as teenagers in the early 1970s and gave birth to one child. When they were married and ready to have more children, they were both told that they were infertile...their reproductive organs had been mutilated and made to look like ground meat (apologies for the grotesque description). I feel that having heard this same identical story from both women is far beyond a coincidence. This was systematic.

Anonymous said...

What states will be held accountable for this and will they be called out publicly. .

Theressa said...

What a shame that these women were subjected to such "butchering"! Are initiatives now underway to make ammends for the victims of such horrendous deeds?

Selah said...

So sad we as a people must step up lord keep them families

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