Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vermont Lawmakers May Apologize For Eugenics Program

Check out this Associated Press article regarding Vermont legislators considering the approval of a resolution apologizing for the state's eugenics program from the 1920s and 1930s:

I think that the resolution should read “We’re sorry that the people that we didn’t forcibly sterilize in the 1930s ended up giving birth to people that thought that Howard Dean was a thoughtful moderate.”

Here's the third paragraph from the AP article, in its entirety:

“Backers of the resolution say its harms fell disproportionately on Vermonters of Abenaki and French-Canadian heritage, as well as poor Irish and Italian immigrants.”

Why would these legislators purposely back a resolution that they know harms these groups? All it does is set things up so that the Vermont legislature has to pass a resolution 75 years from now apologizing for this resolution. Or perhaps the Associated Press will apologize for its shoddy writing. On second thought, I think the latter is even less likely than the former.

But seriously, do Vermont legislators really believe that the eugenics program was bad merely because it discriminated against Abenakis and French-Canadians and poor Italian and Irish immigrants? If only they had run a more multi-cultural forcible sterilization program . . . .