Hillary Clinton Supports Eugenics

Fundies are sub-morons by definition

Early eugenics tract (with added observation)

Using the slimy tactic of guilt by association by association, OneNeuronNow is painting Hillary Clinton as a eugenicist. According to their article “Hillary in ‘Inter-Generational Partnership’ with Eugenicist Sanger”:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accepted an award from Planned Parenthood named after the pro-abortion group’s founder, who once referred to blacks as “human weeds.”

Yes, it is true that Margaret Sanger was a staunch eugenicist. That is an ugly stain on her otherwise noble life devoted to promoting women’s reproductive freedom.

So ONN is implying that the modern Planned Parenthood supports eugenics (guilt by association), and therefore Hillary Clinton must support eugenics (guilt by association by association).

Secretary of State Clinton was presented on Friday evening with the Margaret Sanger Award at a Planned Parenthood event in Houston (see earlier story). The award, says Planned Parenthood, is presented annually to recognize “leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement.”

Obviously Planned Parenthood made a simple editing error. Here. I’ll fix it for them:

The award, says Planned Parenthood, is presented annually to recognize “leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the eugenics movement.”

There. That’s obviously what they intended. Why they didn’t write what they meant is beyond me.

Anyway, the rest of the article is what you’d expect from these sub-morons. But then they end the article with a strange statement:

Planned Parenthood inaugurated the Margaret Sanger Award in 1966. One of the four inaugural recipients was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is that even doing in the article? Are they trying to imply that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a eugenicist? Or are they trying to discredit everything else they wrote in their article?

Keep the award, Hillary. Apparently you’re not a eugenicist after all.

25 Responses to “Hillary Clinton Supports Eugenics”

  1. arkonbey Says:

    I must admit, that a very small part of me likes the idea eugenics. It came to my mind most recently with ‘octo-mom’. It’s not a race thing at all, it’s a culture/intelligence thing.

    The real dilemma, however, comes when you think about who will actually get to decide who should reproduce or not. I hate idiots, but I hate fascism more.

  2. Jeff Eyges Says:

    If it turns out that fundamentalism is neurologically-based (and I fully expect that to be the case), I’d be in favor of breeding it out of the genome – which means restricting the right of some people to procreate. Of course, it’ll never happen, but I have no problem with eugenics in that context.

  3. Chuck Says:

    The only reason someone should be afraid of eugenics is if they’re one of the individuals that would be eliminated – which is why the fundies are afraid of it.

    The concept of eugenics – that we as a species should take an active role in shaping our evolution instead of letting natural selective pressures (which may select against us as a species, btw) guide our evolution – is never something I’ve always wondered why people are so livid about. Yes, yes – Hitler. But guess what: just because Stalin was a “Communist” doesn’t make the theory of Marxism any better or worse. The Hitler and eugenics argument is the exact same fallacy.

    Many people at my school were involved in early eugenics research, and it’s completely shameful that the entire intellectual community allowed itself to be cowed into stopping its pursuit of the common good because the ignorant majority (which will ALWAYS be ignorant, without either another few million years of natural selection or a few generations of the application of eugenic principles) became afraid of what might be. But, fear is a powerful force, and I suppose that at some point one must consider the fact that ignoring the ignorant may result in angry mobs with torches….

  4. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Holy cow. I’m shocked at the responses so far.

    Speaking of logical fallacies, assuming that selecting out those of low IQ (or whatever other vector your choose) will result in a more intelligent species as a whole is a MAJOR fallacy. There is absolutely no evidence that genetics increases or decreases somebody’s ability to achieve on any arbitrary “fitness” scale, be it IQ or otherwise. That is a large part of the reason Eugenics itself fell out of style. The science didn’t back it up!

    The other reason is freedom. One of the founding principals of the United States and a principal later adopted by most (all?) other first world countries is the concept of various forms of fundamental personal freedom. Fundies want to impede on this freedom by restricting reproductive choice (among other things). By supporting Eugenics, you are doing the EXACT same thing.

    This leads to all sorts of fun “slippery slope” questions (which I hate, but seems appropriate here since we are throwing around fallacies like they are scientific). I’m child-free by choice. Are you next going to force me to have children, because I’m your intellectual and/or religious (or lack thereof) philosophical kin?

    Yes, yes, Hitler, guilt by association, and all that. Let’s throw all that out. It’s still a fucking ridiculously horrible idea on its face and in substance. It won’t work. It will set humanity back by centuries just by the political backlash alone!

    I may despise a lot of things about fundies, but I would never suggest they lose their right to reproduce.

    Now if you want to talk about government policy decisions to influence reproduction, let’s have a discussion. The world is overpopulated. Maybe it’s time to dump the tax benefits having kids gives you. That was done to encourage reproduction — we don’t need that. Or maybe if you want to talk about education standards, including better standards for homeschooling to make sure kids grow up well-informed and don’t become a fundie just because it’s the ONLY option presented to them, I’m willing to have a conversation too.

    But eugenics? Holy fucking dingleberries! You have GOT to be kidding!

  5. Rose Says:

    Nice post. Thanks for the info on Margaret Sanger — I had no idea.

    Other than that… wow, what a leap they made. That’s insanity.

  6. OtherRob Says:

    The real dilemma, however, comes when you think about who will actually get to decide who should reproduce or not. I hate idiots, but I hate fascism more.

    Ooh ooh ooh! Me me me! Pick me! pick me! :)

    Oh, darn. PL77 had to come in and make some sensible comments about all this.

    PL, I have a lot of friends who are childless by choice and I know it’s not necessarily an easy decision in our culture. But I have nothing but respect for people who make that choice.

  7. Bart v.d. M. Says:

    I don’t think they’re implying Dr. Martin Luther King was an eugenicist, I think they’re implying he agreed that black people are “human weeds”. It’s as logical a conclusion from the article as the idea that Hillary is an eugenicist.

  8. Brian Says:

    Come on. Do we really want Khan Noonian Singh leading his army of superhumans in war against us ordinary humans? We don’t even have the sleeper ships with which to exile him into deep space should the need arise. I’m just saying…

    Seriously, I agree with PL. Fundies may have too many odious qualities to count, but they are people and deserve the same freedoms we all enjoy (or take for granted).

  9. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Speaking of logical fallacies, assuming that selecting out those of low IQ (or whatever other vector your choose) will result in a more intelligent species as a whole is a MAJOR fallacy. There is absolutely no evidence that genetics increases or decreases somebody’s ability to achieve on any arbitrary “fitness” scale, be it IQ or otherwise. That is a large part of the reason Eugenics itself fell out of style. The science didn’t back it up!

    PL, are you sure about that? My understanding is that there was some attempt to link race to intelligence, and some other unsavory ideas. Also, researchers of previous generations tried to equate intelligence with IQ, which was always a poor and biased set of tests.

    I’m not saying, necessarily, that only the brightest should breed. I’m not sure it would be a bad idea, but that wasn’t my meaning. As you and I were discussing the other day, there’s a bit of evidence now that fundamentalism—an obsession with authority and hierarchy, coupled with a tendency to perceive the world in terms of absolutes—has a neurological foundation. If that turns out to be the case, I’d be hard-pressed to see how it isn’t heritable. That’s what I want to see bred out.

    (And I think an argument can be made that “intelligence”—however we choose to define it—has been shown to be at least partly inherited.)

    As far as the moral issue of deciding who does and doesn’t get to breed is concerned—I just don’t have a problem with it. Western Europe, for the most part, consists of progressive, egalitarian societies. That isn’t the case, here; your average American behaves like a spoiled, petulant child. I’m in favor of treating him like one. From my perspective, it’s a survival strategy. I’d also be in favor of breeding out any number of genetic illnesses, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t allow someone with a genetic illness to bring up a child (a consideration I wouldn’t necessarily show a fundie).

    Also, as I’ve said here a number of times, I have little to no hope left concerning our future, and I’m convinced that Christian and Islamic fundamentalism will end up being the most significant causal factor in our demise.

    It’s all moot, anyway, ’cause, as I said, it’ll never happen—not because it’s immoral, but because the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

  10. Ron Britton Says:

    Parrotlover:

    You’ve been putting things brilliantly. I’ve kept out of this discussion, because I don’t have as much time these days as I used to. You’ve done an excellent job explaining things.

    The unintended consequences of our manipulations is a huge concern for me. Our history is littered with them. The world is extremely complex. It’s all those interacting systems that you allude to. You can’t perturb one without perturbing a bunch of others that you didn’t know were connected.

    It’s also why I’m opposed to overly-aggressive (overly-ambitious?) genetic manipulation of plants and animals. My concern has nothing to do with “playing God”. It’s that we don’t understand the interactions and we can’t anticipate the consequences.

    If we resume selective breeding of humans, we will just as likely make things worse. Plus, we will have degraded our fellow citizens and violated many of the principles we hold dear.

  11. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff:

    I’m far more misanthropic than ParrotLover. I lean heavily toward your side of the fence when it comes to our species and future. However, we do have elements within us that sometimes allow us to rise above our nature. It is those elements that I cling to in order to avoid complete despair.

    On the genetics issue, I think you’re completely wrong. There are only 30,000 genes in the entire human genome. This was a big surprise to us when when we mapped the genome. 30K isn’t much more than a squid has, and we’re very different than squid (PZ’s protests notwithstanding). The key to this conundrum appears to be that we have more genes interacting than do species whose evolutionary history has shown less change over time (the so-called “lower forms of life” such as fundies fish and lizards and even rats).

    This all makes sense, if you think about it. Evolution works with the materials it has. As the number of genes increases, the likelihood that some will interact increases. Then evolutionary pressure determines whether those interactions are preserved.

    We are far more complex genetically than it would appear from a mere 30,000 genes. It will be a long time (if ever) before we understand how it all interacts.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’m not saying, necessarily, that only the brightest should breed. I’m not sure it would be a bad idea, but that wasn’t my meaning. As you and I were discussing the other day, there’s a bit of evidence now that fundamentalism—an obsession with authority and hierarchy, coupled with a tendency to perceive the world in terms of absolutes—has a neurological foundation. If that turns out to be the case, I’d be hard-pressed to see how it isn’t heritable. That’s what I want to see bred out.

    The problem with that argument is that even if fundamentalism has a neurological basis that has a genetic basis, what other personality traits does that gene help express? Maybe there’s a chance that gene helps create a fundie, but maybe it also helps create brilliant scientists? We just don’t know! We only know that there MIGHT be a gene that causes people to accept dogma more readily than others.

    But then how do you account for the fundies that have atheist children? Or vice versa? There is so much we don’t know. There are so many variables on the nature AND nurture side, that selectively breeding out humans may as easily have absolutely no effect or the opposite effect than what you are setting out to accomplish.

    That’s a hell of a gamble to take for destroying a very basic freedom.

    I still think the social implications of a policy like that would set humanity back into a second dark ages. Only this time it wouldn’t be the Christian’s fault.

    Not to mention that the very thought of stripping anybody’s freedoms due to their beliefs makes us no better than the fundies.

    I guess I just have a much more positive view of humanity. However bad it may seem here in the deep south (not sure where you live, but that’s where I live), American society as a whole is moving more toward the European model, much to conservative’s chagrin. The villagers and mainstream media have not caught on yet, but all the polling data indicates America is ready for it. Whether it’s universal health care, the bail-outs, education, or whatever—America is ready for reform. About the only thing America is not totally sold on yet is minimizing religion. But even that is moving in the right direction, just more slowly.

  13. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Maybe there’s a chance that gene helps create a fundie, but maybe it also helps create brilliant scientists?

    Oh, PL, I don’t think so! You mean like the malaria/sickle-cell relationship? I can’t even begin to imagine it—the gene set that produces Brannon Howse also occasionally produces an Einstein? LOL!

    But then how do you account for the fundies that have atheist children?

    I don’t discount nurture entirely, but how often does that really happen? In any case, we make preemptive reproductive decisions all the time. How else do we justify abortion?

    However bad it may seem here in the deep south (not sure where you live, but that’s where I live), American society as a whole is moving more toward the European model, much to conservative’s chagrin.

    I live in Boston—and I’m still this despondent! As far as America moving toward emulating the European model goes: I’d love to agree with you—if the few people I care about weren’t here, I’d be off to Europe in a heartbeat—but I don’t see it.

  14. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Ron – Does the 30,000 number include genes that exist, but are not expressed? Or the genes that start but then stop before anything happens, etc.… I don’t know scientific terms, but I know it’s commonly referred to as “junk” in lay terms. I don’t know the answer — that’s why I ask.

    As for manipulating the genome. I think there will be a point in time in the future when, for better or worse, we directly manipulate the genome of our offspring. I’m not a singularity freak and I don’t think it will create super humans in any miraculously short period of time, but I do see it as a part of human evolution in the future, if things follow along the path they do. I also think that it will initially be incredibly controversial, but will become more common as time goes on. And finally, I think it could lead to very good things, since we may be able to directly adapt our bodies to environments that would normally take thousands of generations through selection, while possibly avoiding problems such as that which occur with inbreeding.

    All that said, I agree with Ron that at this point in time, direct manipulation of the genome can be scary. There are many instances where this is may turn out to not be a bad thing at all. But when agriculture companies patent special seeds that displace natural plants due to being more fit in a particular environment, I get worried. As Ron said, not in a playing God sense, but in a holy shit, what part of the ecosystem is going to be destroyed by this?

    Back to the original point of Eugenics, it was brought up that was the fundie/genius comment I made related to the sickle cell/malaria connection. No, that’s not what I meant. I hardly think if “fundie” is a genetic trait that it predisposes an individual to incredibly genius. The logic doesn’t flow. What I meant is that we don’t know what the gene you are selecting out of is also capable of when the child is put into completely different circumstances.

    Back to the previous article. There may be a gene that predisposes people to be more accepting of dogma and less open minded. That’s pretty generic. It may lead to fundies, but what else does it lead to? It doesn’t only lead to fundies. If that person was brought up in a scientific unreligious upbringing, they wouldn’t be a fundie. They might be incredibly stubborn to new ideas and change, but … so what? Sometimes it’s good to have opposition.

    My point is that we just don’t know what the hell we are tinkering with.

    As for the “natural” selective decisions we make daily, there is no parallel between that and the discussion we are having. Nobody aborts a blastocyst because they are worried about a fundie being born. Or to draw another parallel, nobody aborts because they are worried the kid might play football instead of basketball. We don’t know that sort of info at that time! We can screen for genetic diseases, but those are life threatening or life altering conditions, not simply “wrong learner.” That’s not eugenics. Nobody is trying to create a perfect species in those situations. Apples and oranges.

  15. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    Does the 30,000 number include genes that exist, but are not expressed? Or the genes that start but then stop before anything happens, etc.

    It is all genes, whether they get expressed or not. I actually hadn’t been keeping up with the genome since it was originally mapped. The exact number of genes apparently is still being worked out. Larry Moran says that number is somewhere around 27,000. We’re even simpler than we thought!

  16. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Well, I’m certainly not suggesting that we’re ready to begin manipulating the genome directly—although we’re told that specifying certain mundane attributes, such as eye and hair color, may be just around the corner.

    I don’t consider fundies merely to be “wrong learners”. As I said, I see it as a survival issue. It may turn out not to be neurological—but I’m not betting on it.

  17. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I find beauty in discoveries that are “so simple but yet so complex.” That is just so awesome. I had no idea the number was that small.

  18. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Well, they’re exporting it to Germany now.

    Fundies are spreading like a cancer. Forget what I said about the genome. Now I just want to keep their numbers down.

  19. freddies_dead Says:

    I’m not sure they’re growing in number, more they’re just getting louder—not surprising as they see the gaps they keep cramming their God into getting fewer and further apart.

  20. Voynix Says:

    Is it odd that I read ‘ONN’ as “Onion News Network”?

  21. Ron Britton Says:

    Is it odd that I read ‘ONN’ as “Onion News Network”?

    No. People have made that connection before, so now I try to abbreviate it that way at least once per article.

  22. Parrotlover77 Says:

    freddies_dead — Fundies, I believe, are actually growing in number. Believers, as a whole, are declining. Church-goers are also declining, but the ones that are left are getting more radical and becoming fundies.

    Some see this as a negative development (sorry for the weasel words—don’t have time to find links right now), but I see it as a positive development. It’s sort of like the death throes of fundamentalism in a way. Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a lot of work left and a lot of time left, but compared to, say, 100 years ago, I think we are clearly moving in the right direction.

  23. Perk Says:

    This is wrong ! I’m sorry isn’t good enough ! Sing reinbursement, “Mony Mony” and sue the Rockefeller and DuPont family along with Bowmen Gray in Winston Salem as well as all others that took part in this tragedy and those signed up to support it.What a Social Darwinism disgusting tragedy for morality and the human race.Proctor and Gamble ? Engenda Health ? Bush Regime ? Hillary Clinton and think that needs to be verified and don’t believe it. Does the the United Nations Population Fund still exist? UNC financed by Hanes ? What is UNC’s position on this currently and involvement ? What an embarrassment and ugly association for UNC and are you kidding ? Review national coverage on CNN and end this !Eugenics began as a breeding science for horses in the late 19th century but now Congress Ok’s horse slaughtering for human consumption and our USDA is available for inspection of the horse slaughtering plants.When it’s wrong, it’s wrong!

  24. Ron Britton Says:

    Perk:

    Please seek medical help.

  25. Jeff Says:

    Heh! I’d forgotten about this post. The diagram illustrates rather well the levels of fundie development.