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MORE ON "PROGRESSIVE" EUGENICS



My article on Front Page Magazine attracted a huge volume of comments. One of the comments was so thorough in pointing out how Hitlerian the U.S. "Progressives" of the 1920s and 1930s were that I am reproducing it here:


"Margaret Sanger's fight for birth control was really a fight for the instrument of two causes she championed -- sexual liberation and eugenics. In the magazine of her organization, the Birth Control Review the writers frequently insisted that birth control was necessary to limit the population of certain people and races, including blacks.

Here is a sample of the writings in this magazine:

"There is, first, the mere question of quantity of population, quantity of Americans in the world versus the quantity of Englishmen, versus the quantity of Africans, versus the quantity of Chinese. That obviously is a question of the utmost importance. If you have one race whose population is going down and another whose population is going up, there is always the possibility of race suicide ..."

Julian Huxley. "Towards a Higher Civilization." Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 12 (December 1930), pages 342 to 345.


"I wish to reiterate that all objections to birth control can be met unanswerably except one ) that the human race will degenerate if the superior races and the superior classes among civilized races will curtail the number of their offspring while inferior races and the inferior strata in civilized countries will continue their high birthrate. This must be prevented by all means, and it can be if we go about it earnestly and zealously, and if the civilized governments give us their co-operation."

Editorial in The Critic and Guide, July 1931, quoted in "In the Magazines." Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 9 (September 1931), page 268.


"The Negro problem is one of the most complicated and important confronting America ... Whatever the ultimate answer may be, such an attitude brings to light the function of birth control as a necessary agency in its solution. The present submerged condition of the Negro is due in large part to the high fertility of the race under disastrously adverse circumstances... Thus the question arises to what extent birth control has had a eugenic effect upon the Negro race ..."

Editorial. Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 6 (June 1932, the "Negro Number"), pages 164 and 165.


"Many of the colored citizens are fine specimens of humanity. A good share of them, however, constitute a large percentage of Kalamazoo's human scrap-pile ... As among the whites, there are cases of degenerate Negroes whose propagation will be checked only by sterilization or institutionalization, but the practice of birth control among the majority of colored people would probably be more eugenic than among their white compatriots. the dissemination of the information of birth control should have begun with this class rather than with the upper social and economic classes of white citizens."

Walter Terpenning. "God's Chillun." Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 6 (June 1932, the "Negro Number"), pages 171 and 172.


"And none need hesitate to heartily take up a fully Eugenic attitude towards life through fear that it will perhaps mean a departure from our ancient Aryan civilization."

"Eugenics for India." Birth Control Review, Volume IX, Number 11 (November 1925), page 316.


"Only the inconceivable eventuality of an alliance of all the other races of the world against the white race could seriously threaten white civilization, and by the time the colored races reach the stage where this would be possible, they will long since have been forced to adopt birth control themselves. The white will practice voluntary restriction of their numbers while "uncivilized" races remain prolific, with the ultimate result of the extermination of white civilization by a 'rising tide of color.'"

Malcolm H. Bissell. Review of J.B.S. Haldane's book Daedalus or Icarus: Is Science to Be Man's Servant or His Master? Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 10 (October 1924), pages 277 and 279.


Although most of these statements were written by people other than Ms. Sanger, she never denouced any of these comments in her organization's magazine. Here is a sample of her writing:

"In the early history of the race, so-called "natural law" reigned undisturbed. Under its pitiless and unsympathetic iron rule, only the strongest, most courageous could live and become progenitors of the race. The weak died early or were killed. Today, however, civilization has brought sympathy, pity, tenderness and other lofty and worthy sentiments, which interfere with the law of natural selection. We are now in a state where our charities, our compensation acts, our pensions, hospitals, and even our drainage and sanitary equipment all tend to keep alive the sickly and the weak, who are allowed to propagate and in turn produce a race of degenerates.

Margaret Sanger. "Birth Control and Women's Health." Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 12 (December 1917), page 7.


Ms. Sanger never retracted her writings about eugenics and race, even after the horrors of World War II."




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