The Return Of Eugenics? Tennessee Judge Issues Sterilization Program For Inmates

A Tennessee judge is gaining national media attention for his unique incentive offered to inmates upon sentencing: convicts can undergo a free taxpayer funded sterilization procedure and get a 30 day reduction in jail time. Dozens have already taken advantage of the program since Judge Sam Benningfield of White County signed a standing order in May which offers vasectomies for men and a less permanent birth control implant, called Nexplanon, for women. Currently, 38 male and 32 female inmates are signed up for the program which the county district attorney is now seeking to get shut down.

Judge Benningfield described the arrangement's purpose as "breaking a vicious cycle of repeat offenders who constantly come into his courtroom on drug related charges, subsequently can’t afford child support and have trouble finding jobs." The Tennessee Department of Health has reportedly given its approval for the local county program, which is now receiving fierce push back at the local and national levels, prompting a statement from the ACLU, which called an environment of coerced or legally pressured contraception and sterilization "unconstitutional" as a violation of basic individual rights.

White County District Attorney Bryant Dunaway has instructed his staff of prosecutors not to enter into any agreement related to Benningfield's program, and told local Channel 5 News that, "It’s comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can’t get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life." Local news presented the judge as innovative and benevolent, merely looking out for the community's interests, yet the endeavor is really nothing new. It actually hearkens back to a dirty little secret of the Progressive Era in America which rarely makes it into school textbooks: states once forced mass sterilization upon tens of thousands of citizens deemed "unfit" to produce families in a nation wide Eugenics movement that Hitler himself learned from.

Here are some fast facts about Eugenics in America and the Progressive Era:

Archival Eugenical Sterilization Map of the United States, 1935

  • The Progressive economists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw science as a means of social management and control. Eugenics (meaning "well-born") involved societal and scientific intervention to bring about the "fittest" population (as in the Darwinian concept "survival of the fittest") through various means, including forced sterilization, abortions, euthanasia, and discriminatory marriage laws.
  • Compulsory sterilization programs were established in over 30 states at the height of the Eugenics movement (1920's through mid-20th c.) which resulted in over 60,000 sterilizations of often perfectly healthy people. State and mental health boards would evaluate individuals and declare them "feeble-minded", mentally deficient, or merely capable of passing on bad genes. Prison inmates were often targeted, even petty offenders, as criminality was seen as an inheritable trait. Sometimes unsuspecting people would enter a hospital for simple Appendicitis but wouldn't figure out they'd been sterilized during their hospital stay until years or decades later.
  • Notable cases include Carrie Buck, a completely normal teenager, who after being raped at the age of 17 was committed to the "Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded" where she was sterilized against her will. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. concluded of Carrie's case that, "the principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.... Three generations of imbeciles are enough." California's Charlie Follett was sterilized as a child for merely being born to alcoholic parents. California accounted for about one-third of all compulsory sterilizations nation wide, and the state refused to ever compensate Follet, even denying his request for a simple burial plot after he died impoverished in 2012.
  • Planned Parenthood was a product of the Eugenics movement. The abortion provider's founder, Margaret Sanger, was among the most prominent eugenicists of the early 20th century, penning popular articles with titles like "The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda" which argued that this "new weapon of civilization and freedom" could solve "race problems" and result in "racial regeneration." Racial segregationists tended to see Eugenics as a method of ensuring "racial purity" - indeed what was known was "positive Eugenics" involved laws which sought to prevent inter-racial marriage.
  • Major corporate titans of the day, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution, and the Harriman railroad conglomerate were major funders of Eugenics research labs and committees.

Archival photo: Eugenicists used Anthropometry to measure "superior" physical traits.

  • The "American Breeder's Association" was America's first eugenic organization (established in 1906), and as the name suggests, viewed humans as cattle: "strong" and "fit" qualities of human variation were studied in order to promote "good breeding" in humans. Eugenicists used Anthropometry - the measuring and study of human proportions - to establish what superior humans looked like.
  • Sound familiar? Hitler was a great admirer of progressive America's Eugenics policies and the Third Reich was directly inspired of American eugenic institutions. Hitler wrote in Mein Kamph: "The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of clearest reason and, if systematically executed, represents the most humane act of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as a whole." Admiration went the other way too - in 1937 the American Eugenics Society issued official statements of praise for Nazi scientists as they attempted to "cleanse" the gene pool.

Tennessee Judge Benningfield's current program is sure to restart a conversation over Eugenics. While it's not currently to the point that inmates are "forced" into this arrangement, the catch-22 of "more jail time or get snipped" certainly could take us down a very dark and familiar path, a path that today's progressives and advocates of centralized state social planning would like us to ignore and forget.


nah Sat, 07/22/2017 - 19:35 Permalink

why not pass a bill that says we can only have 1 million American citizens incarcerated as fellons in prison and figure out what is wrong with all of us that allows it to happen.dirty cops?.cottage industry?.danger to the republic?

SafelyGraze BuddyEffed Sat, 07/22/2017 - 20:44 Permalink

"The abortion provider's founder, Margaret Sanger, was among the most prominent eugenicists of the early 20th century"The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives. The male defectives are no less dangerous. ... we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, page 101 the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the able which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts. They do not do this with the white people and if we can train the Negro doctor at the Clinic he can go among them with enthusiasm and with knowledge, which, I believe, will have far-reaching results among the colored people. ...We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.Letter from Margaret Sanger to Dr. C. J. Gamble, Dec 10, 1939, page 2…

In reply to by BuddyEffed

JuliaS BuddyEffed Sun, 07/23/2017 - 01:52 Permalink

I'm against such programs. Conviction is often subjective. Thing that are illegal now used to be legal and vice versa. What I would be for is mandatory sterilization of bankers and politicians. Have it as an entry requirement. Install balls/uterus detectors at every government building.That would stop segregation of power in the hands of criminal cartels such as Rothchilds, Rockefellers, Bush and Clinton families. Also it would pretty much stop Zionists in their tracks as their rule largely extends through family ties that supersede all forms of contractual and consensual obligation.How's that for a term limit!

In reply to by BuddyEffed

1033eruth logicalman Sun, 07/23/2017 - 05:04 Permalink

Article is not just misleading, but LYING.  Anytime a program is VOLUNTARY its not eugenics.  Eugenics is something conducted on an involuntary basis.  Technically its ANYONE that chooses to breed to improve desirable inheritable characteristics.  For instance when females choose sperm donors.  Typically females will choose males based on whether or not they'll pay for the offspring for the rest of their lives.  That is NOT a form of eugenics.  Its pretty much random.  So in effect this article wants to distort the true meaning of the word eugenics.  As far as the church and most media is concerned, any type of permanent contraception becomes "eugenics" and that would be despite the fact the people getting fixed have already passed on their genes who knows how many times.Bullshit article.  I'm jealous actually.  I had to pay for my vasectomy out of my own pocket.

In reply to by logicalman

ConnectingTheDots 1033eruth Sun, 07/23/2017 - 10:43 Permalink

"Voluntary" based on coercion. Reminds me of those who were tortured into "volunteering" confessions in order to stop the torture.

Once a "voluntary" sterilization program is instituted, it is only a small step to making it mandatory.

Be very careful of what you wish for because you or those you love may fall victim.

In reply to by 1033eruth

S.N.A.F.U. 1033eruth Sun, 07/23/2017 - 16:38 Permalink

No, you are the liar here (one of many). This is coercion, which by definition is not voluntary:
"Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of intimidation or threats or some other form of pressure or force."

Do you pay your taxes "voluntarily", or is the threat of jail time coercion enough to force you to do so? (I.e., if that threat were removed, replaced with no threats, would you or ANYONE still pay their taxes?)

In reply to by 1033eruth

MEFOBILLS ToSoft4Truth Sat, 07/22/2017 - 21:50 Permalink

LoL 400 year span of slavery.  Slavery goes back to the beginning of time.  Tribes enslaved other tribes.Hitler's comment is perfectly logical:"The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of clearest reason and, if systematically executed, represents the most humane act of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as a whole. Everybody jumps to the negative, that people have to be killed off?  Why?  The future can redirect sperm and eggs to effect the same outcome.  Defectives can live their life, they just cannot reproduce, to then pass on their defective genes.  Who decides?  The data decides. There is enough economic overhead in today's world to PAY certain people not to reproduce.  Untermenschen (meaning the lower races) could have their own fertility board, which will help their race catch up with the more advanced races.  Only their select are allowed to pass on genes.   Untermenschen can use their own people for selection so as to not be raaaaaciiiist.  (I prefer separation, though, as large gulf between races causes high social friction.)Paying them to leave would be the same thing as Eugenics.

In reply to by ToSoft4Truth

HRH Feant2 (not verified) tmosley Sat, 07/22/2017 - 21:14 Permalink

It already is open season on whites. Where have you been?

Somali police officer shoots across his partner and kills a woman (in pajamas) because he "heard a loud sound."

Whites are victimized every day by niggers but the MSM doesn't report it. We don't want to make the nigger kids mad, do we?

In reply to by tmosley

logicalman tmosley Sat, 07/22/2017 - 20:27 Permalink

'The justice process is mostly transparent'I'd like to think you forgot the /s but, based on some of your previous comments, I think you are actually serious!Jury trials where the judge TELLS the jury what to think, or omits the bits of law that might make them acquit while prosecuting someone standing outside the court giving out information regarding the power a jury has to nullify.This is a system you would be happy to stake your life on?WTF??

In reply to by tmosley

Canary Paint tmosley Sat, 07/22/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

You are exactly the type pushing me away from what had been a growing conservative sentiment.More precisely, I was thinking of myself as a conservative until braying jackasses such as yourself starting smearing your shit all over our good name.Why do I say this? Because there are 500 other situations where you would practically shit your pants about judicial overreach except for whenever it suits your pet issue.This is why I like Ben Shapiro even when I disagree with him (which is often). He regularly underlines that if you define yourself in function of your opposition, then sooner or later, you will accept the behavior that you denounce so long as it comes from your tribe.

In reply to by tmosley

waspwench tmosley Sun, 07/23/2017 - 02:48 Permalink

If we had been as concerned about the breeding of homo sapiens as we are about domestic livestock then, without a doubt, we could have produced much superior physical and mental specimens.   Hereditary diseases could have been bred out as could low IQ individuals.   Would we have a superior race by now?   Almost certainly.   Would we have a happier, more successful, better functioning society?   Very probably.We humans find the notion of improving the breeding stock distasteful when applied to ourselves, although we are quite happy to play god when it comes to cattle or race horses or gun dogs, or whatever.   We are all conscious that we may find ourselves on the wrong side of the divide when breeding permits are being handed out and that makes us all nervous.   The fact remains, however, that much human suffering could be eliminated (think hereditary diseases) and many social problems could be radically reduced (think dysfunctional persons who exist at the expense of those of us who do function and who pay taxes.)Our society cannot afford the increasing numbers of unhealthy or dysfunctional persons who exist only at the expense of others.   At some point that expense will become insupportable.   What then?   We currently not only do nothing to prevent such persons from reproducing, we actually facilitate their continued reproduction and survival with financial incentives and extreme medical interventions.   Is it moral, for example, for two diabetics to reproduce when there is high likelihood that any offspring will also be diabetic?   Is it moral for a single woman to have a large family which she cannot possibly support and which will be raised entirely at the expense of the state?   Why should the responsible, tax-paying segment of society be required to shoulder the responsibility of caring for people who knowingly make decisions which adversely impact the lives of the rest of us?  What right do they have to do this?I would not want to live in a society which euthanized "problem" people or enforced sterilization on such indivicuals BUT surely government propaganda, incentives, education, social manners and mores could be used to change public attitudes and to encourage certain persons to have more offspring and to discourage others from reproducing.   No-one likes the idea of eugenics and no-one wants to confront it.   There is a knee-jerk reaction that it is wrong, but the planet is over-populated and that will have to be confronted.   Governments can use gentle persuasion now or more draconian and inhumane methods later.   If nothing is done our environment will eventually degrade beyond repair and our standard of living (even now appalling in some parts of the world) will fall further.   Over-population is the elephant in the room.   Eugenics is the answer, however unpalatable we may find it.   The important thing is to find humane ways of limiting overall numbers and of reducing, and eventually largely eliminating, those segments of society which place too heavy a burden on it.   We must find a way to deal with this or we will suffer the consequences.

In reply to by tmosley

cheech_wizard Sonny Brakes Sat, 07/22/2017 - 19:42 Permalink

Except the US was doing it first...US history: was practiced in the United States many years before eugenics programs in Nazi Germany, which were largely inspired by the previous American work.Germany's history:The Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring, enacted on July 14, 1933, allowed the compulsory sterilisation of any citizen who according to the opinion of a "Genetic Health Court" suffered from a list of alleged genetic disorders and required physicians to register every case of hereditary illness.Standard Disclaimer: American Exceptionalism!

In reply to by Sonny Brakes

nmewn cheech_wizard Sat, 07/22/2017 - 19:53 Permalink

I'll just note here, Keynes, Wolf, Sanger even the lesser "great learned academics" like President Woodrow Wilson (lol) were all on board the eugenics train.  Cuz they were the smartest on the planet and drilling holes in peoples heads, electro-shock and sterilization was really cutting edge stuff back in the day.Rosemary Kennedy was another one of the victims.

In reply to by cheech_wizard

nmewn New_Meat Sat, 07/22/2017 - 20:21 Permalink

Yeah and under the imprimatur of "the law" they don't even have to get their hands all pretty convenient, now, just imagine the public outrage if we were talking about Jon Corzine's or Warren Buffet's or the Clinton's offspring so future generations wouldn't have to deal with those obviously damaged genetics ;-)

In reply to by New_Meat