Posts tagged Pedigree
Eugenics aimed to eliminate undesirable traits. But how do you define “undesirable”? There is anecdotal evidence that the incidence of some disorders has decreased due to genetic testing (see “Testing Curbs Some Genetic Diseases,” by Marilyn Marchione). In and of itself, this is a good thing, but is this eugenics? It would be hard to argue that most genetic diseases are undesirable; but some of the steps taken to eliminate disease — abortion, embryo screening — are controversial.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is under fire for language used in comments he made about President Obama’s potential electability. Although described as “unfortunate” by Obama, Reid’s use of “Negro” and “light-skinned” offended many.
The Eugenics Archive includes several examples of how African Americans endured dehumanizing scrutiny, categorization, and labeling at the hands of eugenicists and other Americans. Eugenicists believed that race mixing (miscegenation) produced “mongrels” and would lead to the decline of the “higher” white race; some strived to identify and register the race of all individuals to prevent it. “The New Virginia Law to Preserve Racial Integrity” was enacted in More >
Recently on The Colbert Report, in typically tongue in cheek fashion, “You-genics” was highlighted in “The Word” segment (October 28, 2009). Colbert’s discussion was tied in with our nation’s current health care debate – who is and isn’t coverable, what constitutes a pre-existing condition, and how to breed an insurable individual. Taken literally, Colbert’s words didn’t sound far off from those of proponents of the eugenics movement itself. Taken as intended, we see that a sense of humor can offer a unique perspective on anything.
Not surprisingly, eugenicists considered sense of humor as a trait to be studied, and the archive More >