Anonymous asked: Someone on Facebook is insisting that Planned Parenthood was originally started as a way of “cleansing out” racial minorities. Is there any truth to this?
Sanger was racist as fuck, but whether that was her original intention I honestly do not know.
Here’s the thing though, most of modern medicine started out racist as fuck. If PoC aren’t supposed to use things that began racist, we wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing! Planned Parenthood today provides a very desperately needed service. In some communities, it’s the only place people can go to get affordable and quality healthcare. Are they perfect with a spotless history? No, but nothing in this world is. People shouldn’t be denied access to healthcare because the person who founded the group was racist as fuck.
Also, it’s very disingenuous for “pro-life” folks to bring up Sanger and Planned Parenthood being racist when it’s quite obvious most of them don’t give two shits about the black and brown babies that already populate this Earth.
(Rebloggable by request)
The truth is that Margaret Sanger was in fact a very committed eugenicist. And, no, Planned Parenthood wasn’t started as a way to “clean out” racial minorities, but whether that was a specific aim of Sanger personally remains unclear. One of the more bandied-about quotes on pro-life sites and texts in support of this is from a letter she wrote to Clarence Gamble (who later went on to found Proctor & Gamble, the company):
We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the 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.
Her words that support this idea can also be drawn from The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda (oct. 1921):
In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.
Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism.
The “drastic and spartan methods” were in fact later put into practice by the American government as widespread forced sterilizations of the “mentally ill, mentally retarded, and epileptic”, whom by the 1960’s consisted nearly entirely of young Black women:
Over 8,000 sterilizations were approved by the Eugenics Board of North Carolina. The total number of victims actually sterilized is estimated to have been over 7,600 (Winston-Salem, “Lifting the Curtain on a Shameful Era”). Of this number, females represented approx. 85% of those sterilized (State Library, “Statistics,” p. 1). By the late 1960s, the sterilization of men was virtually halted, as women made up 99% of those sterilized (Sinderbrand, p. 1).African Americans represent 39% of those sterilized overall; by the later 1960s, they made up 60% of those sterilized, even though they made up only a quarter of the population (Sinderbrand, p. 1).Of those sterilized up to 1963, 25% were considered mentally ill and 70% were considered mentally deficient. In each of these categories, females account for over 75% of the sterilizations.North Carolina ranked third in the United States for the total number of people sterilized.
That being said, to postulate that Black folks shouldn’t use birth control because of this history is fucking preposterous for two reasons:
1. the obvious difference between HAVING A CHOICE and NOT having a choice
2. most of the people making this argument aren’t Black folks but white politicians appropriating racism in order to perpetuate it.