Em-URGE-ing Voices

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Historical Roots of Eugenics and impact on Afro-Indigenous Communities (Part 2)

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February 21, 2023

So what exactly is Eugenics again? 

“Eugenics is a scientifically erroneous and immoral theory of racial improvement and planned breeding”National Human Genome Research Institute 

For the past 150 years, this theory has been branded as a cause for “corrective” procedures on those deemed “hereditarily ill.” In a monstrous attempt to breed for ‘desired characteristics’ in order to “improve” the future generations of human beings. Which later ensued genocides and medical sterilization in the name of ethnic ‘cleansing’- better known as eugenicide. 

To better clarify my use of the term genocide, it is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race. It became a crime, punishable by international law under the United Nations in 1946 and to provide reparations to the affected communities.

In 1955 the National Advancement Association of Colored People (NAACP), petitioned the United Nations to recognize the genocide of Afro diaspora peoples globally as a direct result of colonialism, as well as demanded reparations to be extended to Black and brown peoples impacted. This genocide has yet to end and it is the longest, most heinous holocaust known to human history. 

The United Nations denied the NAACP motion. So, in response to such an incredible injustice, you will see this word along with other related terms throughout this article, to appropriately address the experiences of Black and brown communities.

Originally the colonial concept and term ‘eugenics’ was coined by British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who was devoutly inspired by the extremist works of naturalist Charles Darwin

Why is this important?  

Many practitioners have adopted this ideology in practice and are more concerned with exploiting human beings in the name of “progressing” biological technologies or weapons rather than with our therapy, recovery or rehabilitation. They later go on to rewrite history itself in the celebration of the Afro diaspora holocaust and other war crimes against humanity. 

Examples of this can be found in several publications proposing that Darwin either had an alleged hatred for slavery or an undying pride for abolition. Even though his own literary works deliberately reinstating the hierarchy of race, sex, ethnicity and gender. Darwin even goes so far as to declare European genes superior to all. Eventually claiming that intelligence could only be inherited exclusively through “males”. Convinced that “men” as he classified them were: 

 “more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman [with] a more inventive genius…His brain is absolutely larger […] the formation of her skull is said to be intermediate between the child and the man” -(Darwin 1871). 

Compounded with this rhetoric and ongoing morally apathetic practices, modern day healthcare services and medical institutions reflect a long and disturbed history, deeply tainted with the dehumanization, abuse and exploitation of intersectional Black / brown indigenous communities. This violence includes but is not limited to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, the stolen immortal DNA of Henrietta Lacks, the legalization of forced sterilization in 24 states, the prohibition of abortion in 18 states, and the ongoing crime of unauthorized “corrective” surgeries on intersex children since the year 1960. All in a blatant and deliberate effort to uphold extremist ideologies and covert tyranny. 

In this 2012 national study on pain disparities spanning 20 years, it was reported that BIPOC patients experiencing pain in a number of settings were less likely to receive care, treatment or medication than their white counterparts due to implicit biases and medical discrimination. A 2020 article reports that upwards of 40% worse care of the U.S health departments care quality measures. Black people specifically are statically three times more likely to die during major surgeries, or medical procedures such as childbirth as opposed to their white counterparts. 

Black people who identified as: 


❖ having a disability or limiting preexisting health conditions 

❖ declared medically over or underweight

❖ struggling with an addiction or crisis

have been reported to face more medical inequalities and discrimination than all their counterparts combined resulting in upwards of 74,000 recorded deaths per year. This does not include the 50,000 people who experience complications and long term health conditions each year due to malpractice. This also does not include the insurmountable and ongoing record of COVID 19 death disparities in Black and brown communities since the year 2020. 

“The country’s pervasive health inequities were evidenced by a tragic tally of 74,402 excess deaths, on average, among Black people compared with white people each year.” 

Andis Robeznieks

Isn’t it just a bit odd to think that well into the 21st century, we are still deliberating the autonomy of anatomy? Especially the anatomy of the most vulnerable intersecting BIPOC communities. All while disregarding the socio-evolutionary need for comprehensive sex, gender, mental and disability education. In lieu of the current conversations, interruptions and violations against the right to abortion, hormonal therapy, affirming life-saving surgeries, rehabilitation and mental health crisis support.

“… belief that biology creates two types of humans is invoked in a range of attempts to mandate and enforce how humans should behave.” 

– A.Fuentes 

It is extremely crucial to the preservation of all communities that we recognize the suffering, erasure, and demonization of Trans, Intersex, non-binary, and gender variant BIPOC lives. Examining the way genocidal conceptualization informs our societal framework. Starting at the roots.

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