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The proponents of sterilization represented science and the future. Its opponents represented reaction against reason. An embrace of eugenics presumed a blind faith in science and the state. Eugenics demanded what modern progressives willingly give on any number of issues. But no decent progressive in 2012 embraces that particular idea. Few progressives would even concede eugenics showing up within their ideological lineage. For those who acknowledge the past mistakes of those sharing a political label, the historical reality of state sterilization is humbling. The voices of laissez faire against interventionism and tradition against modernization shouldn’t be so easily shouted down.
“While no amount of money will ever make up for the fact that government officials deprived North Carolinians, mostly women, of the possibility of having children, and officials did so, in most cases, without the victims’ consent or against their will,” Governor Bev Perdue announced Tuesday, “we must do something.”
That “something” amounts to less than .005percent of its state budget. With just 72 living victims identified—almost one percent of the total—the state stands to pay out $3.6 million. Alas, that’s $3.6 million more than that awarded by California, Washington, Kansas, and every other state once caught up in one of the Left’s most monstrous endeavors. North Carolina didn’t stand alone in taking away its citizens’ rights to reproduce. It does stand alone in attempting to make amends.
Financial restitution is but one means to right a wrong. A method demanding more from individuals is to beware of the flattering conceits of righteousness that led to past wrongs.
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