Sunday, March 30, 2008

Eugenics and Social Darwinism - Understanding African American Suspicion of the Medical System

I've come to understand that many people were surprised and even appalled that Rev. Wright would accuse the government of creating a disease to kill black people. I've seen some write that the Tuskegee experiments didn't really happen or were no big deal. Although I constantly see white Americans taking the Big Pharma and Medical industry to task because of their suspicion of the safety of vaccinations, I think because of the painful history of race in this country some refuse to accept the fact that African Americans have always been the target of unethical medical experimentation.

Please watch the entire interview with Harriet Washington M.D. author of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present.The book reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and the roots of the African American health deficit. It also examines less well-known abuses and looks at unethical practices and mistreatment of blacks that are still taking place in the medical establishment today.

Part 1 : Slavery to Tuskegee

Part 2: Tuskegee and Medical Experimentation on Prisoners

Part 3: Current Times Behavioral experimentation, Forced sterilizations,Experimentation on children, and Africa as the lab for the west...


des52 said...

This story reminds me of the movie The Constant Gardener. It alluded to this point. Why is this so hard to comprehend. Because we want to demonize a good man. Hitler and company experimented on Jews. Ms. Evers boys are a reality. And when AIDS first came out Reagan took his time dealing with it. Maybe its true maybe it is not. But at least we can talk about it, and if this leads to better healthcare for the least as well as the greatest fine.

Undercover Black Man said...

Why did Rev. Wright says that the government "infected" black men with syphilis when the reality is those men in the Tuskegee study had syphilis already?

Anonymous said...

No doubt the Black heritage in America, going back to slavery, is one of denigration, suspicion, and abuse from the dominant, white culture. Witness the Tuskegee study and similar experiences. Yet, it is a mistake to define the villans and victims too broadly. When I heard Obama cite his grandmother as being afraid of black men, I recalled hearing a black man admit that he also feared unknown black men he encountered on the street. Most crimes against blacks are committed by blacks. What gets me is why so many black politicians embrace Planned Parenthood, which began with eugenic intentions? On the one hand, I admired the black community when I saw how it values its children, but then became disturbed when I realized that the black community has a high rate of abortion. If, as one politician says, abortion is a serious decision to be entered into after consulting spiritual leaders, why the opposition to parental notification? If a pregnant teen needs a safe place in case she might be a victim of sexual abuse, why does Planned Parenthood not make greater efforts to report abuse? It seems to me that black culture in America suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, if it indeed can be ascribed to a people group.

truthToPower said...

UnderCover Black man ... I'm not a mind reader but he just might not accept the popular belief that the men already had syphilis. In any case, the men were never told they had the disease and ended up infecting many others

dowl said...

from Monroe Anderson blog

April 17, 2008
The sludge report: feds use poor black children as guinea pigs
This just in for all those who have labeled Rev. Jeremiah Wright a crackpot for reportedly preaching in one of his sermons that "the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied."

I didn't hear the sermon. I haven't heard a snippet of the sermon. I've only heard the accusations repeated and repeated and repeated some more. But...whether Wright's facts were right or wrong, his suspicions were well rooted in reality.

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. government had used poor black children in Baltimore and East St. Louis as guinea pigs by testing sludge as a means of saving them from lead poisoning. The HUD-funded study, which began in 2000, resulted in a paper in 2005 that sort of released the results of putting human waste and industrial waste in soil that young black children might put in their mouths.
With a hat tip to Richard Prince of Journal-isms, here's how reporter John Heilprin's story began:

Scientists using federal grants spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil. Families were assured the sludge was safe and were never told about any harmful ingredients.

Nine low-income families in Baltimore row houses agreed to let researchers till the sewage sludge into their yards and plant new grass. In exchange, they were given food coupons as well as the free lawns as part of a study published in 2005 and funded by the Housing and Urban Development Department.

The Associated Press reviewed grant documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and interviewed researchers. No one involved with the $446,231 grant for the two-year study would identify the participants, citing privacy concerns. There is no evidence there was ever any medical follow-up.

Comparable research was conducted by the Agriculture Department and Environmental Protection Agency in a similarly poor, black neighborhood in East St. Louis, Ill.

The sludge, researchers said, put the children at less risk of brain or nerve damage from lead. A highly toxic element once widely used in gasoline and paint, lead has been shown to cause brain damage among children who ate lead-based paint that had flaked off their homes.

The researchers said the phosphate and iron in the sludge can bind to lead and other hazardous metals in the soil, allowing the combination to pass safely through a child's body if eaten.

The idea that sludge — the leftover semisolid wastes filtered from water pollution at 16,500 treatment plants — can be turned into something harmless, even if swallowed, has been a tenet of federal policy for three decades.

In a 1978 memo, the EPA said sludge "contains nutrients and organic matter which have considerable benefit for land and crops" despite the presence of "low levels of toxic substances."

But in the late 1990s the government began underwriting studies such as those in Baltimore and East St. Louis using poor neighborhoods as laboratories to make a case that sludge may also directly benefit human health.

Meanwhile, there has been a paucity of research into the possible harmful effects of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, other chemicals and disease-causing microorganisms often found in sludge.

A series of reports by the EPA's inspector general and the National Academy of Sciences between 1996 and 2002 faulted the adequacy of the science behind the EPA's 1993 regulations on sludge.

The chairman of the 2002 academy panel, Thomas Burke, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says epidemiological studies have never been done to show whether spreading sludge on land is safe.

"There are potential pathogens and chemicals that are not in the realm of safe," Burke told the AP. "What's needed are more studies on what's going on with the pathogens in sludge — are we actually removing them? The commitment to connecting the dots hasn't been there."

That's not what the subjects of the Baltimore and East St. Louis research were told.

A Senate committee led by California Sen. Barbara Boxer plans to look into government funding of study.
Meanwhile, the Tuskegee Experiment, which began in the 1930s and continued for 40 years, during which time researchers allowed syphilis in black men in Alabama to go untreated, comes to mind. And anybody who doesn't at least give serious consideration to Rev. Wright's alleged AIDS charge may be the crazy one.

Posted by Monroe Anderson on April 17, 2008 at 09:49 AM in The USA | Permalink ShareThis

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