Forced sterilization has a long and disturbing history in both America and abroad. With reports surfacing that a whistleblower in Georgia has stated that ICE detention centers are performing mass hysterectomies on young, predominantly Latinx women, the worst fears of those concerned with the reckless and vile immigration policy of the United States, particularly under the current Administration, have been realized in the most disgusting way imaginable.
What the United States is doing, if indeed a government institution, funded by American taxpayers, has been forcibly sterilizing detained migrant women, is nearly beyond description. Yet it has not remained a point of the news, with the 24-hour news cycle moving quickly to the Presidential Election and the assorted lunacy that is still being sorted through. But this ruthless brutality, regardless of the attention spans of CNN, Fox or NBC, is barbaric in the most literal and abhorrent sense; it is obviously both illegal, and highly immoral, but it is also a crime against humanity, perpetrated by the United States, and should be treated as such by the international community.
“THAT MEN DO NOT LEARN VERY MUCH FROM THE LESSONS OF HISTORY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL THE LESSONS THAT HISTORY HAS TO TEACH.” – ALDOUS HUXLEY
To be sure, America has previously violated international law, and has been found guilty of doing so. But the Iran-Contra Scandal was neither the start, nor the end of this brazen disregard for the laws of which America helped to organize further after the Second World War. The American war on terror has mostly been a war of international criminality, creating chaos and leaving millions displaced over its course. The torture conducted over the various campaigns of this broad “war on terror”, has been both grotesque, as well as chiefly responsible for the extensive damage done to America’s reputation over this time.
Meanwhile the treatment of ethnic minorities in America, as well as immigrants and their children, has also come increasingly into question as well. And yet, these moral monstrosities appear more tame (they’re not) when compared to the notion of mass, forced, government sanctioned sterilization of young women, fleeing dangerous home countries for the hope and possibility of a better life and future.
But this newest innovation of 2020, a dastardly and abominable one, has its roots deep in American history; an American history which includes the controlled breeding of African slaves in the Americas. It is an American history in which the castration of black men was used as a common punishment; one in which the forced sterilization and mutilation of black women after the abolition of slavery was commonly accepted.
A deeply disturbing history that, somehow, was allowed to continue, destructively unabated through varying means, into the 1950’s and 60’s. With Eugenics becoming more well known and mainstream around the turn of the 19th century, it is an American history that would subjugate others to the same barbarism and horrific burden that their black brothers and sisters had already been suffering for centuries prior.
Indiana was the first state to have official, forced sterilization laws, of which were passed in 1907, but they were not the only, or most infamous state, to do so. Washington state was soon to follow, before California and Connecticut all followed suit as well, all by 1909. Ultimately, more than 30 states would achieve some sort of legislation to this effect.
One of the most famous and respected Eugenics enthusiasts of the time, eventual President Woodrow Wilson, signed legislation in 1911, later declared unconstitutional by the New Jersey Supreme Court, passed, “….to authorize and provide for the sterilization of the feebleminded (including idiots, imbeciles and morons), epileptics, rapists, certain other criminals and defectives”.
While none would be affected by this particular attempt, other states like California, would contribute, rather sacrifice, thousands upon thousands to the cause of sterilization by the 1950’s alone; the case, Buck v. Bell, signed by the famous jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., ruling in favor of the state in the matter of forced sterilization for the public good, has never explicitly been overturned in the time since 1927 either.
But the most famous acolytes of both forced sterailizaiton as well as Eugenics, undoubtedly remains the Nazi’s of Germany. Under the malevolent and psychotic leadership of Austrian born Adolf Hitler, the Nazi’s brought the idea of mass sterilization, grotesque sexual experiments, as well as mass murder and genocide, into realms never before imagined by humanity.
In Germany between 1934 and 1939 alone, it’s estimated that between 200,000 and 400,000 people were sterilized by the government. That, at the time, would’ve accounted for half of a percent of the entire German population; for perspective, California is only credited at between five and ten percent of those figures over approximately fifty years, while America combined had just approximately 60,000 forced sterilizations over the course of the entire 20th century together.
This is the legacy that these whistleblower allegations burden both ICE and America with. The brutal, cold and uncaring, subhuman treatment of one’s fellow man is physically sickening to think about; the concentration camps that the Allied forces of WWII found were so unspeakable that it pushed soldiers to take their rage, disgust and aggression out on Axis POW’s themselves, when finally Europe was liberated from them.
And still today, when American’s hear of similar types of barbarism in other countries, like China for example, many grow so indignant as to wish to intervene militarily in some manner. But what about when America hears stories of this brutality and inhumanity, coming from within our nation itself?
“YOU’RE NOT TO BE SO BLIND WITH PATRIOTISM THAT YOU CAN’T FACE REALITY. WRONG IS WRONG, NO MATTER WHO DOES IT OR SAYS IT.” – MALCOLM X
America has ignored these stories from other less fortunate groups of Americans for decades, centuries even; will we hear them now? Now that they’re regarding ICE, victimizing “illegal immigrants”? Regarding human beings in America, in the year 2020?
We must all hear, and be equally outraged by these crimes, but then again, many are only now understanding the burden that many Americans have in relation to the privileges that other Americans possess; thinking that many of those folks will empathize with those who have been so thoroughly demonized, is asking a great deal of a callous American people.
But even if Americans choose not to acknowledge their own complicity in these crimes against humanity, the rest of the world will certainly not, nor should it, abstain from doing so; it absolutely should act with condemnation if America, and Americans, will not.
For the example such inhumane brutality sets for the rest of the world, it must be stopped, even if economic and diplomatic bonds have to be revised or severed all together in the process. America is not acting without regard merely for nations and interests any further, but against humanity itself.
When one hears these allegations, one should be appalled, one should be angry, and one should be viscerally disgusted. For crimes against humanity are crimes that are, and should be, amongst the most easily of morally relatable, and unifying of afflictions in existence; they are the excessive, extreme, violent and wantonly brutal demonstrations of man’s own palpable contempt for himself. And so, with America’s own extreme history of both suffering this sickness across centuries, as well as fighting the greatest perpetrators of it in the 20th century, it is more disheartening that we should encounter it once again from within.
For these young women, the entire story is absolutely horrifying and worth the empathy of every human being. They’ve been ostracized by the American President because of their skin color, country of origin and language, while fighting to make it to the United States, risking the horrifically long journey and potential misdemeanor for illegally crossing the border if they even reach the American border, all for a chance for a better life for their families and themselves.
Forced hysterectomies are the most grotesque and deviantly evil of final, unnecessary burdens and savageries, used by America against otherwise innocent civilians from across South America.
But with Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 Presidential Election, I believe these awful, barbaric circumstances can be used in a way that might actually make America the internationally and domestically accountable nation it so wishes, yet does not know how, to be. I think, in short, that Joe Biden can take the accountability for America and its actions that the current President simply refuses, and has always refused, to bear; Biden wasn’t my first choice, but he is better than a fascist.
And this indeed, might be the only way in which we can escape this current international scandal with any semblance of respectability, integrity or practical recourse moving forward. Surely, should America have continued on this path, with this current President, few nations would have still been on good terms with us on anything more than a superficial, practical level. What nations could even have respected us, let alone trusted us to function as economic, moral and intellectual equals?
For the forced sterilization of brutally detained women in cages is most surely a crime against humanity; it is, in fact, a form of ethnic cleansing. And, much like people within our very own domestic society, few nations would endeavor to entangle themselves with countries who behave with such inhuman barbarism towards other people or nations.
Behaving in this way over such a minor offense as merely crossing an imaginary boundary line, is both insane as well as simply illiberal; in the final analysis, it cannot be tolerated in any civil or sane society, for any reason whatsoever, and that includes America.