Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina, Blacks were specifically the target of the sterilization program, according to a study published in the American Review of Political Economy. Thus, nearly 7,600 men, women and children, sometimes aged 10 years, were subjected to a sterilization. This program is supposed to serve "the public interest" by preventing people "weak-minded" from reproducing.
most of The operations were carried out in force, even if some of the women who had otherwise no means of contraception had recourse to it, by declaring the mother unfit. The study examined the years 1958 to 1968, a period during which more than 2 100 sterilizations were performed in the State. According to the authors, sterilizations increased in the same time that the size of the black population without a job, without Whites or persons of other origins without a job are, themselves, targeted in the same proportions.
An "act of genocide"
" The disproportionate use of the sterilization eugenics in North Carolina on the black citizens was an act of genocide ", according to William Darity, Jr., a professor at Duke university and co-author of the study. The definition of genocide, according to the united Nations, involves the attempt to " destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious ", including the adoption of " measures intended to prevent births within the group ", he recalls. Previous work has shown that the program was disproportionately Black, but this new study sheds light on the mechanics used, and motives.
" Control over black bodies and their reproductive choices is nothing new ", according to the coauthor Rhonda Sharpe, the Women's Institute for Science, Equity, and Race. "Our study shows that North Carolina has restricted the freedom of reproduction, by using eugenics to deprive them of their rights the residents of black ", she adds. The State has put in place in 2010, a foundation and a compensation fund for victims of the program are still living. The first cheques of $ 20,000 each, have been sent to 220 of them in 2014, according to the local daily newspaper The News & Observer.