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Opening Arguments

Breeding better Hoosiers

(Via an IU news release) The September 2010 issue of the Indiana Magazine of History examines Indiana's unfortunate role in the eugenics movement of the early 20th century. One article by Jennifer Burek Pierce examines John H. Hurty, a Hoosier health pioneer and leading eugenics proponent. He left a positive legacy of improved public sanitation and health practices. But:

Burek Pierce, however, also uncovers Hurty's support of eugenic practices including sterilization laws, which would have forced the procedure on convicted criminals and the mentally handicapped.

A lot of things that horrify us today were once accepted enthusiastically by the establishment and its more respected members. It's chilling to realize how close we came here to going down Germany's path in making full use of that movement. Give thanks every


Wed, 09/22/2010 - 2:04pm

Sorry, you lose. Nothing personal; it's just Godwin's Law.

Leo Morris
Wed, 09/22/2010 - 3:26pm

People who throw around der Fuhrer's name everytime they're in a snit about George Bush or Barack Obama probably deserve the reductio ad-Hitlerian charge. But since our Supreme Court upheld a law authorizing compulsory sterilization in 1927, six years BEFORE Hitler's Germany adopted such a program, and since Hitler wrote to one of the founders of the American Eugencis Society with effusive praise for his work, I think my passing reference to "Germany's path" is justified.

Wed, 09/22/2010 - 4:44pm


Perhaps you should figure out what Godwin's "law" is actually about before you reference it.

tim zank
Thu, 09/23/2010 - 8:50am

Michaelk42 Says:

September 22nd, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Perhaps you should figure out what Godwin