Hyde’s Eugenics Response
Lest it be deleted, here is Jeffrey Sykes‘ comment on Jeff Hyde‘s disastrous eugenics post at The Greensboro Guardian:
This piece exhibits the worst type of naivete in an effort to fit complex issues into a simple political context. Even more troublesome is the habit of modern conservatives to interpret past events through the lens of current belief.
The eugenics movement took root in North Carolina amidst an atmosphere of economic depression and fear. Our state had long been dominated by a patriarchal conservative elite that wielded unchecked power over the state’s government and economy. In that context powerful monied interests were ever fearful, much like grassroots conservatives today, of the costs of welfare for the less fortunate.
The agricultural, tenant farmer economy of the era up through the depression meant that ours was a rural state. Because of this, New Deal programs meant to address the mostly urban problems of the larger nation were either not suitable to address our state’s needs or stymied by our conservative Democratic Party power brokers. The Gardner Machine that dominated Democratic state politics of the era were staunch conservatives, as much Republican in their policy pursuits as JP Morgan, Calvin Coolidge or Herbert Hoover.
It is in this context that monied power elites in North Carolina banded together to promote eugenics in an effort to cut down on the potential need for “relief payments”. The entire philosophical and political rational for eugenics was grounded in a conservative desire to lower the state’s future expenses for social programs.
Thus it is undeniable that conservative business interests, imbued with a heavy dose of animus toward social welfare spending, acted as the overwhelming driving force behind the eugenics movement in North Carolina.
Recent scholarship has shed light on our state’s expansion of forced sterilization after 1945, at a time when most other state’s were abandoning or curtailing their programs. These efforts have painted a second undeniable picture of conservative forces pushing this expansion of sterilizations to include a large percentage of blacks in our state and almost exclusively involving female victims.
Lastly, to say that the state’s eugenics program remains unexamined is another gross error. The Winston-Salem Journal published an exhaustive series on the issue that is available for anyone to read.
Here’s Hyde’s ridiculous response, which merely quotes John Hood of the John Locke Foundation. The comment fails to address Sykes’ damning assertions and Hood’s posts on the subject in no way reflect Hyde’s upside down contention that eugenic sterilization was carried out by progressives. Hyde’s comment, which is totally unlike the post, plainly shows the idiot we have come to know and lends further credence to the notion that someone else actually wrote the diabolical post for him.