No one is “anti-science” for opposing eugenics.

Opposing efforts to eradicate people like you because doctors don’t consider people like you to be valuable is not being “anti-science”. It’s being anti-eugenics.

Everyone should be anti-eugenics.

anonymous asked:

I recently saw some pro-life protesters holding up signs that said something along the lines of 'abortion is always ableist' and 'pro-choice is fundamentally ableist' and I was just wondering what they mean by that? This blog seems to have a good understanding on ableism and I really fail to understand these protesters signs. I'm pro-choice, so maybe I can't see how it's ableist because I'm biased, but I'd like an explaination to how it could be construed this way.

My guess would be that they’re referring to cases where the parents choose to terminate a pregnancy because they’ve been told that there’s a high chance the child will be disabled. Decisions like that are definitely products of an abelist society that devalues disabled lives, gives abled people the power to decide whose lives are “worth living,” makes the resources and knowledge necessary for raising a disabled child very difficult to access for a lot of people, and of course creates the class of “disabled” people in the first place (according to the social model of disability). This isn’t just ableist–it’s eugenics.

But it’s really disingenuous to claim that the fault for this ableism rests solely on the parents’ shoulders in all cases–the solution to this problem would be to destroy ableist structures that devalue disabled existence and deny disabled people resources, not to indiscriminately attack a means by which some of the effects of ableist structures are sometimes enacted (i.e. abortion), especially considering that the people who seek abortions are often vulnerable members of society themselves. If they cared about disabled children, they would push for resources and education to be more readily available to their parents and communities, and I don’t think holding up signs that read “abortion is always ableist” is doing that. So, like I said, really disingenuous.

Besides which, not all abortions occur for this reason? So I’m not sure where they’re even coming from there. I’m stumped.

-Najia

People With Down Syndrome Disrupt Screening Conference (June 6, 2003)

On May 19th, a group of people with Down’s Syndrome and their supporters disrupted the International Down Syndrome Screening Conference at Regents Collage in London. This is the first time people with Down’s Syndrome have made such a protest and is a major new step in the debate about genetics, eugenics and the rights of disabled people.

As a result of the protest, the conference organisers allowed Anya Souza to speak from the platform. Ms Souza, who is a trustee of the Down Syndrome Association, told the doctors that she opposes Down’s Syndrome screening and that people with Down’s Syndrome are people not medical problems. Her speech was warmly applauded by the conference delegates

The protesters consisted of three people with Down’s Syndrome, another disabled person with learning disabilities and their families and supporters. They had written to the conference organisers in advance and asked to speak, but were refused by the main organiser, Professor Howard Cuckle. It is unacceptable that doctors discuss better ways of preventing people with Down’s Syndrome being born, whilst excluding their voices from the debate. This runs directly counter to one of the main demands of disabled people: ‘Nothing about us without us’.

The protesters expect that their action will persuade the conference organisers to ensure a full debate at next years conference with proper representation of disabled people with learning difficulties. This should be the start of a national debate on prenatal screening.

In her speech, entitled 'Everything you ever wanted to know about Down’s Syndrome… but never bothered to ask’, Anya Souza said: I can’t get rid of my Down’s Syndrome. But you can’t get rid of my happiness. You can’t get rid of the happiness I give others either. It’s doctors like you that want to test pregnant women and stop people like me being born. You can’t abort me now can you? You can’t kill me…sorry!

Together with my family and friends I have fought to prevent my separation from normal society. I have fought for my rights. I have the right to a job, to services when necessary, to a decent standard of living, to know about my medical problems, to speak my mind, to make choices about my friends, whether to have sex, and so on. To do this you have to be independent when you grow up and not get separated from society… I may have Down’s Syndrome, but I am a person first.

Kitty Gilbert, who also has Down’s Syndrome, said: ….. I enjoyed watching the conference although I was a bit scared of what the conference people were saying. I think screening pregnant mothers with Down’s Syndrome babies is wrong. They are wanting their offspring to be able to enjoy their world around them and have endless happiness. I for one gave my mum pride and joy and I will continue to do so. I think that we should be treated fairly and equally, not being getting rid off because there is so much more in life that we can do. We are what we are and ask our opinion.

— 

LDOnline

I remember when this happened.  Nobody expected that people with Down syndrome could even have an opinion on genetic screening, even though they’re more affected by it than most people.  When they weren’t allowed to speak the regular way, they barged in and made sure people listened.

In a 2010 public lecture, Bill Gates attributed global warming to “overpopulation” and touted zero population growth as a solution achievable “[i]f we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, and reproductive health services.”94 The argument is disingenuous: As Gates certainly knows, the poor people who are the targets of his campaigns are responsible for no more than a tiny percentage of the environmental damage that underlies climate change. The economist Utsa Patnaik has demonstrated that when population figures are adjusted to account for actual per capita demand on resources, e.g., fossil fuels and food, the greatest “real population pressure” emanates not from India or Africa, but from the advanced countries.95 The Gates Foundation is well aware of this imbalance and works not to redress it but to preserve it – by blaming poverty not on imperialism but on unrestrained sexual reproduction “in places where we don’t want it.”


From Malthus to the present day, the myth of overpopulation has supplied reliable ideological cover for the ruling class as it appropriates ever greater shares of the people’s labor and the planet’s wealth. As argued in Aspects No. 55, “Malthus’s heirs continue to wish us to believe that people are responsible for their own misery; that there is simply not enough to go around; and to ameliorate that state of wretchedness we must not attempt to alter the ownership of social wealth and redistribute the social product, but instead focus on reducing the number of people.”96 In recent years BMGF’s publicity apparatus, exploiting Western alarm about “climate change,” has helped create a resurgence of the overpopulation hysteria last experienced during the 1970s in the wake of Paul Erlich’s bestseller The Population Bomb.97

—  The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation, IV. A Broader Agenda

Jacob Levich

10

…and what message do you think these children imparted to their own children?

 What norms, taboos, mores, values, ethics and principles do you really think that these children taught their children when they grew into adulthood and became your elected officials, your law enforcement, your district attorney’s, your judges or responsible for your vaccinations, your nourishment and your autopsy results or your laboratory dna analysis?

A miniature evolution rant for science fiction writers

1. A living thing cannot be more or less evolved. It can be more or less derived, meaning it differs from some basal ancestor in more or fewer ways. It can be more or less complex, which is by no means the same as more or less derived, nor do being more derived and being more complex necessarily correlate. But evolution doesn’t stop. Even when an organism changes very little over many, many generations, that is because those same traits that served its ancestor well are still beneficial or non-detrimental and thus still being selected for. Claiming something is more evolved because it is either more derived or more complex is like claiming a cubist painting is more painted than a Renaissance painting.

2. Likewise, it is impossible to reach the pinnacle of evolution. Evolution does not have a linear plot. It is a sandbox game. Our personal brand of human intelligence is glorious and wonderful and tremendous, but it was neither inevitable nor necessary. Again, evolution doesn’t stop. It is a constant interplay between species and environment, defined by birth, death, and change. A change in the environment alters the needs of the species. A change in a species alters the environment. Nothing is ever “perfectly evolved”, even for its specific environment, because every alteration requires alteration in response, even if that alteration is very small. There is certainly no such thing as a perfect species.

3. A change in the environment is a change in the environment. Until someone discovers or invents a form of true immortality, nothing we do can actually halt our own evolution- it can only change the course. As a general rule, the more members of a species who survive each generation, the better that species is doing, and the more diverse its genome, the less likely one or two catastrophic things will wipe it off the face of the planet. You don’t know what traits will be valuable for future challenges we face and what traits won’t be. If I remember correctly (I’ll dig up my notes later), the jaw was derived from an initially bizarre and useless mutation in the skull, and several of our ear bones were derived from what used to be part of our jaw articulation. So eugenicists and people who claim not to be eugenicists but use eugenics arguments can all fuck right off.

4. A single individual cannot evolve. Evolution does not occur on the individual level. It occurs on the population level. When a single individual changes to better suit their environment, that is adaptation, not evolution. Adaptation is of course a part of evolution, but it is not the same thing. This, combined with points 1 and 2, means you personally cannot become or choose to be more evolved than other people. That is not how anything works, at all, ever.

Thank you for your time, everyone!

Google Cloud and Autism Speaks

Most of you know that Google Cloud is working with Autism Speaks to gather and track autistic DNA.  If you want to learn why this is bad through facts, click here.  For stories, click here.  People with a bad track record are being creepy for a more homogenous humanity.  If you have something to say about that, look at this:

[The image reads #GCPOffice Hours/ Join us for Office Hours with the team from Google Cloud Platform.  On June 12 at 11 am PT, we will be answering questions on Twitter.  Ask us anything using #GCPOfficeHours and we will respond then].

Payments Start For N.C. Eugenics Victims, But Many Won’t Qualify

BY ERIC MENNEL

Debra Blackmon was about to turn 14 in January 1972, when two social workers came to her home.

Court and medical documents offer some details about what happened that day. Blackmon was “severely retarded,” they note, and had “psychic problems” that made her difficult to manage during menstruation.

Her parents were counseled during the visit, and it was deemed in Blackmon’s best interest that she be sterilized.

Blackmon is among the more than 7,000 people in North Carolina — many poor, many African-American, many disabled — who were sterilized between 1929 and 1976 in one of the country’s most aggressive eugenics programs.

North Carolina passed a law to compensate victims of the state-run program last year. This week, the state sent out the first checks to qualified applicants. But Blackmon, like many others who are fighting for restitution, is not among them.

[Continue reading article and listen to the story on NPR.]

Unlike horror and fantasy, however, SF is kinda obsessed with stories of “cure,” and other medical stuff like prosthetic technologies and genetic engineering (a.k.a., eugenics). Because of that technological (and medical) focus, SF opens up spaces to question/challenge/explore what it means to human, and, perhaps more importantly for this conversation, who gets to be counted as human. Since SF is a genre where writers set out their visions of what may come, it’s essential that care is taken in how they create their idealized (or dystopic) futures: if disability is “cured” in the future, a very common notion in SF, then what does that tell people with disabilities of how they are valued today? I really believe that SF holds the potential to be a leading genre in re-imagining disability in creative ways that challenges the reductive and harmful stereotypes that society currently holds…it’s just going to take a while for a good chunk of SF writers to identify their (often able-bodied) assumptions about what it means to live with a disability and to start writing three-dimensional, realistic characters who have a disability. Also, we need a plurality of voices in SF creating visions of the future and that must include people with disabilities (visible and invisible, physical and mental)!
—  from my interview with Kathryn Allan, co-editor of Accessing the Future 

Between 1898 and 1950 in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico over 20,000 women were sterilized by U.S. Doctors without their knowledge or consent—a practice which also took place on the rest of the island. This was especially prominent when in 1937 U.S. Public Law 136 legalized sterilization of Puerto Ricans for “non-medical reasons.” The impetus for this law was that U.S. Law makers were concerned about the declining Anglo population vis-a-vis the high birth rates of Latinxs. As a result, in order to keep White dominance they passed laws that mitigated Puerto Rican births. This unknown history epitomizes what we mean by White supremacy: the enactment of laws, policies, beliefs, and eugenics—a system, not just individuals—to maintain control, dominance, and the status quo. And the connections between eugenics and police brutality are astounding.

"Judge authorises sterilisation of mother-of-six with learning disabilities"

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/04/judge-sterilisation-mother-learning-disabilities-pregnant

from the UK

Don’t even say that “sterilizing someone in their best interest” is not eugenics. This is how they did it the last time, too, in the 1920s. They would point at a disabled person, usually a poor, disabled woman with kids, and say, “she’s a danger to herself and society,” and order her sterilized. Sound familiar? Hey, it just happened.

Now we enter the age of genetics, which offers such hope for advancing healthcare but has also sparked a new form of eugenics, with scientists talking of eradicating disabilities at birth from the human condition.

…Those preaching this new eugenics conflate health and disability, harm and difference. They dismiss how diversity enriches the world, reject complex issues of choice, ignore implications of inferiority. They sweep aside Stephen Hawking writing about how motor neurone disease focused his work, or studies showing people with Down’s syndrome to be far happier with their lives and looks than the average person.

Sorry kid. That guy you’re with accidentally helped eugenicists rank races like Pokemon.

6 Geniuses Who Saw Their Inventions Turn Evil

#6. Alfred Binet’s IQ Test Got Hijacked by Eugenics-Obsessed Racists

First, Binet himself knew his test wasn’t all that scientific. It came with tons of disclaimers stressing that the test does not measure static intelligence and should not be used to label people in any way. And, for the single purpose of figuring out a kid’s level of development, it worked pretty well. But then American eugenicists got hold of his work. The eugenicists loved the idea of intelligence tests because they wanted to use them to identify and weed out “the idiots” from the gene pool, which, by sheer coincidence, all happened to include anyone who wasn’t a white American. Never mind that the score can absolutely be improved with education – why burden the system with teaching children when we can just breed superior intelligence into them!

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anonymous asked:

I think what that question means is like... Idk I don't think ppl think ppl with disabilities are Risky I think the thing is that they're asking themselves could they take care of said disabled person if it came to that. Like esp if ur physically disabled u may have serious health issues and I don't think u should date someone that has the possibility to be very unwell if ur just gonna dump them when they get unwell

Wooooow. Here is Ableism 101, right here, in response to this

I don’t know that this even deserves a response, but here goes.

Many disabled people do not require any “special” care from partners. Many abled people do require “special” care from partners. Most good relationships, romantic or otherwise, are built on some degree of interdependence, wherein each person provides the other with love, care, and assistance in a generally egalitarian way.

Disabled people often overcompensate for the things we “can’t” do, yet our contributions are undervalued

For disabled people who need significant daily care, we would generally prefer that that not come from one person/partner, for the same reason that it’s dangerous for anyone to be completely reliant on one person: it’s setting us up for abuse. Sometimes we don’t have a choice. But we are working toward independent living and making sure that everyone has the resources they need to live independently, regardless of whether they have a romantic partner, sibling, parent, friend, etc. to care for them.

But if that’s what you’re afraid of, I’ve got news for you: anyone can become disabled at any time. Anyone can get very ill. Dating the healthiest, most abled person you see is no guarantee of anything.

It’s a serious fucking problem that you hear “disability” and think “burden,” in a post about how that conflation is wrong.

Disabled people are not burdens. We are not burdens to society, we are not burdens to our friends, we are not burdens to our families, we are not burdens to our partners.

With that said, Anonymous, you don’t have to want to date us. I’d really rather you didn’t.

Virginia’s forced sterilization victims each to get $25k restitution payments for eugenics program

Virginia is set to become the second state to compensate the victims of its eugenics program ‒ people whom the state deemed mentally or physically unfit to procreate and were then forcibly sterilized without their knowledge or consent.

 The commonwealth will give $25,000 each “to individuals who  were involuntarily sterilized pursuant to the Virginia Eugenical  Sterilization Act and who were living as of February 1,  2015,” according to Virginia’s revised 2014-2016 budget that  was passed by the General Assembly at the end of February. A  total of $400,000 was set aside for forced sterilization victims,  the Virginia Gazette reported.