Sterilized by North Carolina, she felt raped once more: Elaine Riddick was only 14 when the state decided that she was not capable of mothering children and quietly cauterized her fallopian tubes. The $50,000 now offered to her only makes her angrier.
This is one of the most disturbing stories we’ve ever read.
Between 1929 and 1974, nearly 7,600 people were sterilized under orders from North Carolina’s Eugenics Board. Nearly 85% were women or girls, some as young as 10. The state estimates that 1,500 to 2,000 of the victims are still alive.
The board’s declared goal was to purify the state’s population by weeding out the mentally ill, diseased, feebleminded and others deemed undesirable.
In a 1950 pamphlet, the Human Betterment League of North Carolina said the board was protecting “the children of future generations and the community at large,” adding that “you wouldn’t expect a moron to run a train or a feebleminded woman to teach school.”
The pamphlet went on: “It is not barnyard castration!”
Photo: Elaine Riddick, 57, listens as Dr. Laura Gerald, unseen, chairwoman of the Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force, announces on Jan. 10 the panel’s recommendation of a $50,000 payment to each victim. The meeting was held in Raleigh, N.C. Credit: Shawn Rocco, Raleigh News & Observer
What. The. FUCK.