Sterilization Forced on Poor Women

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“Forced sterilization and welfare have been linked for nearly half a century. Mississippi state legislator David H. Glass instituted a bold experiment when he sought legal means to force sterilization upon welfare mothers in 1958. By 1960, his “act to discourage immorality of unmarried females by providing for sterilization of the unwed mothers” passed in the House by a vote of seventy-two to thirty-seven but died in the Senate as the black activist Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) protested and distributed a pamphlet entitled “Genocide in Mississippi.””

“In June 1973, the abuse of two young sisters in Montgomery, Alabama, exposed the decades of stolen African American fertility. A Montgomery Community Action Agency nurse took the girls to the hospital for a federally funded contraceptive shot and obtained the “X” of each illiterate parent on the consent form. But their parents later learned that the girls had been surgically sterilized, and they asked Atlanta’s Southern Poverty Law Center for help. When SPLC filed a class-action lawsuit to end the use of federal funds for involuntary sterilization, its lawyers discovered that 100,000 to 150,000 women had been sterilized using federal funds and that half these women were black.”

“Women were also forced into sterility by governmental welfare programs, upon which unskilled black women workers relied to supplement their meager wages. While a social worker in upstate New York during the 1980s, I learned from old case files that during the 1960s and 1970s, social workers conducted frequent late-night raids on the homes of aid recipients. If a man was discovered, the family’s aid could be cut off unless the woman agreed to sterilization, guaranteeing there would be no additional children for the state to support.”

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington

Vulnerability Costs

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“When you’re a kid with no one to protect you, everything comes with a price.”

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

President Washington Declines Salary

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GEORGE WASHINGTON, FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 1789

“When I was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department, and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require.”

United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches by United States. Presidents.

New York City, New York, USA (photo)

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

I was taking a walk around New York City, staring up at the buildings, taking a few pictures and feeling like a tourist. After a few years on the East Coast I still felt like a tourist almost everywhere I … Continue reading

Poor always with us but they don’t have to freeze to death

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“One of their greatest sources of both advocacy and support is the Coalition for the Homeless, the nation’s longest-standing organization of its kind. It was founded in 1982 but dates back to 1979 when, in the landmark Callahan V. Carey lawsuit, the coalition’s founder Robert Hayes took New York to task for the clause in the state constitution that reads “The aid, care and support of the needy are public concerns and shall be provided by the state…”

“For over 20 years, Coalition for the Homeless has been led by Mary Brosnahan, its executive director.

“The obscenity of people having to live on the streets really hit me,” she said. “It was a good thing to leave New York and come back to it because it made me realize how many, many people were living homeless on the streets here. It seemed unthinkable that so many people had so survive this way, and that there were so many different types of people suffering, because homelessness is so solvable. The quote from the Bible is ‘Jesus said the poor will always be with us.’ But that doesn’t mean they have to freeze to death on the streets.” 

The woman looking out for New York’s 52,000 homeless, by  Sheila Langan (@SheiLangan) at irishcentral.com

(Emphasis mine)