A remarkable event happened recently which was largely ignored by the media. Earlier this year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the 2009 Margaret Sanger Award, the highest honor offered by Planned Parenthood, named after their founder, a noted eugenicist. If you’re unfamiliar with eugenics, it’s an approach to “improving” the human race through the process of “selective breeding.” Yes, for those who know about World War II, this was one of many theories embraced by the Nazis. A superior race of human beings having dominion over the other races.
To say that Sanger, who died in 1966, was “controversial” is an understatement; “outrageous” is closer to the truth. I’ll let her speak for herself:
• “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”1
• “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”2
• “More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control.”3
• “Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child”4 so that we could “create a race of thoroughbreds.”5
Sanger’s horrendous beliefs are well documented and should be reason enough to turn down any award bearing her name. I’d be interested to ask, “Secretary Clinton, how could you accept an award in the name of someone wanting to harm the African American community? How could you associate with an organization whose founder believed in racial purification?”
Now, I want to be fair, but I also want to call things like I see them. Lest you think we should give Mrs. Clinton the benefit of the doubt because maybe she wasn’t fully aware or briefed on the heritage behind the honor she accepted, consider this. While accepting the Margaret Sanger Award, Mrs. Clinton said, “Now, I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision.”
You might want to read that again: Mrs. Clinton said “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously.”
That’s no casual comment. But there’s more.
Secretary Clinton continued, “Another of my great friends, Ellen Chesler, is here, who wrote a magnificent biography of Margaret Sanger called ‘Woman of Valor.’ And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her.”6
Help me, Hillary. Let’s have integrity in our actions. You’re in awe of someone who believed in the extermination of the “Negro population”? Tell me there’s been some mistake. Tell me you do not share Ms. Sanger’s bigotry. I’d like to know that you part company with a woman who believed “the unfit” were suitable for “extinction.”
With all due respect, where is the “courage,” “tenacity” and “vision” in that?
1 Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923), pg. 63.
2 Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon; and, Margaret Sanger, letter to Clarence Gamble, Dec. 10,1939.
3 Birth Control Review, May 1919 (vol. III, no. 5); p.12.
4 Birth Control Review, April 1932.
5 Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2).