North Carolina finally funds reparations for victims of forced sterilization

The North Carolina Sterilization program ran from 1929 up into the 1980s.
The North Carolina Sterilization program ran from 1929 up into the 1980s.

By Scotty Reid

The North Carolina Eugenics program began in 1929 and according to some reports, lasted well into the early 1980s. When one usually thinks of eugenics, one tends to think of the forced sterilization of Jewish white women in Germany by the Nazis. As has been pointed out by German war criminals at the Nuremburg trials after the end of WWII, the Nazis got many of their ideas from various eugenics programs in America. Considering that North Carolina’s forced sterilization program ran for decades after the defeat of Hitler and the exposure of the Nazi’s crimes against humanity, really speaks to the evil that white supremacist in America have committed since the founding of the United States of America.

What is not widely known or cared about perhaps, is that forced sterilization programs still exist in American prisons and a sizable population believes these programs should be re-implemented to target poor and often non-white people, in order to save tax dollars.

The North Carolina legislature has fought among themselves for years deciding whether the victims of forced sterilization should be paid reparations for the atrocities committed against them. Once politicians in North Carolina finally passed legislation approving reparations for victims, the settlement went unfunded until recently. Last year, Governor Pat McCrory signed a budget, which included $10 million for the thousands of eugenics victims that are still alive. The victims were primarily black women targeted as teenagers but other victims included black men, white women and white men determined to be mentally defective and deemed unfit to produce and parent children.

One victim recently received a letter in the mail from The North Carolina Industrial Commission informing her she would receive a check in the mail shortly, which would be at a minimum, $50,000.

Janice Black who is now 62 yrs-old said doctors working for the state sterilized her in 1971 when she was just a teenager. After hearing about the settlement Black said, “The money is fine but like I said, it’s not going to bring back what’s already been taken from me,”

If you or someone who know was been victimized by the State of North Carolina and forcibly sterilized or was coerced into consenting to being sterilized, should call for more information and obtain a claim form from the Office of Justice at 1-877-550-6013 or 919-807-4270. You can also call the Center for Civil Rights at 919-445-0176. The claim filing deadline is June 30.


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