Family planning initiatives in the Deep South in the 1950s encouraged women of color (predominantly African American women) to use contraceptives and sterilizations to reduce the growth of our populations, while obstacles were simultaneously placed in the paths of white women seeking access to these same services. A Louisiana judge„ Leander Perez, was quoted as saying, “The best way to hate a nigger is to hate him before he is born.” This astonishingly frank outburst represented the sentiments of many racists during this period, although the more temperate ones disavowed gutter epithets.
For example, conservative politicians like Strom Thurmond supported family planning in the 1960s when it was used as a racialized form of population control, aimed at limiting Black voter strength in African American communities. When it was presented as a race-directed strategy to reduce their Black populations, North Carolina and South Carolina became the first states to include family planning in their state budgets in the 1950s. One center in Louisiana reported that in its first year of operation, 96% of its clients were Black. The proportion of white clients never rose about 15%. Generally speaking, family planning associated with women of color was most frequently supported; but support quickly evaporated when it was associated with white women.
Increased federal spending on contraception coincided with the urban unrest and rise in a militant Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. In 1969, President Nixon asked Congress to establish a five-year plan for providing family planning services to “all those who want them but cannot afford them.” However, the rational behind the proposed policy was to prevent population increases among Blacks—-this would make governance of the world in general, and inner cities in particular, difficult. Reflecting on concerns strikingly similar to those driving US population policies overseas, Nixon pointed to statistics that showed a “bulge” in the number of Black Americans between the ages of five and nine. This group of youngsters who would soon enter their teens—“an age group with problems that create social turbulence”—was 25% larger than ten years before. This scarcely disguised race- and class-based appeal for population control persuaded many Republicans to support family planning.
Loretta Ross, White Supremacy and Reproductive Justice, in Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology
A lot of progressives like to go around talking about the radicalization of the right around abortion issues. While it’s true that anti-choice extremism has become more mainstreamed, the repeated efforts to prove this fact specifically by pointing to how Republicans like Nixon and Bush Sr. promoted birth control use without noting WHY and TO WHAT EXTENT they were pro-contraception is extraordinarily racist and a violent erasure of the sterilization and population control policies used against women of color, as well as poor women and women with disabilities. It’s also yet another sign of what is so very fucked about so much of the pro-choice movement. (via thecurvature)
Comment/response left on the Racialious post “Sustainable Food & Priviledge: Why is Green always White (and Male and Upper-Class)”
»BOOM! (via tobia)
Remember folks, as always! When women of color (who comprise the majority of farmers in this world) grow food, they’re just going about their poor-poor business as usual. When white privileged people do it? They’re SAVING THE PLANET, SOWING REVOLUTION AND SMASHING PARADIGMS OMFG.
Why does it take Rush Limbaugh to call an affluent, white woman a “slut” to realize that he’s an asshole? He’s said plenty of similar, if not worse, things about women of color in the past. Where was the outrage then? Why is everyone up in arms now?
Look at this list of things that he’s said about women of color, and I dare you to tell me that we live in a post-racial society.
“Angela Davis, former Black Panther, is the go-to commentator on any protest or political uprising these days. (And, apparently, the go-to stencil for “street artists” designing nostalgic protest fliers.) So why hasn’t anyone asked her how she feels about the DREAM Act — the national push to grant undocumented students and soldiers their citizenship, and one of the greatest civil-rights fights of the 21st century? Maybe because… … as interviewer Derek Washington noted in a recent sit-down with Davis, there’s somewhat of a disconnect between the black struggle for equality and that of Latinos. Washington said a lot of black people feel like, “That’s not my fight.” We’ve observed some resentment among local black leaders toward Latinos who come to California to find work. Long Beach City Council candidate Robert Wideman, a top supporter of the Republican push to repeal our in-state DREAM Act, recently called the Latino influx an “invasion.” Davis doesn’t see it that way. Here are her words on the importance of fighting for the DREAM Act, from the “Citizens for Immigrants” interview: “It’s important because it represents one of the most important arenas in the ongoing struggle for civil rights in this country, and particularly those of us who have a history of struggling for civil rights — I’m speaking very specifically about the African-American community. “It is a cause that black people should embrace. One of the things that we need to remember is that the victories that have been won in the struggle for black freedom never would have been possible if only black people were the ones who were active in those struggles. … I know my case would not have been won, as it was, had not it been for the activism of the Chicano community in San Jose when I was tried on charges of … conspiracy. In San Jose, there was a very minuscule black community there at that time. And it was in the Chicano community that the major organizing took place. “I don’t understand how people can assume that its possible for each racialized ethnic group to go it alone. “As people who have benefited from these freedom struggles, it is our responsibility to continue justice as Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out is indivisible, and justice for black people must be used on behalf of justice for Latinos, and justice for immigrants, and justice for undocumented immigrants.” — From LA Weekly. The audio for the Citizens For Immigrants interview is here.