Three Generations, No Imbeciles by Paul A. Lombardo


This interesting book is about the Buck v. Bill court case in Virginia in about 1929.  I just started reading it, but it is a thorough treatment of the Eugenics Movement, and this case’s global effect on it.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said in his opinion on this case, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.  Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

Carrie Buck became the first person sterilized under the new Virginia law that mandated the surgery for people who had been declared “socially inadequate”.

Yikes!  Virginia’s legislators’ dominion over the Commonwealth’s women’s bodies has a long history.  As of 2008, this law is still on the books!

On another note, a pair of Carolina wren’s are building a nest in the small trash can on my patio.  I set out food about a month ago, and it was discovered by sparrows, snowbirds, purple finches, wrens and, today, a tufted titmouse.  The other birds didn’t take kindly to him at all, but he’s been back twice.

The wrens have the loudest, prettiest song, and use it to scare off predators.  They are adorable, smart and careful building the nest.  What a joy to see!

Among the all the birds singing, just now I heard a cardinal (my faves) and a cat crying.  Hope it’s okay.  It wasn’t close.


2 Responses to “Three Generations, No Imbeciles by Paul A. Lombardo”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    How wonderful that you have nest-builders! Because I’m so close to the water I don’t get your kinds of birds, but I’ve been hearing doves coo tonight, and I always enjoy that.

    I had no idea that the eugenics movement was – well, a movement, and in this country, for heaven’s sake. I certainly had no idea there had been a court case, or that a law still was on the books. This is one I might want to read – especially since there have been some people arguing that much abortion today actually is eugenics – people choosing boys over girls or vice-versa, or eliminating babies that don’t meet their standards.

    It’s not really something I enjoy thinking about, but I suppose sometimes we have to think about things we don’t enjoy. 😉

  2. Julie Says:

    The birds hatched, right after we moved. 2 little guys. The maintenance folks kept an eye out & didn’t disturb the nest. So sweet!

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