Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happily Ever After

From a 1950 pamphlet by the Human Betterment League of North Carolina, a group that promoted the sterilization of "mental defectives" by the state.

The following poem was written by Dr. Clarence Gamble in 1947 and submitted it to the North Carolina Mental Hygiene Society for them to use in promotional materials to rally support for state sterilization. Gamble was heir to the Procter & Gamble fortune and a keen supporter of the Human Betterment League. The Mental Hygiene Society's refusal to use his poem confused Gamble. He wrote to them, “Your unfavorable criticism of the story of the two moron families interested me. It will be helpful if you can tell me the reasons behind this.”

Once there was a MORON, that means
a person that wasn't very bright.
he couldn't add figures
or make change
or do many things
an ordinary man does.
So he couldn't find a job
and the RELIEF OFFICE
had to help him out
for YEARS AND YEARS.
And one day he met
another MORON
who wasn't any cleverer than he was.
But SHE was nicer to him
than anyone had ever been.
And so he MARRIED HER.
And soon there was a BABY,
and then ANOTHER
and ANOTHER
and ANOTHER.
And the welfare department
had to pay the family
MORE of the TAXPAYER'S
MONEY
and MORE
and MORE
and MORE
And when the children grew
up and went to school
They couldn't learn
very fast
because they had inherited poor minds from their parents.
They had to repeat MANY
GRADES in the school,
and never learned very much
and never were able to
GET A JOB.
and they cost the schoolboard
and the relief office
and the taxpayer
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
AND THESE CHILDREN MARRIED
TOO - - -
So the story goes on
to grandchildren
and greatgrandchildren
and so on forevermore.
Now there was another MORON
who also was a little stupid
and couldn't learn very
much but he lived in
NORTH CAROLINA
and that was very fortunate
for him.
For the Department of Welfare
in his county
Made him one of the
lucky morons
who went to CASWELL TRAINING
SCHOOL.
There he had a mental test
and he was taught a trade
simple enough to fit his brains,
and because the tests showed
he wouldn't ever be very
bright
Or be able to earn enough
to feed a family,
and because his children
might be feebleminded, too,
a surgeon performed
A SIMPLE OPERATION
which didn't change him AT ALL,
or take ANYTHING out of his
body, but kept him from
having any children.
And after a year or two
a JOB was found for him
which, because of his special training
he DID WELL,
and he earned enough
to be SELF-SUPPORTING.
And after a while he met a
GIRL
She, too, wasn't very bright,
but they liked each other.
And she, too, had been to
CASWELL for training
and had a JOB and a
surgeon had PROTECTED her from UNWANTED
CHILDREN, without
making her different in any other way from other women.
And because they loved
each other, they married
and WERE HAPPY just as other couples are.
Both kept on with their
Jobs so they were still
SELF SUPPORTING.
And there weren't any children's
mouths to feed ---- although
they wouldn't have
known why if
the operation hadn't
been explained to them.
And with just the two in the
Family, they kept on
being SELF SUPPORTING,
and they were very thankful they lived in NORTH CAROLINA.
And the WELFARE DEPARTMENT
DIDN'T have to feed them
and the SCHOOLS didn't
have to waste their efforts on
any of their children who weren't very bright.
And because they had been
STERILIZED, the taxpayers of
North Carolina had
saved
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS
and the North Carolina MORONS LIVED
HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

2 comments:

Michael said...

Are you trying to blow my fu#*ing mind, man? Sheeit!

p.s. outdoor PS without you two will be lacking!

aaron said...

I AM trying to blow your mind. You can swear here, by the way. I don't mind.

Very sad to be missing the outdoor screening, but we'll be back for the October screenings + heck, that's right around the corner!