Repost from Reddit
Unknown to most Americans, long before the Nazis became involved in ethnic cleansing, the United States was doing the same thing. It was called eugenics, a pseudoscience that gained prominence after the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the end of World War I. It was based on the fear that a devastated Europe and the rise in Communism would eventually inundate the United States with Communists as well. It was decided that Eastern and Southern Europe were the areas most likely to spread communism to the US, so a decision was made to restrict immigration to what were called “Nordic” or Anglo-Saxon countries. There was no basis in truth for any of this, but there was an anti-Communist, fascist movement in the U.S. among elites who believed the American way of life was being threatened.
In 1918, World War I Army venereal disease specialist Paul Popenoe co-authored a widely used textbook, Applied Eugenics, which argued, "From a historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution… Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated." A 1918 Carnegie Institute report suggested that an effective means of getting rid of “defective germ-plasms in the human population” was euthanasia. The most common method of carrying this out was establishing local gas chambers, a harbinger of things to come.
There was even a close personal relationship between Carnegie Institute scientists and Germany's Fascist eugenicists during the 1920s. "There is today one state," Hitler wrote, "in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States." In 1934, as Germany's sterilizations exceeded 5,000 per month, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe returned from Germany and told a colleague "that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program."
So, it was not surprising that the Immigration Act of 1924 lowered the quota of allowable immigrants to two percent of the total foreign-born in America. It was based on the total number of foreigners that lived in the United States in 1890 when third-world immigration was at a much lower level. It ensured immigration from Britain and Northern Europe increased, while it decreased from areas like Southern and Eastern Europe. By 1928, 376 separate university courses in some of the best American schools, with some school enrollments exceeding 20,000 students, included eugenics in their curriculum.
The insanity gained traction among wealthy elites and spread as a desire to cleanse the nation of potential Communists grew. The Carnegie Institute established a laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, enabling researchers to plot private details of a vast number of people. By 1928, courses on eugenics were taught in some of the best American schools. Eventually, sterilization laws were passed in Indiana and Virginia, compulsory for patients in mental institutions. California led the way, conducting 1,278 forced sterilizations in 1933 alone, 700 of which were done on women. Scientists could label anyone as "genetically inferior" who did not fit neatly into a preconceived category. Forced sterilization became justified based on this. Even the Supreme Court considered eugenics in a 1927 decision, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writing that it was essentially humane to “prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.”
The hysteria came to an end after World War II as the United States overwhelmingly rejected eugenics, and immigration laws were changed. But it did not undo the damage that was previously done to countless victims.
To learn more, please check out It Did Not Start With JFK, Volume 1, published by Sunbury Press.