Kresta in the Afternoon – October 1, 2019 – Hour 2

+  A Surprise Voice against Eugenics (2 segments)

  • Description: Many people think that the Eugenics movement lived and died with the Nazis, but that’s not the case. The United States was and remains a pioneer and global leader in the eugenics movement, cleverly using pseudonyms to mask what the movement really is. You may be surprised that St. Therese of the Little Flower’s “Little Way” is an antidote to the eugenics mindset. We talk with Patricia Ranft.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Dr. Patricia Ranft
      Patricia Ranft is Emeritus Professor of History at Central Michigan University. She's the author of several books including "How the Doctrine of the Incarnation Shaped Western Culture."
  • + Articles Mentioned:

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    • Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck

      Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction One of America’s great miscarriages of justice, the Supreme Court’s infamous 1927 Buck v. Bellruling made government sterilization of “undesirable” citizens the law of the land   In 1927, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling so disturbing, ignorant, and cruel that it stands as one of the great injustices in American history. In Imbeciles, bestselling author Adam Cohen exposes the court’s decision to allow the sterilization of a young woman it wrongly thought to be “feebleminded” and to champion the mass eugenic sterilization of undesirable citizens for the greater good of the country. The 8–1 ruling was signed by some of the most revered figures in American law—including Chief Justice William Howard Taft, a former U.S. president; and Louis Brandeis, a progressive icon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered by many the greatest Supreme Court justice in history, wrote the majority opinion, including the court’s famous declaration “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Imbeciles is the shocking story of Buck v. Bell, a legal case that challenges our faith in American justice. A gripping courtroom drama, it pits a helpless young woman against powerful scientists, lawyers, and judges who believed that eugenic measures were necessary to save the nation from being “swamped with incompetence.”  At the center was Carrie Buck, who was born into a poor family in Charlottesville, Virginia, and taken in by a foster family, until she became pregnant out of wedlock. She was then declared “feebleminded” and shipped off to the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded. Buck v. Bell unfolded against the backdrop of a nation in the thrall of eugenics, which many Americans thought would uplift the human race. Congress embraced this fervor, enacting the first laws designed to prevent immigration by Italians, Jews, and other groups charged with being genetically inferior. Cohen shows how Buck arrived at the colony at just the wrong time, when influential scientists and politicians were looking for a “test case” to determine whether Virginia’s new eugenic sterilization law could withstand a legal challenge. A cabal of powerful men lined up against her, and no one stood up for her—not even her lawyer, who, it is now clear, was in collusion with the men who wanted her sterilized. In the end, Buck’s case was heard by the Supreme Court, the institution established by the founders to ensure that justice would prevail. The court could have seen through the false claim that Buck was a threat to the gene pool, or it could have found that forced sterilization was a violation of her rights. Instead, Holmes, a scion of several prominent Boston Brahmin families, who was raised to believe in the superiority of his own bloodlines, wrote a vicious, haunting decision upholding Buck’s sterilization and imploring the nation to sterilize many more. Holmes got his wish, and before the madness ended some sixty to seventy thousand Americans were sterilized. Cohen overturns cherished myths and demolishes lauded figures in relentless pursuit of the truth. With the intellectual force of a legal brief and the passion of a front-page exposé, Imbeciles is an ardent indictment of our champions of justice and our optimistic faith in progress, as well as a triumph of American legal and social history. (learn more)

    • War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, Expanded Edition

      War Against the Weak is the gripping chronicle documenting how American corporate philanthropies launched a national campaign of ethnic cleansing in the United States, helped found and fund the Nazi eugenics of Hitler and Mengele -- and then created the modern movement of "human genetics." Some 60,000 Americans were sterilized under laws in 27 states. This expanded edition includes two new essays on state genocide. (learn more)

+  Is Help on the Way in Iraq?

  • Description: A $367 million effort to rebuild communities destroyed by ISIS with U.S. taxpayer dollars has floundered on regulations and outsourcing to an American contractor. Despite repeated White House pledges of directing aid to Christian and Yazidi communities, church groups in Iraq said they’ve been bypassed in favor of a Washington for-profit contractor—one that does $1.5 billion in business with the U.S. Agency for International Development and has a checkered past in managing similar projects in Afghanistan. Mindy Belz has the details.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Mindy Belz
      Mindy Belz is the Senior Editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz and visit
  • + Articles Mentioned:

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