Magazine article The Nation

The Kevorkian in the White House

Magazine article The Nation

The Kevorkian in the White House

Article excerpt

Few charges are more vivid, at least to the poor mothers involved, than the possibility that their children are the objects of medical experimentation. It's the sort of charge that ultimately fired the suspicion among some blacks that the AIDS epidemic had in origin been a campaign to wipe them out. With easy mirth the Haves deride those fears among the Have-Nots, and muster up confident phrases about "paranoid conspiracy-mongering."

From a historical perspective the Have-Nots have the evidence on their side, at least about the not-so-deeply repressed urges of the Haves to do them in. Just read Malthus on the desirability of situating the poor near stagnant pools so they may die from pestilence all the more speedily. From Malthus we can move swiftly to applied-Malthus, in the Irish famine.

The welfare bill signed by Clinton and forgiven by the liberals can be seen as an experiment in trying to kill off the poor by any means necessary. Future historians will have a fine time with the way phrases like an experiment worth trying," "an opportunity not to be missed" and kindred Clinton rationales were thrown around. Thus far the liberal conscience has managed to express itself in three resignations from Health and Human Services.

The poor children won,t die of anything so brutish as "starvation." Even in England in the 1830s that was officially impossible, since Chadwick beat down efforts to introduce into the statistics hunger as a secondary cause of death.

I have in front of me now a Centers for Disease Control statistical table for 1993 that lists infant deaths, mortality rates and percentage change from the previous year. First in ranking for less-than-1-year-old children of black mothers is "Disorders relating to short gestation and unspecified low birthweight. …

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