Hampton Dellinger’s Budget Priorities Include Compensation for Victims of Forced Gov’t Sterilizations

I’m running for Lt. Governor because I believe the officeholder can be a powerful agent of progressive change in North Carolina. While this is a race about the future, so many issues that matter have been shaped by our past. I have a new video and statement posted that discuss one of the most shameful episodes in our state’s history, and what I think we need to do to start making it right.

For more than four decades, until the mid-1970s, government agencies oversaw the forcible sterilization of more than 7,600 North Carolinians. Thousands of the victims were 18 and younger. In one case, a 10-year-old boy was castrated. Those involved said the program was needed to cleanse society of the “undesirable,” “promiscuous” and “feeble minded,” but we know what really drove this horrific effort: racism and sexism.

The full story of North Carolina’s sterilization program is available in an incredible series of articles in the Winston-Salem Journal. The final article in the original series ran five years ago, on December 12, 2002.

In 2003, a state committee called for compensation for documented victims. But to this day, not one penny has been paid to any victim. And yet the state is willing to use public money to fund athletic scholarships at private schools, overpay by millions for office supplies, and cut taxes for the rich.

We need to get our priorities straight. As Lt. Governor, I will submit a state budget proposal that includes payment to the documented survivors of the sterilization program. They are not unknowable victims of distant historical events. The sterilization program lasted until the mid-1970s, and thousands of its victims still live every day with the enormity of the wrongs they have suffered.

State officials’ first rule ought to be the same as a doctor’s: do no harm. North Carolina state government harmed thousands of its citizens, primarily women and African-Americans. I believe offering the victims some measure of compensation should be a top government priority.

Hampton Dellinger, Democrat for Lt. Governor

Comments

I'm all about reparations

This is a good example, and there are countless more. Our government came into being on the bloody backs of ancient people who lived here for centuries before the arrival of European imperialists. We owe more than we can ever repay, but that doesn't mean we should make the effort.

I think this is a decent idea.

Although I have to admit - I'm more concerned about people who are prevented from forming families now because of antiquated marriage laws that prevent couples who happen to be of the same gender from marrying legally. Not only does this affect them, it affects any children that they have. Those children are denied equal protection under the law because their families are not equal in the eyes of the law. I'd like to see a candidate - any candidate - come out as strongly for that as you have for this.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Good for you!

Harm none is an excellent motto. So is liberty and justice for all. All - Not some! I, too, would be most interested to see a candidate speak out on such topics.

Thanks Hamp

An interesting take on a little-understood and forgotten episode.

Thanks for being a progressive who can win.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I wont argue with this

Its a good idea. But this is 7600 families we are talking about.

As of the most recent census there are close to 1 million people in North Carolina living in Poverty. I would never belittle the travesty that has befallen these poor people. But there are big fish and little fish. And Im much more worried about what you and all of your fellow candidates will do for the big fish than what you will do to get a bill passed through the legislature that, to be quite honest, Republicans would have a hard time voting against.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

you overestimate the NC Republican party

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire