Tuesday, April 16, 2013

They Offer Nothing But Lies

Here we have a yet another example of the scholarship and devotion to truth of the creationist movement. Lawyer Barry Arrington posts a quote which he ascribes to Margaret Sanger in 1922:

"Slavs, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are human weeds ... a deadweight of human waste. Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a menace to the race."

The quote has three suspicious aspects which would make any reasonable person think twice before posting. First, the ellipsis. Have two unrelated quotes been grafted together? Second, the lack of a detailed attribution. Where, precisely, did she say this? What speech or journal? Third, the longstanding record of quote fabrication by political and religious extremists; see, for example, They Never Said It or The Quote Verifier.

When Arrington is informed by a contributor that the quote is apparently bogus, how does he respond? Does he withdraw it, or at least say he will do more research to make sure it is accurate? No, so far he has completely ignored this information. Arrington's efforts were applauded by co-blogger V. J. Torley.

Whether it concerns biology, or climate science, or history, all they have to offer is lies.

24 comments:

sbh said...

John J. Pasquini appears to be the source of this quotation in the form “[Slavs, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are] human weeds … a deadweight of human waste … [Black, soldiers, and Jews are a] menace to the race”. He attributes this to Birth Control Review, April 1933.

Not a word of this appears there, however, and anyway, Margaret Sanger was not the author of any of the material appearing in that issue.

Margaret Sanger apparently did quote Luther Burbank referring to “criminals and weaklings” as weeds in “Is Race Suicide Probable?” (Collier's 15 Ag 1925).

The phrase “this dead weight of human waste” appears in Pivot of Civilization referring to people in “alms-houses, reformatories, schools for the blind, deaf and mute, in insane asylums, in homes for the feeble-minded and epileptic”.

She used the phrase “a menace to the race” in a rejected passage for “We Must Breed a Race of Thoroughbreds” referring to “the diseased, the sickly, the poverty stricken and anti-social classes of society, elements unable to provide for themselves”.

As far as I can tell the references to Slavic, Latin and Hebrew immigrants, blacks, soldiers, and Jews are all Pasquini’s, not Sanger’s, and do not appear to be justified by the contexts.

John Pieret said...

Arrington has now issued an not-retraction, saying:

When I saw the quote originally posted here, I researched it and found an attribution to a source. (The Birth Control Review of 1933-34). It turns out that attribution was mistaken. For posting an inaccurate quotation I apologize. That said, the general views expressed in the quotation were in fact held by Margaret Sanger.

He then posts a long quote from Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism which may not be anymore credible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Fascism

Diogenes said...

The new "correction" by Arrington conHarrington ther, different fake quote allegedly from Sanger-- this fake quote from Goldberg's Fascism-- the one about how the "chief issue" of birth control is "less children from the unfit." Debunked at Jeff's Planned
Parenthood link.

Pathological liars.

Considering how Arrington censors and bans all criticism, if he wants to see fascism, look in a mirror.

Mangster said...

The fact that Sangster never said those words doesn't mean she should escape criticism. She was, after all, a eugenecist.

Diogenes said...

I apologize for the garbled nature of my previous post-- sent from Droid phone.

Diogenes said...

Mangster,

Intelligent Design and Creationism are frauds. They have NO arguments that do not depend critically upon outright lying or redefining the scientific method.

Fascist arrington sold one fake quote from Sanger. He got caught. He replaced it with another fake quote. That IS Intelligent Design.

Sanger could be a serial killer and it wouldn't change the fact that arrington's sources are Always frauds.

Mangster said...

Diogenes, what you say is fine and all, but if someone says something false about a serial killer, it seems a little odd to defend the serial killer against the false charge without reminding your readers that the person is still a serial killer.

Diogenes said...

Oh, OK. Present a real quote from Margaret Sanger.

Be careful-- sex-terrified conservatives have hoaxed up many fake Sanger quotes. So unlike Arrington you might want to verify your sources.

Of course creationists love eugenics. The founder of Intelligent Design theory, AE Wilder-Smith, wrote all about his plan to intelligently design a master race by "breeding out recessives."

John Pieret said...

Diogenes, what you say is fine and all, but if someone says something false about a serial killer, it seems a little odd to defend the serial killer against the false charge without reminding your readers that the person is still a serial killer.

And it seems a little odd to compare someone who may (or may not) have been wrong about public policy with a serial killer. But the Radical Right has never stuck at perverse hyperbole ... Darwin caused Nazism, Stalinism, Pol Pot, etc., etc. Pointing out the hyperbole is not "defending" the bad ideas/actions of the victim of the hyperbole, it is pointing out the bad ideas/actions of the persons perpetrating the hyperbole.

Mangster said...

John, Diogenes brought up serial killers, and I was just following his lead, just making a rhetorical point. There was no intention to compare. I expected the readers here to recognize that.

Mangster said...

Here's one Sanger quote (in a letter to Clarence Gamble in Dec. 1939) that is acknowledged by http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/secure/newsletter/articles/bc_or_race_control.html

"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Now, before you whitewash it, let's see how the website whitewashes it: "This passage has been repeatedly extracted by Sanger's detractors as evidence that she led a calculated effort to reduce the black population against their will... The argument that Sanger co-opted black clergy and community leaders to exterminate their own race not only gives Sanger unwarranted credit as a remarkably cunning manipulator, but also suggests that African-Americans were passive receptors of birth control reform, incapable of making their own decisions about family size; and that black leaders were ignorant and gullible."

Also, John wrote: "Pointing out the hyperbole is not "defending" the bad ideas/actions of the victim of the hyperbole". I agree with that, and that's why I didn't claim that Shallit was defending Sanger, but merely that he let her escape criticism.

Diogenes said...

What's to "whitewash" about that quote? She didn't want to be perceived as planning to exterminate black people. Who would?

At the time she wrote this, some KKK did talk about exterminating non-whites. See, for example, Charles Carroll's Christian creationist magnum opus "Negro A Beast" (1900) (later revided in the 1960's). Who would want to be confused with that?

In the sentences previous to your sentence, she says she wants to hire some black ministers to teach black people birth control. So what?

Curt Cameron said...

Mangster, I don't see how that quote from Sanger would need whitewashing. If I imagine myself planning to give birth control to impoverished areas of the world right now, today, it would be perfectly reasonable for me to say that I wouldn't want them to think that we are trying to exterminate their population.

I happen to think that the best way to help impoverished people is to give the women control of their reproduction.

Why would that need whitewashing?

Robert Schenck said...

It's amazing that they can be shown that the quotes were made up, in order to make people think she said that sort of thing, and their defense is, "well, she was known to say that sort of stuff anyway".

Critical thinking isn't an important lifeskill right?

Diogenes said...

Proof liberals iz moar racist

1. Fake quote

2. Get Caught

3. Another Fake Quote

4. Got caught again dagnabbit

5. Quote mine FTW

Either way said...

So, was she or was she not a eugenecist? I don't care whether a eugenecist is the head of the Creationists or the head of Planned Parenthood; eugenics is a disgusting idea.

Mountain Goat said...

Are you claiming that Sanger was NOT a racist, did not see mass abortion in the black community as desirable, or that a misquote which is consistent with her patent and well documented support for eugenics somehow constitutes an adult response to the claim that Planned Parenthood was racist at its inception?

I know, I know: you enabled moderation because you fear intelligent dissent. Only you need to read this.

If you do post it, though, in the belief that you can embarrass me with your superior erudition and wit, then we might have some fun.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

a misquote which is consistent with her patent and well documented support for eugenics

Ahh, the traditional refuge of the intellectually dishonest: conceding that Sanger never said the claimed quote but claiming it was "consistent" with her views. Congratulations on discrediting yourself so quickly.

CDP said...

I know, I know: you enabled moderation because you fear intelligent dissent.

Well, we all have some fear of the unknown.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I don't care whether a eugenecist is the head of the Creationists or the head of Planned Parenthood; eugenics is a disgusting idea.

So, "Either Way", is Dor Yeshorim "disgusting" too, or are there some forms of eugenics that you would find acceptable?

Either Way said...

Hey, just pretend I said, "eugenics based on race and/or socio-economic status is a disgusting idea." That's what I meant.
And now perhaps you'll reveal whether you think Sanger had a disgusting idea without harping on the fact that some people misattributed quotes to her.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Either Way:

Lots of people in the past had ideas that we, in 2013, find appalling. Lincoln, for example, had a low opinion of black people and ideas we would consider today as racist. Yet we still revere him. I have no doubt that Sanger had some ideas that we would label today as racist. We should consider her as a person of her time, as we do for Lincoln, and consider her whole career, not just focus solely on some particular statements.

And, either way (!), there is simply no excuse for phony attributions of phony quotes. At least, no excuse for honest people.

Either Way said...

I agree. Phony quotes suck. Lincoln said so himself.

slchonda9 said...

Lincoln, for example, had a low opinion of black people and ideas we would consider today as racist.

So did Thomas Jefferson.