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Monday marks the deadline for victims of North Carolina’s eugenics program to apply for compensation. eugenics_bw2

Some 7500 men and women were involuntarily sterilized in North Carolina between 1929 and 1974 under the authority of the state Eugenics Board.  It’s estimated fewer than 2,000 of those individuals are still alive.

Last year lawmakers set aside $10 million in compensation, which will be divided equally among certified living victims and awarded June 30, 2015.

For more on the eugenics compensation program, listen to Chris Fitzsimon’s recent radio interview with attorney Elizabeth Haddix from the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights. The Center has been providing pro bono legal help to the potential claimants.

Additional information (including the form to apply for compensation) can be found at the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims.

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From the good people at the UNC Law School Center for Civil Rights — pass it along:

If you or a family member was a victim on North Carolina’s forced sterilization program, you may be eligible for compensation from the state. The deadline for filing a claim for compensation under the Eugenics and Asexualization and Sterilization Compensation Program is June 30, 2014. The UNC Center for Civil Rights, along with other volunteer lawyers, are providing free assistance to those filing claims. We encourage victims and their families to call us with questions about eligibility and how to fill out the claims form. We also encourage victims and their families to attend one of the free clinics we are conducting with help from the NAACP, local churches and community leaders, during which we will provide additional information and assist in filing claims.

  • Thursday, May 22, 10am-1pm at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center, corner of 5th and Tyson St., Greenville, NC
  • Thursday, May 29, 10am-1pm at the Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 East Martin St. Raleigh, NC

Clinics will also occur in Mecklenburg and Hertford Counties on June 5 and June 12, times and locations to be publicized soon. Below are answers to frequently asked questions we have received about the process:

Q: Where can I get the claims form?
A: You can download the form at http://www.sterilizationvictims.nc.gov/, or call the Office of Justice at 1-877-550-6013 or 919-807-4270.

Q: Who is eligible for compensation?
A: Living victims of the program are eligible, as well as the heirs of deceased victims so long as the victim was alive on June 30, 2013. Read More

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Phil BergerWRAL has video of all 36 minutes of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s surprisingly far-ranging press conference today and today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File will have a thorough analysis shortly.

For those looking for some preliminary quick takeaways, however, here were a few of the highlights/low-lights:

Berger has decided to go all in with the far right agenda and appears to see it as his pathway to seeking the GOP nomination to take on Kay Hagan in 2014. Moreover, his legislative “agenda” was/is an utterly predictable recitation of Locke Foundation/Civitas/Art Pope priorities: Read More

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This is just plain ridiculous. Thom Tillis was for it and was prepared to find the money. Bev Perdue was too. And now it appears Pat McCrory is as well. And still North Carolina has not moved (and may not move) to compensate the surviving victims of the state’s disastrous forced sterilization program of the mid-20th Century.

And the reason: the state Senate and its leader Phil Berger. Here’s a Berger  spokesperson addressing the issue in this morning’s Wilmington Star-News:

“While his heart goes out to the victims, the current economic environment – coupled with the difficult budgetary realities inherited from past General Assemblies – prevented us from pursuing proposals to provide financial compensation during our last session,” Auth said.

This is just an embarrassing truckload of crapola. “Current economic environment”? “Difficult budgetary realities”? This from a man who helped ram through a series of absurd tax giveaways to fat cats and profitable corporations in the 2011-12 session? At least Tillis doesn’t have the gall to hide behind such a shameful smokescreen.

There was a time when the Senate President Pro Tem  was widely regarded in Raleigh as a pretty reasonable guy and certainly not an right-wing ideologue. Unfortunately, those times appear to have come and gone.

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Governor Perdue is in the midst of a hectic conclusion to her term, but the Winston-Salem Journal has a good suggestion for her “to do” list over the next few weeks. The paper, which has tirelessly championed the victims of the state’s tragic forced sterilization program of the mid-20th Century, is calling on the Guv to do the right thing for the victims prior to leaving office:

“Tis the season to be jolly for many North Carolinians, especially those lucky enough to have a job. But many of the victims of the state’s forced sterilization program live on in their own private hell, one compounded this year when their heightened hopes of finally being compensated were dashed in the state Senate. Gov. Bev Perdue fought for them, but she needs to fight harder before she leaves office in a few weeks.

She should quickly take decisive action. She should urge the state’s hospitals and charitable foundations, especially those that played a role in the program that sterilized more than 7,600 men, women and children from 1929 through 1974, to challenge the legislature with matching grants to make compensation happen as soon as the legislature returns to Raleigh in January.”

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.