In case you missed it over the weekend, John Railey of the Winston-Salem Journal had another powerful article about the ongoing disaster that is the state of North Carolina’s failed response to its disastrous experiment with “eugenics” in the the last century. As you’re probably aware, the issue of thousands of North Carolinians being subjected to forced sterilizations in the mid-20th Century is something that’s been swept under the rug and inadequately addressed for years. In recent years, however, the state, finally got it’s act together — sort of anyway — and began to compensate at least some of the surviving victims. As Railey explained, however, the money has now stopped flowing:
“North Carolina’s state budget impasse is leaving many people in limbo, but none more so than the victims of our state’s sterilization program, who in 2013 were allocated a $10 million compensation pool from which they will equally share. They got their first checks, for $20,000 each, this past October. But since then, they have heard hardly anything from the state about their final payments, which could bring their total compensation to as much as $50,000 each.
All across our state, and in other states as well, victims of North Carolina’s program are wondering when they will get their final checks. The state won’t do the victims the simple courtesy of sending them a mass mailing in which it explains the delay. We here at the Journal editorial board tell several victims fortunate enough to have our phone number the reasons for the delay. There’s the state budget process, which is taking the longest time in years for the legislature and the governor to nail down. And even after the state leaders agree on a budget, it’s uncertain when the next compensation payment will go out.”
The story went on to explain how victims can’t even get a straight answer as to what is next from the officials charged with overseeing the compensation. As Railey reports:
“Victims whom I’ve long talked to felt good when they got those first checks in October, which came with a letter stating that, because of the appeal process, it was uncertain when the next checks would go out.
Then came the big silence. The commission has said very little to the victims. The understaffed state Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims has an ‘information hotline.’ But victims whom I often talk to say the answers they get there when they do get through aren’t satisfactory.”
All in all it’s a fitting — if thoroughly unacceptable — latest chapter in this sordid and outrageous saga. Click here to read Railey’s entire article.