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LaBruzzo plan to sterilize poor women brings to mind Adolf Hitler, David Duke, some say Posted: Monday, October 6, 2008 9:32 am State Rep. John LaBruzzo reminded some New Orleanians of white supremacist and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke last week when he told New Orleans CityBusiness of his plans to consider introducing new legislation that would pay poor women $1,000 to voluntariily have their tubes tied in order to avoid getting pregnant in the future.

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After witnessing the long lines of Louisiana residents seeking food stamp assistance after hurricanes Gustav and Ike - and 2005's Hurricane Katrina - Rep. LaBruzzo decided it was time to take drastic measures to reduce the massive needs that are taking the state's Department of Social Services. "I realized that all these people were in Louisiana's care and what a massive financial responsibility that is to the state," he told CityBusiness. "I wonder if it might be a good idea to pay some of these people to get sterilized." LaBruzzo is still researching the subject and is pondering the introduction of a bill during the next legislative session that would pay poor women to voluntarily be sterilized. "If both the welfare and Social Security system keep growing, one day we're going to have a small minority of people working to fund and finance everybody else who isn't working or producing," LaBruzzo told CityBusiness. "Our kids, who will be working, will be the minority and any vote of theirs will be canceled out. If your livelihood is based on government handouts, why would you ever vote for somebody who is going to lower taxes? They never would. So once we reach that breaking point there's no return." LaBruzzo's concerns about Louisiana's neediest residents becoming an increasingly large burden on the Department of Social Services is unfounded. DSS records show that between 1990 and 2007 the number of Louisiana households receiving monthly food stamp benefits dropped from 258,768 to 249,343. During the same period, the number of families receiving welfare assistance was reduced from 280,177 to 13,504. Not surprisingly, LaBruzzo raised the ire of some New Orleanians with his controversial remarks.

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Shana Griffin, interim director of the New Orleans Women's Health Clinic, told CityBusiness that Rep. LaBruzzo's comments are reminiscient of eugenics, which is defined by the as "the study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding." Nazi leader Adolf Hitler embraced this philosophy to justify exterminating six million Jews as part of his plan to create an Aryan "master race."

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Although not as widely accepted today, many white supremacist groups still ascribe to some of the basic tenets of eugenics, particularly the notion that nonwhite people are genetically inferior. "If someone doesn't have a car and needs city-assisted evacuation, that makes them a

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social burden?" Griffin told CityBusiness. "The fact that he feels so comfortable and entitled to make these statements is a reflection of our society, that we're OK with the most vulnerable of our community being blamed for the social, economic and political crises that we're experiencing. If we really want to improve the lives of people in our communities we should think about raising the minimum wage, holistic health care. improving labor laws, employment opportunities for all people and the educational system. "Instead he wants to use a form of medical experimentation and forced sterilization on poor women of color, using their economic status as a way to make them more vulnerable to the offer." LaBruzzo, who was targeted for impeachment this summer by residents of his district after vigorously supporting the ill-fated legislative pay raise, told CityBusiness that he anticipated outrage from Blacks about his plan to do away with a welfare system that is out of control. "The Black community will say this is some sort of race-based genocide. And there will be tremendous push back from the ACLU," he said. "They'll try to say these people are incapable of making such a decision when their life is in turmoil. That if you're dangling money in front of them, of course they'll make a decision that will affect them negatively. "My argument would be if they're incapable of making a decision whether to cease reproduction are they capable of raising multiple children to be good citizens? And if they're incapable, maybe Social Services should take their children." LaBruzzo found a large number of supporters for his plan among white residents. A message on centrallapolitics.blogspot.com said, "The blogs are abuzz with calling him names like Nazi and racist ( the vast majority of them are leftists radicals who desire more welfare recipients to vote their party lines). Rep. John LaBruzzo is catching Hell for his idea to give cash payments to welfare moms who voluntarily have their tubes tied in return for a cash payment. "For several reasons, I don't see what all the opposition is about nor why LaBruzzo is being called names such as these," the blogger continued. "1). The most important reason is that it is a voluntary agreement between the woman and the state. She does not have to participate. The opposition to this idea maintains the belief that people don't have enough sense to think for themselves and the left should make their decisions for them. If they cannot make such a decision, they should be interdicted for being mentally unable to manage their own affairs. 2). It isn't racist, because there are more whites than blacks receiving welfare. 3).In many cases, the tied tubes can be reversed and is not permanent...So what is the big deal, other than the usual liberal clap trap?" On www.nola.com, one blogger wrote: "Awesome idea. One that I have been saying for years. $1,000.00 is to (sic) cheap, let's make it $5,000.00. Beleive (sic) me we will come out way ahead. Anybody who wants it is in. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than people who can't afford another child that keep busting them out. Come on people!!! We are paying for the whole ride from cradle to grave. Everything... This is not about race, it is about trying to provide a reasonable quality of life. I only have 2 kids because that is what I can handle. Sure I could have had more, but that is not right. "Oh yea, how wonderfull it is for crackheads and other low lifes to keep on having babies. Think about it people. $5,000.00 is a bargain..." Another blogger on www.nola.com wrote: I bet if you DRUG TESTED them, 90% wouldn't pass. "U C, they go put out for drugs and have all them chil'en, then they ask "who da daddy?". "Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. "Instead of sterilizing them (if something goes wrong then they sue ya), Drug test them and make a law, NO PEE PEE or IF POSITIVE DRUGS in PEE PEE--- NO WELFARE!!!" Still another blogger on www.nola.com wrote: "Great idea!, i'm all for it. That thousand will be taken by hundreds probably thousands or more faster than you can blink an eye!.Something has to be done with this welfare crap. It's not working now and neither are the ones receiving it!. Finally someone that speaks the truth and also sees the problems.This guy has the solution everybody cries about. Believe me there's more people than on these blogs that will love this idea." The Rev. Byron Clay, National Vice President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, told The Louisiana Weekly that he was disturbed by LaBruzzo's remarks as well as his plan to sterilize poor women. "I think it clearly demonstrates racial motivation in the most irresponsible way," he say. "It is self-evident that that kind of philosophy and principle is an outburst of some inward negative feelings about a certain group of people, in particular African Americans. "I think it's very unjust in this day and age when we're fighting to eradicate racism in our communities and in all segments of society that it is most inappropriate for a state legislator to let such words drip from his lips and even to have it saturated in his heart," Rev. Clay continued. "It's unacceptable and we will not stand by and tolerate it. If any


bill is offered, any form of legislation, then I can assure you that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and myself are committed to organizing the masses of people to address it. We will go to Baton Rouge and we will protest and do whatever is necessary to expose this kind of racist behavior, feeling and opinion. It has no place not only in our society; it also has no place in the halls of our government." New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes joined a litany of voices who objected to LaBruzzo's plan to sterilize poor women Thursday, calling it "an egregious affront to those targeted and blatantly anti-life." "Our lawmakers would do better to focus on policies that promote education and achievement to counteract poverty and the bigotry of low expectations, " Hughes said in a statement. A spokeswoman from the Archdiocese said the Catholic Church would make its opposition to LaBruzzo's proposal known if the state representative moved forward with his plans to introduce it as legislation when the State Legislature reconvents in Baton Rouge. Ramessu Meriamen Aha, host of "The Ramesseum" on Harambeeradio.com, says Black people should pay close attention to the coded-language LaBruzzo and others employ when talking about race-related issues. "You have to be careful with that terminology. When you say 'college-educated' and 'middle-class,' what does that really mean?" he said. "He's targeting poor Black women; it doesn't sound like he's talking about poor white women. "We should be mindful of the fact that people who classify themselves as white are experiencing a low birth rate in the United States and around the world," Aha continued. "This is just another way to control nonwhite people or people of color in terms of population, demographics and voting power." Should Blacks be more concerned about LaBruzzo's offensive remarks and views or the fact that so many whites in surrounding parishes - particularly Jefferson Parish - are applauding and agreeing with his remarks? "Black people who classify themselves as nonwhite should take it as evidence that white supremacy still exists," Ramessu Meriamen Aha said. "This is just further proof of that. We should take both (LaBruzzo's) comments as well the responses from many of the white people who support him as evidence of the dilemmas Black people are still facing in the United States and around the world. "We shouldn't get up in arms about it and respond emotionally to the legislator's remarks; we should be scientific and serious about using this information to ensure our survival, growth development and liberation. "Knowing is half the battle and we have to know who and what we are up against." Rev. Clay said that both LaBruzzo's remarks and the sentiments of those whites who expressed their approval of his idea need to be addressed by every segment of society. He called last week's remarks and the response of some whites "an outward, visible manifestation of racism in our society. "For those who want to suggest that our world is free of racism, classism and sexism, this is just another mark that reveals the ugliness that is in the hearts, minds and spirits of some human beings who are not people of color," Rev. Clay continued. "We must use every venue, every forum and every platform to educate the public about this evil and we must take the initiative to reach out and help to redeem those who are lost with such opinions." Asked what he would say to white people of good will who recognize the folly of LaBruzzo's proposal but are fearful about taking a public stand against it, Ramessu Meriamen Aha said, "To the conscious and righteous persons, they should be real honest with themselves and their white brethren to help nonwhite people to understand that this system does exist. They should also get together with themselves and their communities to determine for themselves why it is that they're (either actively or nonactively) perpetuating this system and why they feel inferior about themselves with respect to melanin. They should also be very honest with themselves and with one another when asked what white people talk about when Black people aren't around: Black people." Rev. Clay challenged people of good will to take a stand against Rep. LaBruzzo's remarks. "The Southern Christian Leadership Conference believes in the teachings of Christianity and the teachings of Christ," he told The Louisiana Weekly. "We believe that all people are made equally and that we are endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. "That is the foundation of our beliefs, the foundation of our teachings and the force that drives us to create an atmosphere for a more just society. When Jesus was crucified, he said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' We have a large segment of


people in our community who are not people of color who don't understand. It's embedded in them as part of their upbringing; they don't know better. It's up to the righteous and just men, and all men of good will, to correct this wrong. Goodness consists not necessarily of the outward things we do but of the inward persons we are. "For people to salute and applaud such a belief, it is totally wrong and we are vehemently opposed to it. We will openly expose this inequity."?

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