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Tag: The Atlantic

Birth Control: The Case for the State – The Atlantic

This is an amazing article written in 1939 about the state of reproductive health in North Carolina. Well worth the read.

When he became director of preventive medicine of the State Board of Health, Dr. Cooper preached to fellow physicians and laymen alike that North Carolina could not climb far toward better health and happiness without birth control for the poor. But his hands were tied. Unlike most states, North Carolina had no law against spreading birth-control information, but there was always the federal law — the old Cornstock law, dating from 1878, which frightened every physician in the country into complete silence with its untested but threatening provisions. It was not until the autumn of 1936 that the federal courts ruled the law could not prevent physicians from using contraceptives ‘for the purpose of saving life or promoting the well-being of their patients.’ That was the battle Margaret Sanger won. It freed the doctors, but it wasn’t much immediate help to those who most needed help. There were no funds for birth-control clinics, and Dr. Cooper knew the futility of taking a contraceptive promotion program before a state legislature. The situation seemed hopeless as ever.

Source: Birth Control: The Case for the State – The Atlantic

‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I write you in your 15th year. I am writing you because this was the year you saw Eric Garner choked to death for selling cigarettes; because you know now that Renisha McBride was shot for seeking help, that John Crawford was shot down for browsing in a department store. And you have seen men in uniform drive by and murder Tamir Rice, an 12-year-old child whom they were oath-bound to protect. And you know now, if you did not before, that the police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy your body. It does not matter if the destruction is the result of an unfortunate overreaction. It does not matter if it originates in a misunderstanding. It does not matter if the destruction springs from a foolish policy. Sell cigarettes without the proper authority and your body can be destroyed. Turn into a dark stairwell and your body can be destroyed. The destroyers will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions.

Source: ‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Atlantic

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Their efforts were buttressed by the federal government. In 1934, Congress created the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA insured private mortgages, causing a drop in interest rates and a decline in the size of the down payment required to buy a house. But an insured mortgage was not a possibility for Clyde Ross. The FHA had adopted a system of maps that rated neighborhoods according to their perceived stability. On the maps, green areas, rated “A,” indicated “in demand” neighborhoods that, as one appraiser put it, lacked “a single foreigner or Negro.” These neighborhoods were considered excellent prospects for insurance. Neighborhoods where black people lived were rated “D” and were usually considered ineligible for FHA backing. They were colored in red. Neither the percentage of black people living there nor their social class mattered. Black people were viewed as a contagion. Redlining went beyond FHA-backed loans and spread to the entire mortgage industry, which was already rife with racism, excluding black people from most legitimate means of obtaining a mortgage.

fromThe Case for Reparations”, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

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