We sure live in an amazing country.
A country where you can give your prom date a corsage from KFC.
A country where we can elect a mere community organizer who has no clue what he’s doing—as president–for two terms. (Please, dear Lord, let it only be two terms.)
That just goes to show you anything can happen in America.
Which might explain why some people think things like this: I’m not racist but was the Tuskegee Experiment straight out of Resident Evil? Infecting innocent black guys with syphilis? C’mon white people!
Before I go any further—starting a sentence with “I’m not racist, but” is never a good idea. That’s sort of like starting a sentence with “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro.”
Did US officials really inject men with Syphilis and leave them to die? Did they do this because they hated black people?
If you don’t know what the Tuskegee Experiment was, let me give you a refresher course.
It was 1932 and the Public Health Service along with the Tuskegee Institute started a study to record the effects of Syphilis in black men.
According to the Center for Disease Control, “The study initially involved 600 black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease.”
Wait, let’s look more closely at that sentence.
It says 399 men WITH Syphilis.
In other words, these men were not injected with Syphilis. They were volunteers who already had late stages of the disease.
Let me say that again, The United States did not inject men with Syphilis during the Tuskegee Study.
What was horrific about the Tuskegee Study was that the men who volunteered as subjects we’re fooled into thinking they were being treated for Syphilis—they were not.
The study was originally projected to last 6 months—but went on to last 40 years. And for those 40 years, even after the discovery of penicillin, the volunteers were not given any treatment for syphilis. They were for the most part treated as objects to be studied under a microscope by a doctor named Dr. Eugene Dibble.
You see Dr. Dibble was head of the John Andrew Hospital at the Tuskegee Institute. Here’s what he wrote about the study:
It “….would offer very valuable training for our students as well as for the interns. Our own hospital and the Tuskegee Institute would get credit for this piece of research work. He (Dr. Clark) also predicts that the results of this study will be sought after the world over. Personally, I think we ought to do it.”
What an evil white bastard. This white bastard. What a racist whitey. Except that he wasn’t white at all.
Despite the lighting of the photo, Dr. Eugene Dibble was actually African American. But, you could argue that he was just the head of the hospital. He wasn’t dealing with this every day.
It was the head nurse. She’s the real monster here. She was the only staff person to work with the study for all 40 years—and she was most definitely white. This white nurse was influential in making the men believe they were getting treated for their disease.
When asked about her experience working with the men, she characterized it as “the joy of my life.” That’s exactly what a racist white nurse would say! A white nurse would want to kill all those black people!
Except that she wasn’t white either.
Nurse Eunice Rivers was black just like the men she studied.
Surely everyone knows that one of the main doctors and the nurse were not white, right?
Look, no one is trying to say this experiment was a good thing. But shockingly many of the people involved thought it was. They believed they were doing something good for the collective. Isn’t that how so many problems begin?
The Tuskegee study is an example of how the government is all too capable of doing horrible things in the name of “common good.”
Unfortunately this wasn’t the only time the US government experimented on its citizens. Check back tomorrow for more examples…if you dare.