Opinion: Tall Tales About Tuskegee
Interesting insights from Jonah Goldberg. Reason # 124 why it’simportant to either a) know your history or b) do your own research:turns out that no one was actually infected with syphilis at Tuskegee, but theywere lied to about the ‘treatment’ they were receiving. Heinous?Absolutely. But not the attempted genocide as claimed by certain leftwing Black minsters, paranoid liberals, and assorted race baiters.Goldberg makes a valid point: essentially, why, if blacks are sodistrusting of the the government why do they “remain the most reliablevoters for the party of ever-expanding government power… Indeed, it’sworth noting that the Tuskegee study, launched during the pre-dawn ofthe New Deal-era, was symptomatic of arrogant liberal government.”
‘Based on this Tuskegee experiment ... I believe our government is capable of doing anything.” So said the Rev. Jeremiah Wright when asked if he stood by his claim that “the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”
The infamous Tuskegee experiment is the Medusa’s head of black left-wing paranoia. Whenever someone laments the fact that anywhere from 10 percent to 33 percent of African Americans believe the U.S. government invented AIDS to kill blacks, someone will say, “That’s not so crazy when you consider what happened at Tuskegee.”
But it is crazy. And it’s dishonest.
Wright says the U.S. government “purposely infected African-American men with syphilis.” This is a lie, and no knowledgeable historian says otherwise. And yet, this untruth pops up routinely. In March, CNN commentator Roland Martin defended Wright, saying, “That actually did, indeed, happen.” On Fox News, the allegation has gone unchallenged on Hannity & Colmes and The O’Reilly Factor. Obery Hendricks, a prominent author and visiting scholar at Princeton University, told O’Reilly “I do know that the government injected syphilis into black men at the Tuskegee Institute. Now we know that the government is capable of doing those things.”
To which O’Reilly responded: “All right. All governments have done bad things in every country.”
True enough. And what the U.S. did at Tuskegee was indeed bad, very bad. But it didn’t do what these people say it did.
So what did happen? In 1932, public health researchers set out to study syphilis, particularly among African Americans, who had higher infection rates than whites. They recruited 399 black men who already had syphilis. The doctors infected no one. In fact, the patients were selected in the first place because they were tertiary-stage syphilitics who were no longer contagious.
The researchers studied the progress of the disease, without treating it, for 40 years.
Prior to the availability of penicillin in the 1940s and 1950s, the researchers couldn’t have treated the men even if they wanted to. Even after standardized penicillin treatments were available, it wasn’t clear that the patients could have been helped. Some of the doctors believed that treating the decades-long infections would kill the men.
source: National Review