May 9, 2006 2:00 PM
Interview: Edwin Black
Welcome to "Disability Matters" With your host, Joyce Bender. All comments, views and opinions expressed on the show are solely those of the host, guest and callers. Now the host of "Disability Matters." Here's Joyce Bender.
Joyce Bender: Welcome to the show and if you're listening to the show today you are going to hear one of the best shows we've had in three years. So you make sure if you've heard the show and your friends have not, that you send them back, as you know all my shows are archived, for the past three years on my website www.benderconsult.com and on VoiceAmerica.com. Because this show is so important it is my great honor to have an award winning, internationally known author, who by the way has been nominated eight times for the Pulitzer Prize and to me, a true civil rights leader, Mr. Edwin Black. He is an investigative author of 47 best-selling books that are available in 13 languages and in 40 countries. As I mentioned earlier, he has been nominated eight times for the Pulitzer Prize and he has dedicated his life to exposing hatred, genocide, and corporate misconduct. His book War Against the Weak really hits people with disabilities, all 54 billion of us right between the eyes. And I feel it helps to explain the attitudinal barriers we are facing today. Edwin, welcome to the show.
Edwin Black: Thank you so much for having me.
Joyce Bender: To me, you are a champion and it is my honor to have you on this show. When I speak across the United States, I have told people frequently that War Against the Weak should be required reading for all Americans with disabilities and I'll tell you that of all books I have ever read, this book had a really profound impact on me, and I just first, for all Americans with disabilities, want to thank you so much for the work that you've done.
Edwin Black: Well, thank you for those very kind words. Of course it was very painful to write the book because it was painful to discover that so much of the horrors that have been visited upon the disabled was originated out of legality and the establishment and of course it was transferred over to Nazi Germany as a macabre vision for the future.
Joyce Bender: It was. It was very hard to read, but before we go into that, I have a question because I wondered this as I read several other books, can you tell our listeners what led you to dedicate your life because, you know, you've dedicated your life to writing about genocide and hatred. As I read this book and I saw the research you do is absolutely unbelievable, research and documentation in your footnotes. But as I read this book I thought, how painful this would be to uncover all of this and spend so much time in doing this, and I admire you so much because there are many of us that probably would not be able to do what you've done, let alone to be such a skillful writer as you are. What caused you to do this?
Edwin Black: As you know, my parents were victims of the Holocaust and my mother escaped a concentration camp on a bus on the way to Treblinka. And my Dad stepped out of line in a shooting place. They survived for a reason. I always thought it incumbent upon me not to waste my time, but to devote my time to understanding why, why do people have prejudice. Why do people have fear, and why do people act out their prejudices in such a horrific fashion? Maybe at some point, I can't even tell you what it is, at the ethos of fear that causes people to persecute others.
Joyce Bender: Wow. I know from reading other books about the Holocaust, I can't imagine the impact that had, but you are to be admired as the son that really did something great and to speak for those that cannot speak. For example, when I read War Against the Weak which I mentioned had such an impact on me and everyone listening to the show, you must buy this book, War Against the Weak, eugenics and America's campaign to create a master race, which is a phenomenal book that will help you understand the attitudinal barriers that exist. When I read this book, I have to tell you something. I don't remember reading about any of this in American history, you know, Im 52 years old and just the other evening when I was in Houston, Texas, I told a very intelligent investment banker this story about your book War Against the Weak and he and his wife said, are you sure that's true. And I said yes, it's true. I'm positive. You know what? I know Americans do not understand the history in this country that you just talked about, that relates to eugenics in America and what happened on Long Island and with the funding of well-known institutions like the Carnegie and Rockefeller. Why didn't we ever hear about this before?
Edwin Black: We didn't hear about it because A it was so entrenched in American life, B after we liberated Europe from the horrors of Nazism, it became clear to us that what was treasured and institutionalized in American life tended to be the basis for a nightmare of genocide in Europe. So fundamentally, we took the stance of the victors and detached ourselves from the reality that we were the predecessors and in many ways the facilitators of the monsters of the Third Reich, to our politics, and our economics. And in the case of eugenics, through our science.
Joyce Bender: Horrifying. And this leads to this question from Linda in New York City saying: "Mr. Black, first of all as far as I'm concerned, as a person with a disability, I feel that you should be a Nobel peace winner or what ever is the appropriate prize, let alone a Pulitzer Prize winner for the work you're doing, reaching out and speaking for those that could never speak because they were never born. " I want to thank you and I want to commend you, and I'm wondering if the reason this hasn't been talked about earlier in our history is because we felt we were so connected to what occurred in Germany."
Edwin Black: That is just what I said. This is organized denial on the part of American society. Once we realized that we were part of the problem, as well as being part of the solution, we just denied that aspect of our own history.
Joyce Bender: Which is so terrible. It really is. And do you think, Edwin, do you think that a very large percentage of people in America today are familiar with what happened in this country with eugenics?
Edwin Black: No, I think they are not and it is because they are not that people like you and many others continue to be astonished each and every day. Even though this book was written and published in 2003 and 2004, a day does not go by when I do not receive passionate pleas from individuals who wish me to (Inaudible) their situations, their family situations, they're great thanks for eliminating the problem and explaining what has occurred. I get this from all over the world. That leads me to think that we still have a lot to do in explaining to the community what persecution of the disabled have overcome. You must understand that one man's disabled person is another man's great able person. If you just look at the chapter entitled "Blinded" which is how the ophthalmology profession, as a profession, as a group, organized itself to sterilize everybody with a vision problem. Look at that and you'll see they had the intention of removing from this planet everybody who wears glasses.
Joyce Bender: And you know what shocked me about that chapter? Lucien Howe who is a still if I'm correct in your book, there is still an award given in his name?
Edwin Black: He is the great pioneer and a great visionary of ophthalmology, and yet, this is a man who attempted to organize genocide and no one from the ophthalmology community and all these years has ever stood up to say there's one common law with many of this information. It's not in the book, but one of my investigations was of spina bifida. When I was a young reporter in Chicago in the 1970's, I did an article about spina bifida for a magazine called "Chicago Monthly." In that magazine I've noted that the standard of care in Chicago was to starve the newborn and allow the newborn to die, which (Inaudible) the black stork which is in one of the chapters about organized infanticide along a eugenics lines. Today, some years later, we have downhill skiing spina bifida teams and spina bifida people are not downhill skiing they are one team to be productive members of our society and yet we have found them so qualified, medical science has found them so unqualified for lives that as soon as it were delivered, the idea was to starve them to death by withholding all their nutrition. And the words, euthanasia.
Joyce Bender: As Edwin Black is mentioning this, to anyone listening to the show, get the issue of "People Magazine" There is a couple who wants to sue the hospital because they did not tell this couple that their child was going to have spina bifida.
Edwin Black: The other thing I want you to understand is not every medical abuse and medical mistake is eugenic because the object of that eugenics was to remove a blood line, an entire family. It's true that the mind sets launched eugenics in the United States is the same mindset that even in a reformed condition could engage in the diminishing of human life and say this person is qualified and that person is not qualified to love. That said, we should always seek modern medical miracles of modern medical techniques for choosing the best among us to bring into light. In other words, to have a proper parental counseling, proper genetic counseling.
Joyce Bender: Correct. And you made it very clear. We'll be talking about that later on in your book. Right now, we're going to break. But if you just joined the show, you are so lucky because we have a great man, a great leader, a great author, Edwin Black, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, international author and one in speaking for us. And we are back with Edwin Black, author and a champion of hope for all of us who really has spent his life speaking out for those who have been oppressed and really victims of hate and crime. And we're talking today about his book War Against the Weak Edwin, when I read this book, here was another really hard problem for me. How in the world did intelligent people and this is what I'm reading about the feeble minded and the defective being subjected to legislative segregation and forced sterilization. How in the heck did intelligent people like Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes participate in this? I had to be honest with you. If you had told me what the subject matter was of that, I would have been this must've been done covertly about people who didn't know what they were doing. Never would I believe it went to this level. How do you think that happened?
Edwin Black: It is true that one would think that this is just a couple of backyard racists somewhere in Mississippi. In fact one-third of sterilizations at any given time were done in California. Connecticut was a hotbed of this genocidal program. In fact, in 1938, at the time when Jews were being turned into refugees across Europe, the Carnegie Institution was planning with the governor of Connecticut to create domestic refugees for the people of Connecticut who did not measure up to the eugenic expectations of Harry Laughlin who was the Carnegie Institution's man. I think what we have seen throughout history that these great men are capable of great fraud in the name of great science. This was an international movement which was applied locally. And the individuals behind its international movement represented the brightest and the best in the American establishment, the judges, the bank presidents, the wealthy people. It shows exactly how prejudice and racism works, and it comes down to this formula, this important formula that I call A+B. A is the fear of the out group, that somebody is different from you, and B is a sense of arrogance that creates a discriminatory feeling. What elevates that discriminatory urge from just a personal animosity to something more powerful? That's where we come in with C. We come in with money because money purveys power. And so consequently, the money of the (Inaudible) the money of the Carnegie Institution, of the Rockefeller Foundation, elevated with backyard and back parlor racism and pseudoscience into a genuine movement of institutional accepted and settled science and knowledge. It was all fraud. It was all based on nothing. We must guard against this in the future. We must always ask ourselves why and we must never be convinced by credentials when it comes time to diminishing the quality of life of our neighbors.
Joyce Bender: So unbelievable, but you know what? So true, frightening but true, the words. If you're just tuning in we're talking with Edwin Black the author of War Against the Weak and many other books, eight of them nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. This book talked about the first three decades of the twentieth century where corporations and academia in the United States partnered together on a eugenics project that ended up making the race policy issues a national issue with the one goal, creating a master Nordic race, and of course, we, people with disabilities, were part of that plan. That is why this book is so important. You know, today in the United States only 35 percent of Americans with significant disabilities who want to work are working. I have struggled with this forever wondering why, why, why. Then when I read this book, I thought, wait a minute. If there was a time not that long ago that we wanted to forcibly sterilize people who we thought were different, no wonder they're having a hard time getting jobs today. And you know why? I asked you that, Edwin? Everyone always says to me the answer is education. Of course, education is always important. Education, discriminatory feelings with that last thing you said, money, seemed to create a big problem.
Edwin Black: I think we must differentiate between education, even a nation, and indoctrination. It's easy to indoctrinate people with a climate to fear. It's easy to take this backyard racism and add money to it so it can institutionalize itself. And that's exactly what eugenics did. It self certified. The created University shares, high school curriculum, pseudoscientific journals so they could talk to each other and establish credence, not based on any real silence or real information, but by talking to themselves and quoting each other. This is something that did not take place in one corner of our land. This infected the entire society to the educational systems, the welfare system, the medical systems, just everything about our society was cross infected with this eugenic urge. It's easy for us to replicate because after it was launched here it blossomed in Nazi Germany. And I believe it has blossomed other times in the postwar period, especially among the American Indians, the tribes, on the tribal reservations, especially in the Caribbean, in China, and elsewhere. And now, we're seeing the return of an eugenics is committed to qualify your function in society based upon your bloodline, but upon your profitability. Insurance companies are leading the charge to determine who is insurable, who is marketable, who is hirable, and that would be based not solely on merit and on the character and the quality and quantity and your character, but up on how valuable you are to a corporation in terms of your health, projected health, or perceived health, and other factors.
Joyce Bender: I hope you heard that, perceived health.
Edwin Black: Perceived health is the important part because what we've seen in eugenics and what we see in modern discriminatory genetics, which is what the genetic legislation is doing is suggesting, what we see here is this is a cripple. He's disabled. I think he's got epilepsy, etc, and then finding the scientific rationale to bolster that and then to take action, not based on any credence of living with people in judging them on their character and on their ability to contribute to society or their right to exist and enjoy life, but based upon this pseudo information they have structured to support their conclusion. Hence conclusion first, data second. That is what makes eugenics and all of those scientists and of the money behind them so dangerous.
Joyce Bender: That is frightening. If you're listening to the issue, this hits all of us, and again, War Against the Weak By Edwin Black just know, we are all across United States telling people to read this book. We are all recommending this to people in the disability community and elsewhere because when you read it, I guarantee you we'll have the it'll have the same impact on you that it had on me. Edwin, one last thing. I wonder if you could comment for our listeners about the voting for Oliver Wendell Holmes. Here's another example, I couldn't believe it. I think of him as this great Supreme Court judge that I read about in school, couldn't believe what he said on that ruling. Could you to talk about that one minute?
Edwin Black: Oliver Wendell Holmes was an example of his own times. It's true he was a towering figure within the twentieth century, but he is a product of the post-Civil War era. In fact he fought in the civil war. And just as we know, the Post Vietnam era and the 21st century is being run by people who emerged from the Vietnam War to people who emerged from the American Civil War really were running the twentieth century. And his ideals with the same as those, a governing society has got many people that are more worthy than other people and it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who ruled on a collusive lawsuit that was clearly devoid on any evidence or any proper due process files, without the permission of the individual collusively, where both the prosecution and the feds teamed up to jointly fabricate a course of trial and appellate process and then filed the presentation to the Supreme Court and he played along openly and knowingly and declared that it is better that three generations of Americans, meaning an entire family, be eliminated. It would be better for all the world, and that's exactly what happened. He opened the floodgates and they're after, tens of thousands of people who were sterilized who previously jurisdiction as states were afraid to move forward on.
Joyce Bender: I'll never forget that. Never ever will I forget that ruling and those words, three generations of imbeciles.
Edwin Black: Three generations of imbeciles are enough. And remember, he used the word imbecile, it was a scientific term. He used the word moron.
Joyce Bender: This is Joyce Bender. We're talking to Edwin Black, the author of "War Against the Weak". And after we take this call, we'll tell you about his new book coming out do we have a caller on the line.
Judy Painter: How are you?
Joyce Bender: Thank you for calling in.
Judy Painter: I can't tell you how shocked I've been by the conversation that you've been having with Mr. Black. This is something that I certainly was not aware of at this level, certainly I know things went on, but never realized that something came out of the Supreme Court on genocide. I know that in Pennsylvania, people with epilepsy, were not able to get married as late as the 1950's. This seemingly, I guess it isn't a seemingly, it was actually planned, to do something and to hurt people with disabilities. It's just so shocking.
Edwin Black: What question do you have, ma'am?
Judy Painter: My question is to talk about the fact that the insurance companies are doing this today. I know that they're doing this today. I know that they only want to have insurance for well people and I was wondering what we can do as citizens to stop this. Is there any way? Do we have any power? Is there any way we can empower other people from stopping these things from happening?
Joyce Bender: And this is Judy Painter who is the executive director of the epilepsy affiliate's in western and central Pennsylvania. She is on the national board. Go ahead, Edwin.
Edwin Black: I predicted there would be anti-genetic discrimination legislation in my book, and within a month or two of it coming out, the Senate passed it unanimously. Unanimously. That was a trick because they knew that they could vote for it unanimously and have it held up in the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is being heavily lobbied by the insurance industry which is claiming the insurance field cannot go forward unless it can prejudge you not based upon actual reality, but upon your blood line and your grandfather's conditions which they will then interpret as they need to either deny or sustain recovery. If you want to talk to your congressman, you ask them why does a hotbed issue which was unanimously passed by the Senate, does not have their vote. What are they doing about it? And don't take the long winded explanations, the requests for a study. It was unanimous in the Senate immediately. It was endorsed by the White House. Why is it being held up? Try to get them to sign a pledge, sign this, and all the groups should get in touch with all their local representatives and make this a do or die issue. Because if they aren't prepared to sign off on the right for you to exist as a functioning member of society, the right to get a better job, the right to buy a home, the right to be ensured, the right to be counted as a functioning member of society, not based upon prejudice, but based upon the gene lining which is the new successor to (Inaudible) somewhere along the economic basis of discrimination now we have the genetic discrimination. They cannot get your vote. Get it on paper. And that they won't explain themselves. And they won't commit to voting for this very important legislation, just say no to that vote.
Judy Painter: Is there a special House bill number on the House floor that's being considered, or is this just something that's sitting there that they're, you know, ignoring and hope they can sweep under the table somehow because people aren't aware of it?
Edwin Black: I would say that if you go to your local senator, if you go to your local House and asked about the Genetic Anti-discrimination Act or go to a local senator and say, what is the bill that you endorsed unanimously, and now going to the House? One of the tricks of the two is to come up with five similar bills and amend it to that what they did with Medicare reimbursement. It's important to understand. The motion that the Senate passed unanimously, why hasnt the House brought it up to the vote? Because you're being tricked. You're being sold. And you have vastly less money to spend on lunches and outings than the lobbyists.
Judy Painter: We have a lot of people and what we need, Joyce, is to get the disability community together to start screaming about this.
Edwin Black: They don't count, unless you count them. When you count them and still them together to be counted, only then will you count as a group of individuals.
Joyce Bender: Judy, one recommendation, and I thank you for calling in, that I would make is to put this show on your web site highlighting what we talked about and a link to this book, War Against the Weak and I can send you information on Edwin. Then I think he's right about that.
Edwin Black: We also have a web site devoted to this called
waragainsttheweak.com or to edwinblack.com. Understand that the same mentality that tried to eliminate people eliminate white guys with brown hair because they were westernized white people, the same mentality that tried to eliminate the existence of all people wearing glasses, the same mentality that wanted to eliminate all the Jews and the southern Italians and the Indians and the Mexicans and Hispanics
Judy Painter: African-Americans
Edwin Black: In the Name of Science, in the name of utopia, in the name of protecting society, these people also want to eliminate what they believe are the unqualified. And sure enough, they can use the word "Feeble minded" or "epileptic" word to describe anyone they want to. Lo and behold they never actually came up with a scientific or measurable definition for "feeble minded" and never for "epilepsy" during the time that eugenics flourished. It's just a catch phrase.
Joyce Bender: I told you, you can see anyone listening, and Judy, you can see we have our work cut out for us.
Judy Painter: I guess things are on the web that AT&T is trying to control the website, but I don't get any of these I get a lot of things to sign this petition, and for good reasons, for breast cancer and genocide and things like that. Why isn't someone in charge who is sending e-mails out to everyone they know to say stop this happening?
Joyce Bender: Now we will.
Edwin Black: When I go on my next book tour in September to speak about the topic of my next book, I will be happy to also take time out to speak to all the people who have organizations devoted to the theme of this program and talk to them about eugenics.
Joyce Bender: And we will take you up on that. Judy, thank you for calling in.
Judy Painter: Thank you very much for what you do, Joyce. To all of us and I hope that we can start a movement here.
Joyce Bender: We will, and I'll be in touch with you. Thank you, Judy.
Judy Painter: Thank you Mr. Black, very much.
Edwin Black: Thank you.
Joyce Bender: Let's talk about that next book. I want to make sure we talk about that next book and when it's coming out and we're ready to buy it.
Edwin Black: This book is called Internal Combustion. Internal Combustion was published by St. Martin's Press. It will be very important to the disability community because we talk about why there are not electric cars today, when, in fact, this country had thousands of electric cars over 100 years ago. We talk about our addiction to oil and the fact that oil is creating disabled people every day with nerve disease, with lung damage, brain disease, one in six have asthma and must carry an atomizer. Among the children of California. It's internal combustion on how government hard subverted the alternatives. This is a book that every person must read to rise up angry and understand that new disabled are being created every day by our continuing addiction to hydrocarbons, continuing addiction to the internal combustion machine and to petroleum. It's as though everybody sitting around the office getting second-hand smoke, and that's what the internal combustion machine is doing. While we're driving up and down to the epilepsy meeting, we're poisoning our neighbors and that is because the technology that we had, electric cars, hydrogen cars, one-half century ago are being for oil interest and they're trying to stretch oil out until the last drop has been pumped and then miraculously, 20 to 30 years from today switch to the new technology. We can do it today. We can save future generations, and I expect your listeners will be among the vanguard. That's Internal Combustion and more information will be coming to your show in the weeks to come.
Joyce Bender: You heard it, Edwin Black's new book Internal Combustion coming out September 15th. We'll have Edwin back on or have information on this book for all our listeners because I would encourage all of you to purchase that. Remember, people are becoming disabled. That is what he's talking about what we're allowing to happen.
Edwin Black: It's at Amazon.com. You can make sure that you get yours before the first ones disappear.
Joyce Bender: Amazon.com. You can purchase this book Internal Combustion. Make sure to get it because I know it will be a new best seller. You've been listening to the great Edwin Black who is one man who is fighting to speak for those that cannot speak.
Joyce Bender: Welcome back and we've been talking to the author, Edwin Black, just, I want to make it or take a couple callers we have. His new book coming out this September Internal Combustion talking about what happens and how we and people without disabilities will be disabled through oil, through gas, through, as he said, like secondhand smoke. If you don't have gasoline, if you don't have oil, you can't go to work. If you can't afford it, you can't go to work. Don't forget that. Internal Combustion coming out in September by Edwin Black. We have a caller?
Andy Imparato: It's Andy [Imparato].
Joyce Bender: Andy Imparato is CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) quoted in "People Magazine" about the article on spina bifida.
Andy Imparato: Thanks for taking my call. I have a comment and question. First, I want to thank your guest for his excellent book War Against the Weak. I learned about it from the head of the NRC with his advocacy for people with the intellectual disabilities. I've learned about that last summer and got a copy of it. My intern and I both read it. It had a big impact on us. She wants to do full-time bioethics upon graduation and I'm hoping she'll do that at AAPD. I really want to thank you for your leadership and for telling the history in such a compelling way. The question I have has to do with where one draws the line between eugenics and public health. The reason I ask the question is I recently went to the deadly Medicine museum exhibit at the Holocaust museum which you probably seen. To me, a lot of the rhetoric that was used by the Nazis but it's not really crystal clear to me that the language that the March of Dimes uses to this day to discuss children with disabilities does not lead to eugenic ideologies. I'm just curious from your perspective, is there a clear line between General Public Health rhetoric and we start getting into the world of eugenics.
Edwin Black: That's a fascinating question quite apropos. You ask whether this where does public health take off and eugenics take up. Remember please Oliver Wendell Holmes, made in his ruling that three generations of imbeciles are enough based upon specious findings and racist suppositions. When he made that, a little-known part of the judicial opinion that he wrote based it on the vaccination, public vaccination, for syphilis. So he said if you can vaccinate the public against syphilis, which was a post World War I phenomenon, then you can vaccinate the public against imbeciles, the unworthy, and you vaccinate them by sterilizing them. You sterilize them and so this was a public health need. Now, the Nazis took this and created yes this is public health. The Jews are bacteria. Spread disease but the very presence, by their intermarriage, so they put this in terms of public health. Because remember, the Nazis distorted everything. The cops became the bad guys, the villains. The doctors became the killers. Public health became public menace. And as far as the deadly Medicine show at the Holocaust Museum, it's a very good show and I'm happy they have it, that show is afraid to tell the truth about America's role because the Holocaust has an understated policy of omitting America's role in the Holocaust of Europe. So they do not discuss the fact that it was the Rockefeller Foundation that financed the spread of eugenics in Nazi Germany and that it was the Rockefeller Foundation who financed Mengele's boss and then it was he that sent them into Auschwitz. The Holocaust museum does not mention any of this because of the question that Joyce asked me before, why isn't this taught. And the reason it's not taught is because we don't want to explain the true antecedence. We would rather talk about who led the choice Nazi anti-Semitism and Nazi prejudiced against the disabled back to Martin Luther in the 1500's. Rather than trace it back to Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1927.
Andy Imparato: I very much appreciate you know a lot more about this topic than I do. What I'm struggling with is that I don't want to be perceived as being anti-public health in general. So what I try to figure out is there a way that those who of us who are disability advocates and your opponent of eugenics, is there a way for us to interact with well-meaning people in the field of public health? (Multiple speakers at once)
Andy Imparato: that leads to these ideologies.
Edwin Black: That is the second part of your important question and the second half of the answer is this: Public health should improve. Improve the quality of life. Make every person count. A person has a vision, just a vision problem, you don't throw them in the river. You get them glasses. Maybe his name is Beethoven. He can make a great symphony. Stephen Hawking, a brilliant mind, a person who cannot use his hands yet this man can explain the universe. Public health should not inflict any one. The threshold between public health and public prejudiced is whether we are hurting anyone, or whether we are improving.
Andy Imparato: I understand. I think that makes sense. The hard part for me is to let's apply that to a cochlear implants a debate within the deaf community or let's apply that to someone that gets a prenatal diagnosis of the child has Down's syndrome. The public health improvement answer is get the cochlear implants and sometimes the disability rights perspective would not support those improvements.
Edwin Black: There are some in the deaf community, including a family in Bethesda, who said we want a deaf child. And they genetically engineered a deaf child in the child they conceived. And there are dwarfs who understandably do not want an average sized person when they would want to genetically engineer a dwarf. So the real public health question is: Are we going to allow segments of our society, for whatever reason, to engineer a dwarf race or a deaf race and tell its another face of that important coin that is twirling before us as we are trying to understand where public prejudice and public health lies. And the answer is: Are we going to improve the lot of individuals and the lot of societies? You cannot improve society by harming one person. You cannot.
Joyce Bender: And harming is also killing.
Edwin Black: Harming is killing. This is a basic tenet that goes back all the way through all society to the first code of Hammurabi and long before.
Joyce Bender: And Edwin, I just want to say that Andy Imparato here who is the head of the largest cross disability organization, AAPD, that I am honored to be on the board is the reason I'm talking to you. He is the person that called and told me to read War Against the Weak. And Andy, I have to thank you so much for what you did, making that recommendation and I know you will be recommending this book everywhere. (Multiple speakers at once)
Andy Imparato: We actually recommended that book to be publicized on the web site of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. They publicize a book a month and they ask us for a recommendation and your book was on the top of my list. I want you to know what a big fan I am of your work.
Edwin Black: Thank you very, very much. I hope my new book will meet with the same approval. I think that the one that I'm working on now will really rally the disability community because as Joyce said and as I have pointed out, we are creating disabled people every day by driving up and down the street in these internal combustion cars, and we are creating more disabled people every day overseas by protecting the supply lines from the Middle East to bring that oil to the United States. And when so many alternatives that will not cause disease and medical harm and not cause political violence that are available to us, why do we do this at the cost of creating a whole new generation of disabled.
Joyce Bender: And that book Internal Combustion will be out in September. I have never had a show yet where I could not get through all these questions because you can see how wonderful Edwin Black has been. I want to say one thing before I close the show. This man as well known and famous as he is, got right back to me and agreed to be on the show. You'd better go out and buy his books, and we'll have him back on to talk about his new book Internal Combustion. Edwin, it is my honor that you chose to spend time with us. Thank you so much.
Edwin Black: Thank you very much for giving me a moment to speak to you and to all the important people who are listening.
Joyce Bender: We want to have you back on because I have a whole group of listeners on the line here. Edwin, before I go, we end every show with a famous saying by a great civil rights leader. And here it is today. After reviewing thousands upon thousands of pages of documentation and pondering the question day and night for nearly two years, I realize it comes down to just one word. It was more than self-validation and self-certification of the elite, more than just power and influence joining forces with prejudice. It was the corrupter of us all. It was arrogance. Says Edwin Black, March 15th, 2003. Buy his book. Tell everyone about him. Edwin, thank you again and keep on speaking for us.
Edwin Black: Thank you very much and good bye.
Joyce Bender: Goodbye.