As we continue to delve into the ideology and mind-set of the racist, we are brought face-to-face with one of the most atavistic premises of the racist right - that of euthanasia and the determination of who is human and who isn't. The hideous notion of Eugenics and the creation of a master race did not die in 1940's Nazi Germany, but merely metamorphosed into the notion that intellect is superior among the Aryan race and that the gene pool must be protected at the expense of those who are deemed inferior.
Forced sterilization and euthanasia are two examples of how many on the racist right believe that the intellectually diminished should be dealt with. While the IQ figure is generally an arbitrary one when they are attempting to clarify their premise, it is generally believed that anything that falls within the range of mental retardation would be a candidate for one of the two "solutions," and that those falling below that range are not human because they lack the intelligence which sets us apart from animals.
The idea of eugenics has is roots in 19th Century social Darwinism, with all the inherent ideas of "survival of the fittest" and competition for survival. Today, it is perpetuated by racist pundits and funded by archaic institutions like the Pioneer Fund. The belief in eugenics is nothing foreign to the United States as researcher, Daniel Kevles, tells us in his 1999, article, "Eugenics and Human Rights:"
"By the late 1920s, sterilisation laws had been enacted in two dozen American states, largely in the middle Atlantic region, the Midwest, and California. By 1933, California had subjected more people to eugenic sterilisation than had all other states of the union combined. Similar measures were passed in Canada, in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Almost everywhere they were passed, however, the laws reached only as far as the inmates of state institutions for the mentally handicapped or mentally ill. People in private care or in the care of their families escaped them. Thus, the laws tended to discriminate against poorer people and minority groups. In California, for example, the sterilisation rates of blacks and foreign immigrants were twice as high as would be expected from their representation in the general population."
Eventually, however, many medical people as well as scientists challenged the morality and ethics of such practices, and the world moved into a period that was much more humane and embracing of human rights.