Sterilization victims could finally be on verge of compensation |

There’s plenty of room for criticism of the state’s new Republican majority. But there’s also room for praise.

The Republican leaders are, after all, doing what their Democratic predecessors didn’t when they were in control — talking seriously about compensation for the living victims of the state’s forced-sterilization program. We hear such talk from House Speaker Pro Tem Dale Folwell of Forsyth County. And we hear it from his boss, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County, who says he wants the legislature to vote next year on a plan to compensate the victims of a program that sterilized more than 7,600 men, women and children from 1929 through 1974. It was part of a nationwide movement aimed at “bettering society” by eliminating “undesirables” such as people often wrongly labeled as being “feeble-minded,” and it morphed into a program aimed at thinning the welfare roles even as the junk science of eugenics upon which it was based crumbled and most other states backed away from forced sterilizations.

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