Today is the anniversary…of one chapter in American History…that we should NEVER FORGET…!!!
On July 25, 1972, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiment came to light as The Associated Press reported that for the previous four decades, the U.S. Public Health Service, in conjunction with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, had been allowing poor, rural black male patients with syphilis to go without treatment, even allowing them to die, as a way of studying the disease.
Yeah, this is a big fucking deal. The ramifications of this experiment (and others like it) won’t ever go away. They’re still being felt and will continue to forever.
The government intentionally infected PoC with a disease — and I cannot emphasize this enough — for which there is no cure.
That means it will affect these people and their descendants (who by the way have NEVER BEEN COMPENSATED for being treated like guinea pig test subjects) forever.
This is why you can’t say racism is over.
This is why no one can say we’re post racial.
Until we make things right and go for true equality, starting with things like this.
The men were not intentionally infected with syphilis. What they did was much, much worse.
The “experiment” studied the natural progression of syphilis and in order to do so they selected 600 poor black men, 399 who had syphilis already and 201 who didn’t. Then, they didn’t tell them they had syphilis, only that they were treating them for “bad blood”. They were given free “medical care”, meals, and burial insurance. But the medical care did not include treatment for syphilis.
About half-way through the study (which went on for 40 years before a whistleblower finally spilled the beans), penicillin was discovered to be an effective cure for syphilis, but researchers in the Tuskegee experiment knowingly failed to treat the patients so as to continue their research.
So let’s reiterate, the study specifically targeted individuals who would agree to participate because they were poor and lacked access to the things being provided in the study, were not told they had an infectious and (at the time) fatal illness, failed to even attempt to treat them despite the promises made during recruitment in order to see how the disease progressed and killed people, and then for at least 25 years after a cure for the disease was found, failed to you know, actually cure people and let them continue to die from a perfectly curable disease.
It wasn’t until 1997 that America formally apologized.