LETTER- 'Insanity' is not evil

Your choice of the word "insanity" to describe forced sterilization is singularly ill-chosen [On Architecture, July 13, "Erasing history: Wrecking ball aiming for DeJarnette?" Sentence in question: "Still, as far as the insanity of the eugenics craze goes, DeJarnette takes the cake for a poem he wrote about his beliefs, one he often read in public."].

Many of the people who were forced to be sterilized in this state were deemed to be insane. One of the reasons it was allowed to happen is the prejudice then and now against people with psychiatric disabilities, and a large part of that prejudice is the equating of "insanity" with "evil" or "wrong-doing."  

Why not say "evil" or "wrong" or "tragic"? Why further stigmatize in print the very people who were victimized?

Alison Hymes, Secretary
Virginia Mental Health Planning Council
Albemarle County
personwho@gmail.com

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