Wednesday, April 7, 2010

VA Gov. McDonnell Declares May Genetic Health Month

Free United News Network
Richmond, VA
April 7, 2010

Following his recent and controversial declaration that April is Confederate History Month, an announcment which intentionally did not reference slavery, Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) has declared the month of May Genetic Health Month.

In an address to the Virginia Genetic Health League yesterday, Governor McDonnell praised the state's pathbreaking work in optimizing the genome of it's residents. "Virginia has a strong history of encouraging our citizens to strive for genetic excellence," said McDonnell. "The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 expressed some of the best aspects of the Virginian spirit. It showed that our state is willing to be on the cutting edge of technological advances. That's why we're such a great place to do business. It also shows that we're deeply and passionately committed to eradicating the defects in our genome that now place such an undue financial burden on our health care system. Better genes mean lower taxes, and more money in the pockets of Virginians in these challenging times."

Some critics argue that Virginia's early 20th century commitment to eugenics and it's forced sterilization of those deemed genetically unfit was a violation of basic human rights. Reached for comment at the Virginia Genetic Health League's headquarters in Charlottesville, Dr. Charles Shifflett-Mengele III strongly disagrees. "As we learn more and more about the human genome, we're increasingly aware that it plays a powerful role in the economic success our society, " said Shifflett-Mengele. "Virginia was a pioneer in the field of practical genetics. Our efforts were a model for the global movement for a healthy genome, drawing in experts from Europe who were eager to put that model to work on a larger scale. Virginia had an impressive record of success in combating genetic disorders like Down syndrome, hemophilia, Turner syndrome, and blackness. It's one of the proudest chapters in Virginia history."

During a question and answer session following his Tuesday speech, Gov. McDonnell also responded to his critics. "There was so much more to eugenics than forced sterilization. I'd prefer to focus the month of May on the positive aspects, like hope and progress and the genetic health of our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Those are the things that all Virginians care about as we celebrate this unique and important part of our state heritage."

McDonnell's announcement comes following the 86th anniversary of the passage of the Racial Integrity Act, which was remembered with a parade of healthy white children in Richmond last month.