Issues of race and class had become impossible to ignore. Public policy forbidding discrimination clearly failed, viewed as it was as an attempt to legislate morality, which clearly fell within the purview of the church—which church, of course, depended on one’s perspective. That was odd, occurring during a time in which right-wing religious zealots did their damnedest to legislate morality by forbidding abortion and same-sex marriage.
The first time a race-elimination policy was proposed it was laughed out of the Senate chambers. But by the time Chester Guvner had been sworn in as Arkansas’ attorney general, it was an idea whose time had come. Guvner was an astute politician, a recovering libertarian who bounced sharply off the ideology of the Republican party, landing squarely in the middle of the featureless gruel that pretended to be the Democratic platform, an urgent appeal to goodness without defining precisely what that was.
Chester Guvner first proposed the idea during an NAACP dinner, not the smartest decision he’d ever made. He recommended the establishment of a mandatory mixed-race childbirth policy. What that meant, specifically, was that no embryo’s development would be permitted to come even close to childbirth unless the parents were of mixed race. “We’ve tried to encourage tolerance, to no avail. It’s time we stopped referring to people by their race; the only way to get there is to force mixed-race children to be born of mixed-race couples for a sufficiently long period as to eliminate the problem. Eliminate race, you eliminate racism.”
Riots in Baltimore, Dallas, New York, Las Angeles, Des Moines, Chicago, Miami, Spokane, Phoenix, Waco, and a thousand places in between greased the skids for the idea.
Initially, his ideas were rejected as the idiotic musings of a madman. That was a short-lived rejection.
The idea of mandatory mixed-race childbirth caught on much faster than most people expected. Yet the concept was responsible for more bloodshed, more raw hatred, than anything since slavery. And when it became apparent that the solution was worse than the problem it attempted to solve, voluntary extinction became a topic of conversation even in polite circles.
I know, this is insanity on steroids, a story idea whose time may never come. But what the hell, if you don’t experiment with ugly, beauty never comes.
I have a lot of content waiting to fill this story. I just don’t know if I have the patience to write it, only to be rejected as imbecility. Let me think on it, as they say in the god-forsaken clutch of stupidity.
I suspect the idea of turning Rassenhygiene on its head is not new, but doing it in a deeply right-wing, ultra-conservative place like Arkansas appealed to me, Juan. What I envisioned when I first thought of the idea was this: show a solution in which the problem is resolved by eliminating the trigger, but then showing all the reasons that the reversal of Rassenhygiene is, in fact, simply the reverse side of the same ugly coin. But that may be far too obvious and simple. Such is life! I am just experimenting here, Juan!
Ah-ha! A thinking piece! Now you see why idiots like me end up on FB. 😉
Nice piece, even paced style, reminiscent of Vonnegut’s style ala Harrison Bergeron or even Cat’s Cradle.
What I really like is your use of verisimilitude in narration. Initially, I began to wonder if there really was some place in Arkansas — today or a hundred years ago in history — pushing this sort of thing, especially if the piece shows names like Arkansas or Republican or NAACP or even religion. If we can talk biological segregation, annihilation ala Ploetzian or Galton hygiene ala, a simple reverse puts us square in the face with Chester Guvnor’s stroke of genius!
I often go back to Bird’s wonderful animation in “The Incredibles,” where the maniacal Syndrome plans to destroy all super heroes by making everyone SUPER, because as Syndrome says, “when all are super,then no one is super.”