For the Public Good: The Shameful History of Forced Sterilization in the U.S.

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Longreads

Belle Boggs | The New New South | August 2013 | 62 minutes (15,377 words)

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We’re proud to present, for the first time online, “For the Public Good,” Belle Boggs‘s story for The New New South about the shocking history of forced sterilizations that occurred in the United States, and the story of victims in North Carolina, with original video by Olympia Stone.

As Boggs explained to us last year: 

“Last summer I met Willis Lynch, a man who was sterilized by the state of North Carolina more than 65 years earlier, when he was only 14 years old and living in an institution for delinquent children. Willis was one of 7,600 victims of North Carolina’s eugenics program, and one of the more outspoken and persistent advocates for compensation.

“At the time I was struggling with my own inability to conceive, and the debate…

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The Bureaucracy of Death: A Reading List

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Longreads

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Although more and more countries are abolishing capital punishment, over half the world’s population lives in four of the countries that continue to use it: India, Indonesia, China — and the United States. U.S. public opinion continues to move against the death penalty, but while some states have overturned capital punishment (or never had it), most still sentence people to die. These four pieces examine the range of flaws in a system whose irreversible outcome can ill afford them.

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The Moment Firestone Teamed Up with a Warlord

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Longreads

Below is an excerpt from ProPublica and Frontline’s investigation into how the U.S. tire and rubber company Firestone ended up partnering with warlord Charles Taylor, who was taking over Liberia during the civil war in the early 1990s. In 1992 the company agreed to pay taxes to Taylor’s rebel government, and “over the next year, the company doled out more than $2.3 million in cash, checks and food to Taylor”:

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