by Janet Crain
To understand Walter Plecker you must understand John Powell and the Eugenics Movement. Many of their attitudes are still in force.
What do Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, H. G. Wells, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Emile Zola, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, John Harvey Kellogg, Linus Pauling, Sidney Webb and many other prominent Americans have in common with Hitler? Eugenics; an idea conceived with good intentions, but nourished in bigotry, class-ism, condescending paternalism, and finally inhuman solutions. Its most infamous proponent and practitioner was Adolf Hitler who praised and incorporated eugenic ideas in Mein Kampf and emulated Eugenic legislation for the sterilization of ‘defectives’ that had been pioneered in the United States.” Who were those pioneers?
Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America's most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stamford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims.
In addition to those named above; Virginia white supremists who committed horrendous acts of prejudice; Walter Plecker and John Powell were until recently little known outside their home state. If the Melungeon awakening had not occurred these two men may not have as yet, become as well known as they now are.
And even so, John Powell's name is just now being removed from the music building, Powell Hall, at Radford University in spite of the findings of students who researched him and asked for this removal in 2005.
It is interesting to note that this damning information was well known for many years previously and John Powell was a popular subject on the Rootsweb Melungeon mailing list prior to 2005.
It is tragic that a person with John Powell's enormous gifts of intellect and talent was blindsided and hindered by his own prejudices. He believed Anglo Saxon music superior to any other music including German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Jewish, Oriental, and of course American Indian or African. And just as he sought to keep the "Anglo Saxon race" pure, he strove to keep music pure from any of these polluting influences. Apparently his extensive education had not imparted to him that the Anglo Saxons were a Germanic people originally and in any case, a small part of England's over all genetic make up.
One is tempted to hope that Hell for him is to spend an eternity being laughed at for his insufferable, pompous, pseud-intellectual, ignorance. But I digress.
Here is his story:
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