The protest in Libya is all over the news. The poverish citizens have grown tired of the iron fist ruling of veteran leader Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi and his spendthrift sons.
We are appalled at Gaddafi’s use of force. Defying demands to step down, Muammar Gaddafi ordered air-strikes against the Libyan protesters.
American citizens now watch in horror as the protesters fight for democracy unfolds. Similar to the civil rights movement in the United States the protesters have taken to the streets demanding democracy.
Because of our democratic society here, we vote for our government officials. As a result, we are under the impression that such barbaric behavior displayed by the defiant dictator would never be considered here.
If Americans think that such barbaric behavior couldn’t happen in our country, think again. We are still learning about the horrors of the Jim Crow era where racial etiquette was and still is the rule of the day.
The latest revelation is the medical crime perpetrated against 5 year old Vertus Hardiman.
Imagine being a 5 year old black boy who is subjected to a radiation experiment that leaves your head deformed. Imagine that the high volumes emitted also leaves a hole in your skull. That exactly what happened to young Vertus.
A film has been made of his ordeal. Entitled Hole In the Head: A Life Revealed Vertus Hardiman, it explores the ugly secret of Hardiman’s experience with an unethical medical profession. Vertus was one of ten children, experimented on with radiation by a county hospital in Indiana during 1927. All attended the same elementary school in Lyles Station, Indiana. The experiment was misrepresented as a newly developed cure for the scalp fungus known as ringworm. In reality the ringworm fungus was merely the lure used to gain access to unsuspecting children whose parents signed permission slips for the treatment blindly. No doubt racial etiquette influence their decision to use these children as guinea pigs.
Vertus Hardiman was the youngest victim and now at age 84, unburdens himself of an incredible story of this stark medical crime. The crime had severe physical complications for Vertus – namely, a harshly irradiated and malformed head, with an actual hole in the skull.
Remarkably, not one person in Vertus’ community had ever been aware of this situation – because he always wore a wig and woolen beanie right up to the time he made the disclosure.
During filming Vertus reveals his secret and in his own words says, “For over 80 years only four individuals outside a few medical specialists have ever seen my condition; I hide it because I look like some monster.” Over his life he was criticized, teased and scorned by those who had no idea what the wig hid for 80 years.
Four additional survivors of this horrific event had astonishing similarities, but none as far-reaching and severe as Vertus.
This documentary also shows that the Lyles Station experiments were not an isolated event. One such example involved radiation experiments performed against one hundred thousand darker-skinned immigrant children in Israel in 1951, a tragedy financed by the United States Army. Amazingly, many of these victims arrived on U.S. soil in cages for further study, an attempt to determine human reaction to over-exposure to radiation.
This story should encourage at high levels a hunger for education, especially for an accurate all inclusive account of American history. Never again should the Jim Crow atrocities be permitted to occur in this country.
Take a look at the trailer above. If you are not a registered voter, after seeing the trailer, you should run out to nearest Supervisor of Elections office and register. Those who are registered should learn about your candidates and vote not by block delivered by some poverty pimp, but judiciously.
Remember just like Gaddafi, Jim Crow had children, and grandchildren who are now public officials riding the Tea Party Express.
We should no doubt support the protest in north Africa, but we should also stay vigilant of threats to democracy in this country, cutting them off at the path. Remember, Never Again!
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