The Human Lab Experiments

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By Michelle Obleton, First Lady of Waukegan Community Church

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I have a friend who often volunteers for special human study experiments. She makes a lot of money. I asked her if she would be taking the COVID-19 Vaccine and she hesitated for a moment and finally said no, she would not be taking it. I asked why and she said she enlist in experiments as an individual. She is against any group of people taking part in any experiment. She went on to say, this vaccine reminded her too much of the Tuskegee Experiment. I was not totally aware of this experiment, so I researched it and was surprised with my findings.
The United Stated government did something that was wrong, deeply profoundly, morally wrong. 600 African American men from Macon County Alabama were enlisted to partake in a scientific experiment on syphilis. The experiment became known as the infamous 40 year “Tuskegee Study”. The goal was to observe untreated syphilis in black men. The men were unaware of the experiment’s intentions and were told instead that they were being treated for bad blood.
To understand the heinous nature of the Tuskegee Study, the Wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific racism #Justification of slavery in the USA calls the experiment a pseudoscientific practice of using science to reinforce racial biases which was common. Many white people already thought themselves superior to blacks and science and medicine was all too happy to reinforce this hierarchy. Before the ending of slavery, scientific racism was used to justify the African slave trade. Scientists argued that African men were uniquely fit for enslavement due to their physical strength and simple minds. 

They argued that slaves possessed primitive nervous systems, so they did not experience pain as white people did.

This experiment lasted for 40 long years. The experiment began in 1932. When the cure for syphilis was discovered with the use of penicillin in 1947, The researchers would not give the penicillin vaccine to these patients. They conveniently justified that the syphilis had progressed too far for the drug to help without making any attempts to give the drug. Despite the public outrage of such an experiment the Center for Disease Control (CDC) continued the study as late as 1969. It took a whistle blower, Peter Buxtum to expose this morally wrong experiment in 1972, and printed it on the front page of the New York Times before the Tuskegee study finally ended. 

By this time only 74 of the men were still alive. Some did die from other causes. The saddest part of the experiment (if one part could be sadder than the other) was the wives of many of these men contracted syphilis and their children were born with congenital syphilis. Yet to this day, no one has been prosecuted for the cruel act of taking upon themselves the life of close to 400 black men.

The thought of experiments using human individuals as victims at someone else’s convenience is deplorable. Other human experiments were done in the name of racial injustice, including the Nazis during the holocaust They did terrible experiments to those in prison.
So back to my friend, no wonder she said no. History has taught us the cruelty of submitting ourselves to so call scientific advancement. 

People of color have been hit hard with the COVID-19. Naturally, we have some major resistance to a fairly new vaccine. This vaccine could help us get back on our feet again, or can it? One thing for sure, we remember the struggles of the past and present in our history and we remember, America has used its own people as lab rats, and we will never forget it.

Prayers & Love,

Michelle Obleton, First Lady of WCC

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