Thursday, July 13, 2006

Move Over, William Shockley, There's a New Racist in Town

A hired genetics expert, Dr. Barbara A. Quinton, a black woman doctor formerly on the faculty at Howard University, will testify that a group of lead-poisoned black children are genetically inferior, not lead poisoned.

WaPo: Gene Defense in Lead Paint Case Rankles

Picture taken at the Women and Genetics in Contemporary Society Workshop Program, Muskingum Valley Conference Center, Zanesville, Ohio, May 16-19, 1996

Do you think all the civic and medical organizations Dr. Barbara Quinton has been affiliated with know that, for money, she is going into a courtroom in Mississippi and testifying that a group of poor black children are genetically inferior, not damaged by lead poisoning? The DC Public Schools had her screen kids for fetal alcohol syndrome; the American Academy of Pediatrics lists her as the DC Chapter Facilitator for allocating Community Access to Child Health funds; Neurofibromatosis, Inc. - Mid-Atlantic (slogan: "The organization with a heart serving NF Families") lists her as a local medical resource; the National Organization on Fetal Alchohol Syndrome lists her as a resource. I doubt anyone she knows professionally knew about her role in this lead paint case until this AP article was published. We see this a lot in personal injury litigation, an expert with a long resume going far out of their hometown to testify against plaintiffs for big money, with an opinion they'd be embarrassed for their colleagues to know about.

She should be kicked out of every medical organization she belongs to. The supposed 'expert' opinion she is being paid for here is reprehensible and racist. Is she so hard up for money? Lead is a documented cause of brain damage, especially in the developing brains of children. I'd love to know what the lead levels of these children were. I'd probably be even more outraged.

The Washington Post just reprinted the AP article. You'd hope a major newspaper like the Post would see that this is a local story that deserves to further reporting. Oh, that's right, journalism is dead, long live the corporate media.

WaPo: Gene Defense in Lead Paint Case Rankles

In a federal lawsuit set for trial Monday, five families who lived in the apartments say the problems in 13 of their children can be traced to poisoning from the lead paint that covered their walls.

But one of the nation's largest paint companies has another explanation - bad traits that were simply passed on in their genes.

"Their argument is ... they have a family history of poor performance. Basically, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree,"
said Michael Casano, who is representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that seeks unspecified damages.

NL Industries Inc.'s gene defense, detailed in court documents, strikes a sensitive chord in this chronically depressed part of north-central Mississippi known as the birthplace of the blues. Most of the residents are black and poor, and the region has some of the nation's highest rates of illiteracy.


Court documents show that one of NL Industries' expert witnesses, Dr. Barbara Quinton, recommended chromosomal testing for seven of the children. In her deposition, Quinton said some of the children had familial mild mental retardation.

"You have one child with it, and then there are a host of relatives with similar problems," said Quinton, former director of the Medical Genetics Clinic at Howard University.

Quinton wrote that Sherry Wragg's "family history reveals that the family has in the past required additional social support to meet their basic daily needs. Her mother was also regarded as retarded by health care providers. Her mother also had a speech defect."

1 comment:

Richard Rabin said...

The lead industry has a long history of distorting science, intimidating honest scientists, as well as purchasing the services of others. See