Another inhumane experimental test done on #Black men, and “Uncle Sam” takes the blame for it. Experimental testing during World War II was done on enlisted Black men, according to an article written by David Love for Atlanta BlackStar. There were as many as 60,000 American soldiers who were enrolled in the secret chemical weapons testing program. These men were exposed to mustard gas and the chemical agent lewisite, which causes blisters and irritation to the lungs. The U.S. Department conducted the test based on the race of the soldiers.
Soldiers of Black, Japanese-American and Puerto Rican were locked in a gas chamber and exposed to the chemicals. The White soldiers were the control group. The reason for the tests that was given was to see what effect the gases would have on Black skin. Edwards, 93, of Summerville, S.C. and a veteran of WWII explained, “You had no choice. You did not know where you were going. They didn’t tell you anything.” Edwards also shared during his interview that his skin still falls off in flakes as a result of the testing. For years, the World War II veteran carried around a jar full of flakes to convince people that something had happened to him. (Love, 2015)Rollins Edwards, who lives in Summerville, S.C., shows one of his many scars from exposure to mustard gas in World War II military experiments. More than 70 years after the exposure, his skin still falls off in flakes. Source: Amelia Phillips Hale For NPR
“Although the Pentagon had admitted as early as 1991 that the Army tested mustard gas on enlisted soldiers during World War II—and the experiment program was officially declassified in 1993—news about the racial targeting of soldiers was kept under wraps until recently.” (Love, 2015)
There are several cases that Black people have been used as guinea pigs. One of the most well-known experiments is the Tuskegee experiment. The U.S Public Health Service studied the natural progression of syphilis in 600 Black men, who were never notified of their condition and were not treated. The tests, which began in 1932, did not end until news reports exposed the inhumane and racists practice in 1972. Or when modern gynecology was the result of torturous gynecological experiments that J. Marion Sims performed on enslaved women without anesthesia. Read about other experiments here.
For years black people have talked about different types of experiments being done on them, but many were told that they were being ridiculous and imaging things. However, when you look back over the history and the studies and the latest report from the Pentagon these Black people were right.