The dark history of "gasoline baths" at the border

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Shared July 29, 2019

An alarming US border policy forced fumigations on migrants at the US-Mexico border.

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In 1917, American health officials launched a campaign to use noxious, often toxic chemicals to delouse immigrants seeking to enter at the US-Mexico border. The same practice had caused a fire in an El Paso jail the year before and killed 27 people.

17-year-old Juárez maid Carmelita Torres refused to go through it, sparking a protest of thousands of Mexicans at the El Paso border. Although they briefly shut down the border, the campaign would continue for decades -- and go on to inspire Nazi scientists.

For more reading, check out the links below:
David Dorado Romo’s book, Ringside Seat to a Revolution: https://www.cincopuntos.com/products_...

The Bracero History Archive: http://braceroarchive.org

John Mckiernan-González’s book, Fevered Measures: Public Health and Race at the Texas -Mexico Border, 1848-1942: https://www.dukeupress.edu/fevered-me...

Alexandra Minna Stern’s book, Eugenic Nation: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/97805202...

This is the second episode of our Missing Chapter series, where Vox producer Ranjani Chakraborty revisits underreported and often overlooked moments from the past to give context to the present. Join her as she covers the histories that are often left out of our textbooks. Our first season tackles stories of racial injustice, political conflicts, even the hidden history of US medical experimentation.

Have an idea for a story that Ranjani should investigate for Missing Chapter? Send it to her via this form! http://bit.ly/2RhjxMy

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Noemi

Who needs scary movies, all u need to do is look into “American” history.

3 months ago | [YT] | 2,905

Infinity seagull

I was never taught about this in school? Why? This seems like a hella important event to understand and remember

4 months ago | [YT] | 4,235

Stephanie Mora

We have a beautiful park in El Paso that is named after Tom Lea, we should rename it after Carmelita Torres

3 months ago | [YT] | 1,069

Ray Prince

And I thought we blacks were treated badly. Man, the US really don't like minorities.

3 months ago | [YT] | 1,336

polemius01

This video provides more proof that the US has always been a disgustingly racist nation. The current regime merely allows US racism to come out into the open. Again.

3 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 1,189

gojewla

I thought a greaser was someone from the 1950’s with slicked back hair.

4 months ago | [YT] | 1,646

Sappy

Wow. I remember my grandpa telling me about “el polvo” it’s disturbing to have found out it was DDT. I was shocked when he told me about his experience, even more disturbing now that I know what they put him thru.

4 months ago | [YT] | 1,652

Green98

White does not necessarily mean clean

3 months ago | [YT] | 618

Kiritu George

Me: The U.S.A has a very dark history
Troll: Every country has a dark past
Me: Thankyou for your whataboutism. It justifies the dark history of U.S.A so much more.

1 month ago | [YT] | 516

Charles Macleod

This is so messed up. It makes me really think poorly of the US.

4 months ago | [YT] | 812

John smith

Why isn't this taught in Schools inside the United States?
The Atrocities committed by the White Man.

1 month ago | [YT] | 366

Zaid Nezam

Everyone talks about how the US is a free country. It isnt.

2 months ago | [YT] | 389

Taurus R Lee

Same old racism, different decade. 😒😢

2 months ago | [YT] | 151

Chris H

There is no thing called the American people, all Americans exept natives are immigrants

1 month ago | [YT] | 225

Golden 47

Most of the Americans don't know their history...

And this video is an example of that!

4 months ago | [YT] | 643

miamiwax

Trump supporters: So what's the problem?

3 months ago | [YT] | 37

Nate Kwezi

Ironic considering European brought diseases wiped out more than half of the Native American population.

4 months ago | [YT] | 3,633

Hola Soy Efrain

Funny how this isn’t in the American History class curriculum

2 weeks ago | [YT] | 36

Allen Wang

I just realized something: At 13:29 David Ward from Fox News says that the migrants are coming in with smallpox...
Smallpox has been eradicated globally for a few decades by now.

3 months ago | [YT] | 554

Joel Capco

This is difficult to watch. It certainly proves the saying, "for evil to succeed, the good only need to do nothing."

4 months ago | [YT] | 156


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