Have you seen a baby recently? Then consider yourself lucky. They were supposed to be extinct by the year 2015. At least that's according to the first two paragraphs of a newspaper article in the December 31, 1910 edition of the Asheville Citizen in North Carolina. But keep reading the article and you'll notice they're not just talking about any babies. They're talking about white, American babies.
The article quotes a Professor Walter F. Willcox at Cornell, who by the third paragraph explains that the United States is committing "race suicide". What does that mean? It means "white" women aren't having enough babies. By the year 2015, babies (by which he means white babies) will be a thing of the past.
If this all sounds familiar, it may be because we still hear plenty of the same fears from politicians and talking heads here in the 21st century. They even have similar ideas about incentivising white people into making more white people on the planet.
From the December 31, 1910 Asheville Citizen:
There will be no children in the United States under five years of age in the year 2020. Babies, accordingly will have disappeared from this country as early as the year 2015. This is the mathematical conclusions of Professor Walter F. Wilcox of Cornell University announced to the American Statistical association at its concluding session this afternoon.
The only hope of seeing babies in the United Staes after 2020, according to Prof. Wilcox's calculation, is by possible importation from [unreadable] to have babies eighty years after the United States has quit.
"There is proportionately more race suicide in the United States than in France," said Professor Wilcox.
An endowment for the stork was recommended to the American Sociological society by [unreadable] L. Howell professor of sociology in the University of Nebraska. In an address on the social control of domestic relations, he declared the state should honour motherhood by endowing mothers.
"Parents who raise families," he said, "are entitled to payment, and security from the states, the same as the soldier or the judge or any other public servant."
Well, there you have it. But what difference does someone like Willcox's outlook have on the thinking of Americans? A lot, when you consider his reach at the time of this writing. Disturbingly, Willcox contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica's entry for "Negro" in its 1911 edition. As you can imagine, it's a vile mishmash of racist nonsense.
Naturally, many other misguided ideas about the extinction of particular human traits have not come to pass by the early 21st century. And most importantly, babies (of all races) have yet to go extinct. Well, until Children of Men's version of 2027 comes to pass.