Part of a Whole

My name is Nicolas Steenhout.
I speak, train, and consult about inclusion, accessibility and disability.

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NH State Rep Suggests People With Disabilities Should Be Sent To Siberia

I just heard of comments made by New Hampshire State Representative Martin Harty to the effect that people with disabilities should either be killed or sent to Siberia. I am not entirely surprised this kind of attitude still exists. But I am saddened.

Harty was elected at the mid-terms and confesses he hasn’t really got a clue what he’s doing. He’s 91 years old and served under Patton during World War II. Some of his comments included:

"The world population has gotten too big and the world is being inherited by too many defective people […] I mean all the defective people, the drug addicts, mentally ill, the retarded — all of them. […] I believe if we had a Siberia we should send them to this and they would all freeze and die and we will be rid of them"

I admit, at times like these, I find it difficult to build a coherent argument to refute these kinds of comments. There is not much that can be said in the face of such bigotry.

Here are some thoughts, unordered and unpacked:

It’s not a good time to have a disability in the United States.

Update – 15 March 2011

It appears Harty has resigned as a result of the backlash from his comments.