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:
- The United States has a long history of eugenics.
- 52% of Americans would rather be dead than disabled.
- Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby” is an argument for euthanasia.
- Physician-assisted suicide is legal in the US states of Montana, Oregon and Washington State.
It’s not a good time to have a disability in the United States.