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Legislator Who Suggested Siberia For ‘Retarded’ Resigns

Posted Mar 15 2011 1:26am

Legislator Who Suggested Siberia For ‘Retarded’ Resigns is a piece on Disability Scoop. Yes, it is as bad as it sounds. Here’s a quote:

Rep. Martin Harty, a 91-year-old first-term Republican in the state’s House of Representatives, drew fire after it became public that he told a constituent that “the world is too populated” with “too many defective people.”

“I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population,” Harty continued, according to the constituent’s account. He specified that he was referring to “the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions.”

Take a read of the piece at Disability Scoop . Then take a few minutes to let your blood stop boiling before commenting here. Reading around for more on this story, I stumbled across these comments on the story from some of our “friends” over at another blog:

What the heck is a 91 year old doing as a ‘state legislator’? He sounds like an incipient Altzheimer’s case!!

and

Maybe the 90 year old lawmaker should step his grumpy ass down, and let someone with better hearing take his place. I hate to put it that way, but this is unacceptable behavior in office. I don’t care WHAT he did in WW2.

Do me a favor. If you want to make fun of this guy by bashing his real or perceived disabilities…don’t.

  1. Red Headphones:
    I only have 1 word......karma
  2. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.:
    Personally, I think this guy is an unbelievably gross person. If there should be any 'cleaning up the population' going on, it should be to get rid of unempathic pieces of shit like him. The archaeological record going back as far as palaeolithic times in Africa suggests that caring for disabled individuals is no threat to the social group, and nor is the existence of such individuals. For someone like this guy, I can't think of a suitable way to ... well, let's say 'correct him' on anything. And he's typical of a large number of people on this planet. "Harty was unapologetic and told the Concord Monitor that he was 'just kidding.'" This says a lot. Firstly, refusing to apologise for what was a grossly offensive statement ... shows him to be an uncaring person. Secondly, suggesting that it was a jokey statement ... talk about refusing to shoulder one's responsibility. He doesn't impress me at all.
  3. stanley seigler:
    [DNA say] And he’s typical of a large number of people on this planet. Difficult to believe...but I do...in CA people would rather have cheap plates for their 911 than quality ptograms/suuport for the least..and re sterilization: Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes summed up the opinion of the Court with one short and brutal declaration, stating that “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Apologies if the below was posted before...and for bringing up the nazis (what it called) stanley seigler the below: Public Testimony Senate [CA-USA] Budget Committee Hearing 2011 http://arribails.blogspot.com/2011/02/few-notes-on-things-as-they-are.html#comments In 1934 the German government began a propaganda campaign against its developmentally disabled citizens. Within a year the propaganda that blanketed the country described developmentally disabled people as “lives unworthy of life” and as “useless eaters.” Their “cost” to Germany was calculated and put on posters that hung in schools and libraries and museums. By 1938 the government was rounding up everyone with a developmental disability and sending them to be murdered to places that would later be among the death camps of 12 million other people. The disabled were chosen for what was a rehearsal of the holocaust because of the lowliness of their status in German society … Still, the Nazis were surprised by how little opposition they encountered, how few objections were raised, when they began rounding up these people and sending them away. In the United States at this time we were sending thousands of babies, children and adults with developmental disabilities away for life to state prisons that we called state schools and state hospitals. A few years earlier, the Supreme Court had ruled, in Buck vs. Bell, that states had the right, if not obligation, to forcibly sterilize people with developmental disabilities. Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes summed up the opinion of the Court with one short and brutal declaration, stating that “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Make no mistake, the developmentally disabled are the most oppressed, devalued, and dehumanized group of people in human history. In the 21st century, our Society stands as the richest, most advanced civilization that has ever existed. If it holds ambitions to being, in the words of Lyndon Johnson, a Great Society, it will be judged as achieving its aspiration not by its redevelopment agencies or by the pensions of its prison guards. It will be judged by how it cares for its people with the greatest needs and the lowest social standing. This legislature has the opportunity, at this point in History, to respond to the prejudice and propaganda that casts human beings as “useless eaters”, and to respond to Chief Justice Holmes, by taking the position, as the leaders of a Great Society...that “Ten thousand years of murderous oppression, are enough!” I understand that you face many seemingly impossible choices. But ultimately, your choices are not impossible. Not if you can keep in mind those choices upon which a Great Society is judged. Thank you for considering my comments. Andrew Pereira Service Provider Santa Cruz, CA 2/28/11 5:39 PM
  4. AutismNewsBeat:
    Methinks Rep. Harty wants a free trip to Siberia, but doesn't want to wait in line.
  5. McD:
    You can't bring up the Nazis in a blog about autism and eugenics without bringing up Dr Asperger. Was he working with the Nazis (he had to know that developmentally disabled children were being slaughtered), or was he attempting to keep autistic kids out of the gas chambers? I hope it was the latter. I am still on the lookout for an evidence-based biography of Asperger. This legislator sounds like he is an interesting bloke, on the first reading I missed the bit where it says he is a 'first-term' representative, and assumed he was a political relic of old days when eugenics were thought to be a good idea, and just never got voted out - like Strom Thurmond. But, no. He has been recently selected by party and people for his office. Crikey.

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