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Demand NH State Republican Party Denounce Insults to State's Homeless

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It seems the myths and stereotypes regarding the homeless and the mentally disabled continue.

New Hampshire's State Representative Martin Harty, a Republican, recently suggested that individuals with mental disabilities should be sent to Siberia. He claims he was making a joke. No one is laughing.

State Rep. Harty made these comments to a woman over the phone who had called to discuss his state's homeless population. She was in support of providing services and financial support. He obviously is not. These are his words:

“It was a girl that wanted money for the crazy people, the people ... a good percentage of the homeless people are mentally disturbed. I said maybe they can rent a spot in Siberia off of Russia. She called me an Adolf Hitler and hung up on me. I never mentioned Hitler.”

These hate filled words demonstrate the pervasive stigma that exists among some people in our nation towards homeless individuals those living with mental illness. Often the two are lumped together, which is just another stereotype. He takes it a step further, to say that most homeless individuals are "crazy people" and "mentally disturbed". He clearly shows his lack of knowledge on issues related to poverty and homelessness, not to mention his ignorance on mental health issues.

For him to suggest that these individuals should go to Siberia is beyond offensive. This remark demonstrates another hate-filled perspective that some people share with State Rep. Harty -- NIMBY or Not In My Back Yard. The old "I support helping people in need, but I don't want to see them in my neighborhood" mentality that pops up time and time again. Not only does State Rep. Harty not want homeless individuals in his back yard, he doesn't even want them in this country. His comments are hate-filled, offensive and cannot be taken lightly.

Unfortunately, homeless individuals and those with mental illness are seen as the butt of jokes, not as whole people who deserve respect and compassion.

Unfortunately, Mr Hardy is unapologetic about his comments, so we need to turn to his peers to help publicly redress this wrong.

Please join us in demanding New Hampshire State Republican party members denounce his remarks!


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