Contempt for people with disabilities is nothing new; children with disabilities have it even worse. We’ve come a long way, but there are still negative attitudes that continue to persist worldwide. Case in point: a British councillor named Collin Brewer, who stated that disabled children should be killed because they cost too much money. He made the remarks in 2011, and they came to light when the charity workers he said it to filed a formal complaint. Brewer originally refused to step down, but after the outrage continued to grow, he finally relented and resigned.
Mr Brewer made the remarks to a disabilities charity at an event designed to allow councillors to meet equal opportunity organisations and understand the issues they face.
Mr Brewer reportedly approached a stall run by Disability Cornwall at the event, and was told about the work of the charity.
He responded by saying: “Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.”
Brewer claims that he has deep regret for the remark, that he has trouble sleeping at night, and that he is just so very sorry for what he said. He was stressed and angry, and he just lashed out, saying something he knew would be hurtful.
Of course, if he truly had been that sorry, or didn’t really mean what he said, then it probably wouldn’t have taken him a year and a half to write an apology letter.
His apology was sent to Theresa Court, advice services manager at Disability Cornwall, but she described the note he sent as ‘offensive.’
Before he resigned she said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. It’s taken a year and a half for him to be told that he has to write an apology. The apology was an insult.
‘It came with a second class stamp and it was folded up into eight small bits. He might as well have screwed it up. I can’t believe that the only thing he has had to to is write an apology. He needs to re-think his job.’
Disability Cornwall stated that it took 18 months, their filed complaint, and a formal investigation to get Brewer to issue that apology, which they claim was forced. And right up until the day before he resigned, he continued to claim that he hadn’t really done anything worth stepping down over.
Yeah, this sure does sound like a guy who stays awake at night in regret over the terrible things he said.
Now, it would be easy to brush this guy off as a rarity, a unique monster with hatred in his heart. It would be comforting to think that there aren’t many Collin Brewers running around. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Brewer’s attitude towards people with disabilities – that they don’t even deserve to live – is far from uncommon. He’s not the first British politician to make such a claim, after all. Dr. Phil advocated for the mercy killing of people with disabilities in front of his audience of millions. Most of his audience agreed with him. And there’s also the most dangerous place in the world for a child with a disability: his or her mother’s womb. There are overwhelming odds that the baby will be killed if the disability is discovered prenatally.
No, Brewer’s attitude is not unusual at all. There are plenty of people who feel exactly the same way he does. The only difference is that most people don’t say it out loud.