It's been interesting to see two political outrages over comments and representations of disability over the past week. Especially given that they are on seperate sides of the pond with right and left in reversed roles.
Democrat Wendy Davis was criticized for running this ad:
When attacked for the negative focus on her opponent's disability she did not apologize, but doubled down by holding a presser with disabled supporters where this awkward moment occurred:
In contrast it was a Tory under fire in the UK today. Lord Freud was secretly recorded during a meeting where he stated there is a group of disabled people who are "not worth the full wage."
Again in contrast Lord Freud apologized:
Of course I don't think he had anything to apologize for whatsoever. He was obviously referring to the market value of labor and not human value as he contemplated a subsidized system of pay much like we have in the US and in other countries that enables certain disabled people to have a job who otherwise wouldn't.I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else.
I care passionately about disabled people. I am proud to have played a full part in a government that is fully committed to helping disabled people overcome the many barriers they face in finding employment. That is why through Universal Credit – which I referred to in my response – we have increased overall spending on disabled households by £250m, offered the most generous work allowance ever, and increased the disability addition to £360 per month.
I am profoundly sorry for any offence I have caused to any disabled people.
Davis made a huge optics mistake and is foolish for not recognizing it.