Reading through the on line edition of my local paper this morning, I came across some disturbing content. It wasn’t so much the deplorable behavior found in the police reports or any particular shocking disclosure, but rather in the comment sections below the stories.
One headline read, “Report of Man Kicking Dog Leads to Drug Arrest.” Bungling fools steeped in addiction quite frequently grace the pages of news papers or capture a brief sound byte, this is not uncommon. And quite frankly, when one gets out of his vehicle to talk to the inquiring police like everything is normal, only to have his meth pipe (which was sticking out of his pocket), be discovered by the police because he was so high he forgot it was there, well… he deserves to get busted. The report ends with the car and dog being released to the man’s wife. So thus far we know the dog is presumably safe, the wife is worried sick and the man’s teeth are set on edge.
But there below his mug shot and short report is a reflection of societies indifference and even worse yet, judgmental posture towards the impoverished. Their remarks are a clear indication of the deteriorating moral fabric of this nation respectively and in my community in particular.
In regards to the report, the well being of the dog took first place. One person mentioned the man’s obvious addiction issues and the rest… well, here are some examples:
“(City) police apparently respond to quality of life complaints. (The City) should begin doing the same to control some of the deplorable scenery in the city. Why must citizens going past the corner of (Such and Such Streets) have to tolerate a disheveled woman sitting next to a wheel chair, which is blocking the sidewalk, and, an adult male sleeping in the bush next to (Blank) Hotel? Surely we have loitering and vagrancy laws to control this situation.”
“Yeah. And why is nothing ever done about the jay-walkers who constantly tie-up traffic downtown?”
“I have long wondered how so many beggars, and bums, begging around (City) are playing at being destitute, and have nothing to eat or a place to sleep and yet can afford a dog to feed and care for. A puzzle…”
“Playing, indeed. I’ve spoken to many of them, who identified prime areas around the city where $100/day or more could be made. Yet they still make use of any county services (food bank, clinic, etc) they can get that won’t require them to get off the street. Don’t waste your time on these people. Most of your earnest donations pay for alcohol. They don’t want any help. We all need to face the facts.”
Though there is validity to the abuse of state funded agencies without question, this does not give license to categorize every single person on these programs as a fraud. What this genius failed to recognize is that in order to enjoy the benefits of these programs, you must first have and address. And I assure you, the (disheveled woman) in the wheel chair, is in fact quite destitute.
My question is, how did the discussion evolve or should I say devolve, into the indifferent slandering of impoverished human beings. I am quite convinced that the noses above the mouths spitting bigotry and contempt are long indeed. Have any of these upstanding citizens ever walked one step in the shoes of the poor and homeless? Is the silver and gold inlaid whiskey flask from which they drink any different from the wino’s bottle? At least the wino has an excuse for getting drunk. Just because your liquor is aged and expensive doesn’t make you any less a red nosed lush . . . hypocrite.
As for the dogs in tow, how many service dogs are in use today and for what purposes? For service to hurting humanity! The companionship afforded by these dogs may be the only thing keeping them from suicide. Many of the homeless people don’t even drink and will go without food in order the feed their animals. These people are in desperate need of love not condemnation. I know, because I used to be one of them.
Therefore all you who dare mock the poor, the Lord rebuke you.
“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5 NKJV)
Rev. Joaquin R. Larriba