Monday, March 16, 2009

Marcos Breton would roust the tent people and be rid of them


Photo kiped from the Loaves & Fishes webspace.
In a piece published Sunday, demonstrating foolishness and ignorance, Bee columnist Marcos Breton writes, "Other cities would have rousted the tent people long ago. Sacramento got a black eye [from the "Oprah" exposure]. Do Roseville, Granite Bay or Fair Oaks carry a burden like [Sacramento does with homelessness in its midst]? No way."

Breton doesn't explain how he'd deal with the homelessness problem in our area and nation, he seems just to figure that nobody wants them and that they are by definition undesirable, so they must disappear by being rousted from everywhere.

Laughably, Breton cites Loaves & Fishes' Executive Director Libby Fernandez and Advocacy Director Joan Burke, mucky-mucks of a "charity that caters to the homeless," as the responsible parties for the quandary politicos have here with tent city.

Breton believes that Fernandez and Burke are righteous modern-day Sister Teresas who have hypnotized the city by evoking Mahatma Gandhi in their "practice [of] unconditional love on the addicts and mentally ill souls at their [charity's] door."

It is clear that Breton lives in a world of half-century-old stereotypes and does not understand Loaves & Fishes nor the rest of Homeless World Sacramento, and has never met the real Libby (who can be sarcastic, mocking, rude and display a compassion deficit).

But, then, I've never been to 21st & Q where Breton composes his columns on a big Underwood typewriter before passing out from the effects of tippling from the flask in his back pocket.

Had Breton had so much as a clue regarding the topic he chose to write about, he would know that for many, many weeks Fernandez's Friendship Park was a mud wallow, a pig habitat. And that a distinct, very noticeable feature of L&F is the strange lack of compassion on the part of some who are on staff there.

Had he a modicum of experience in Homeless World Sacramento, Breton would come to realize that many of us homeless have noticeable problems of different sorts, and that our problems drag us down. We are truly suffering and haven't the wherewithal to escape our painful circumstance. He would also come to know that rather than being a bunch of lazy, no-account slobs, we live in a time-devouring universe that strips us of dignity.

And if he had access to compassion, Breton might learn that most of the people in Homeless World Sacramento are amazing and splendid and fine, even when we are a wee bit unclean and unrefined.

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