[Hpn] Re: STEREOTYPES encourage MURDER of homeless people? Your opinion?

Richard Cohen rbc24@earthlink.net
Mon, 08 Jan 2001 09:17:56 -0800

I think negative stereotypes help create public opinion that eases the
implementation of harmful public policies.  In my film Taylor's Campaign, scenes
that are spoken about most often after a screening by outraged viewers are ones
of hatred and stereotyping.  For example when 2 students say that hungry people
should starve if they cant feed themselves through work, or when  a radio talk
show host calls for the killing of homeless people and his boss justifies their
"right to say anything" by explaining that he wasnt talking about African
Americans, Hispanics or Jews - but homeless people.  Although there is no link
between vigilantes and these type of documented remarks, I do remember city
officials trying to distance themselves from the extreme views by promoting their
sweeping policies as compassionate.  For example, banning camping in the parks,
or volunteers providing free food in the parks.

HOBOMATT@aol.com wrote:

> wgcp@earthlink.net writes:
> << Do "negative stereotypes" encourage vigilantes to murder homeless people?
>  Why or why not? >>
> Over the last twenty years or so in Colorado Springs, the vast majority of
> "homeless murders" has the victim being killed by his/her "friends" or peers.
> The usuall scenerio is a group of people sitting round a fire drinking,
> sheltering in an abandoned house, or walking along the river and a dispute
> turns lethal. I don't believe that "negative stereotypes" encourage
> vigilantes to seek out and harm homeless people (as a rule). I DO believe
> these stereotypes lead to less concerned police investigation, after the
> fact, as the the victim was "just a transient".
> Matt Parkhouse, RN
> Colorado Springs, CO