[Hpn] Myths

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Tue, 10 Dec 2002 17:07:47 -0500


Below is a forward of a piece that I just wrote and posted on The Homeless 
Guy <http://thehomelessguy.blogspot.com> blog this afternoon (Tuesday, 
December 10, 2002), which I wanted to share with you.

Will be also submitting it to those publications which sometimes publish 
some of my writing.

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA
Norsehorse's Home Turf: http://nht.blogspot.com

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-------Forwarded column-------

Myths

by Morgan W. Brown

Among the many negative (as if there are any that are positive) stereotypes 
concerning people who are homeless or any other perceived or actual group of 
people for that matter, which is probably more deeply cynical as well as the 
one that does some of the most prolonged damage, is the opinion that they 
generally lack an articulate voice of their own and therefore cannot be 
expected to speak intelligently and powerfully for themselves.

This mindset dictates that people who are homeless most certainly are not 
able to advocate and take the lead either on their own or on their peers 
behalf. In fact it is frightening how many people living homeless there are 
whom too often and so easily believe this about themselves as well.

Yet when people who are homeless speak up for themselves or for their peers 
and what they need, they can find themselves being quickly slapped down or 
simply blown off in various ways time and time again.

Sometimes when people who are homeless speak out, they can find themselves 
being treated, regarded and portrayed as either the one and only, the hero 
or the overcomer types: as if what they are doing is not the norm and 
therefore unique or, is an amazing, heroic, accomplishment "for someone who 
is homeless" or, as if they are someone to be pitied, patted on the head 
and, at best, maybe given a star to wear on their forehead for accomplishing 
(or even attempting) something either more or better than was ever expected.

When someone persists in speaking up however, they are often ignored, 
belittled, punished, scorned, told they are being inappropriate or said to 
be outspoken.

This in a nation prizing self-determination. Ironically, it seems that when 
either an individual or a group of people become or just want to remain 
self-determining, they are somehow expected to do it completely on their 
own, even against the most impossible of odds (e.g., in isolation).

Though not intended as such, if the tone or manner of the above comes across 
as being offensive, etc.: imagine how it comes across to people living 
homeless when they are treated like this, or even worse, in one form or 
another on an ongoing basis by countless people as well as a society, which 
would never stand for being treated in these ways themselves.


Morgan W. Brown is a writer and activist living homeless in Montpelier, 
Vermont.

-------End of forward-------

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA
Norsehorse's Home Turf: http://nht.blogspot.com



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