Re: LA charities give shopping carts ... Stone raises money

Sandy Andrews (sandya@asu.edu)
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 22:40:13 -0700 (MST)


I too think that it is important to give people what they say they 
need...because they are the ones who will know. Giving people their own 
shopping carts sounds very logical. 

Whether people choose such a lifestyle or come to it because they have no
choice, they deserve to have the things that make that lifestyle
reasonably comfortable. It is hard to pursue happiness otherwise. 

As for Sharon Stone: that story is really sad. I may not be seeing the 
whole truth here, but what I perceive is a bunch of people who "have" a 
great deal, but who are blind...otherwise wouldn't they understand that 
this event does not really represent sharing?

sandy

On Sat, 18 Jul 1998, Tom Boland wrote:

> Ellen "et in dc" wrote
> >1.  Since the police don't like shopping carts because homeless people can
> >hide in them (say WHAT????), and no doubt because the police would rather
> >throw people's stuff away (tidier, dontcha know, and less troubling to the
> >homing population), I think the shopping cart giveaway might be useful and
> >politically appropriate.
> 
> Catholic Worker's gift of shopping carts to homeless persons in downtown LA
> is, I think, a form of "preaching of the deed".  The message of such a deed
> seems to say "it is just and necessary to visibly help the poorest of the
> poor to survive", without commanding a change in their lifestyles.
> 
> In contrast, some law-and-orders advocates seem to have the opposite
> message - that "the element (minority male, poor and homeless people) are
> not welcome in Dodge City (business districts)" because we are maggots
> whose main crime is to decrease business revenues.  To quote the title of
> the Toronto Sun editorial about squeegee kids, which Graeme forwarded
> today, "Beat It, Kid!".  Or:  "Get out of town by sundown! Get off the
> street with your dammed shopping carts before morning, when the businesses
> open."
> 
> This Zero Tolerance approach endangers any prospect for "equal protection
> under the law" for poor and outcaste peoples. It attacks the symptom - poor
> and homeless people - with no attempt to cure the disease - greed so
> rampant that the rich-poor gap is so wide as to endanger the lives of the
> poor, even in some of the world's richest countries.
> 
> Ellen also commented on a news article forwarded by Pat, titled "Stone
> Raises Money for Homeless":
> >2.  Sharon Stone's money promotion strikes me as just one more Hollywood
> >stunt.  Of course, it's better to have movie stars doing SOMETHING for
> >other people.  Now, I wonder how much of the $150,000 they raised will
> >actually go to homeless people, and how much will be spent on "overhead"
> >and "administration"?
> 
> I doubt if even a dime on the dollar of the money raised "for" the homeless
> will actually go in homeless people's pockets.  How well it serves service
> providers that now we have people arguing that it is immoral to give
> homeless people money directly, because it allegedly encourages us to be
> lazy and dissolute.  The Culture War has marked poor people, not for aid,
> but for obedience or extinction.  "Conform to Market Reality Or Die" seems
> to be the subtext.
> 
> For capitalists, Alms Giving becomes a Mortal Sin.  What an inversion of
> the ethical principles on which Western (sic) Culture is supposedly founded!
> 
> Speak Truth To Power. -- Tom
> 
> 
> 
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