from another listfriend

P. Myers (
Fri, 12 Jun 1998 11:20:19 -0700 (PDT)

This friend's description of evil was originally related to race/hate
murders.  Her analysis, however, is just as timely and relevant to
homelessness.  I wanted to, forwarded with permission... 

Pat Myers

---------- Forwarded message 

I believe that every individual who does not believe homelessness is her
problem, or who ignores it, or who looks at only the "bright and shiny"
side of the coin implying both sides are, or who is unaware of it is a
part of the problem. 

Truly evil acts depend on more (and probably most) of us believing we are
removed from them.  Truly evil acts require that we isolate responsibility
for each of these acts to an individual or a few others in order for evil
acts to be able to exist -- until, of course, they become "acceptable" to
do by society as a whole.  The beliefs include:  "They" did it (or chose
it) and no one but "them" is capable of it"; they" did it because "they"
are so very different from the rest of us; "they" are solely responsible
for their actions; and "they" must be nuts to do such a thing.

We don't live in a vaccuum; our society is filled with hidden agendas,
winks of the eye, contradiction in what we say and do, and tolerance (or
cowardice) about letting others stand in front of us and commit little
acts of intolerance without our comments. 

Pat:  this so clearly, for me, shows how some of us manage to go about our
lives, with no sense of personal responsibility for creating a social
situation that maintains and legitimizes what can only be rationally
understood as cruelty and social blindness.