Monday, March 3, 2008

One polemic by Alison Ross

Compassion for the Homeless NOW!
Letter to the Editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution
by Alison Ross

In response to this misanthropic anti-homeless rant by ostensibly progressive columnist Cynthia Tucker: Panhandlers pocketing city's attempts to revitalize, I wrote the following letter to the editor. It was never published, I suspect because it's too fiercely antithetical to the bourgeois slant Tucker takes on, and because I was a bit late in scripting it. Nonetheless, it deserves to be exposed to the glaring sunlight of justice:

Dear Editor:

We are morally outraged by Cynthia Tucker's vicious anti-homeless screed. That the AJC would publish such unmitigated hateful words toward fellow humans is disheartening, to say the least. In this, the city that birthed the civil rights movement, we have moved inexorably backwards with such abysmal treatment of people who suffer persistent racial and economic discrimination. What we are witnessing is the Nazi-fication of Atlanta - the ruthless preying on the more helpless among us.

Tucker called the homeless "derelicts and lunatics." Indeed, the mentally ill make up one-third of the homeless, owing to mental health program cuts. And yet Tucker would crassly caricature them, when any of us could be mentally ill or homeless, due to unaffordable housing, outsourced jobs, and any other manner of economic oppression.

Tucker railed against free speech advocates, even. Please tell me how someone can win a Pulitzer Prize and NOT deeply understand what true human rights are.

Mrs. Tucker once wrote that "MLK provoked us to be better." MLK was a staunch defender of the poor and oppressed. Are YOU better, Mrs. Tucker, for laying out such bitter hostility toward the unfortunate?

Shame on you, Mrs. Tucker, and the AJC, for publishing such spiteful sentiments toward our fellow brothers and sisters.


Alison Ross
(and others whose names have been removed)
Food Not Bombs


The letter was signed by all members of the volunteer group I have been involved in for 12 years, Food Not Bombs. We cook a delicious vegetable soup and share it with the homeless in the parks twice a month. It is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life, interacting with "derelicts" and "lunatics" and imparting to them the dignity they so richly deserve. If only I could do it every week like I used to. If only I could devote my life to eliminating the scourge of homelessness and poverty. If only I weren't a serf in this vile fiefdom known as America.

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