Coffee Rhetoric: Don't feed the pigeons! Or the homeless!

July 21, 2006

Don't feed the pigeons! Or the homeless!

Generally I stay away from your typical blog fodder: politics, religion, and re-hashed celebrity gossip (how about that Christie Brinkley?), but a recent article has prompted me to weigh-in one of the glaring problems this country is fraught with... Poor leadership and flagrant political grandstanding. This conduct could not have been anymore obvious than during Hurricane Katrina, but I digress. We wont rehash all those things we know were done wrong. In Hartford, CT, where I live, the northend is beseiged with gun violence, and the political power(s) that be and law enforcment don't seem to know how to reign in some of the problems running rampant, in that particular neighborhood. Poverty, frustration, discontentment, an insufficient school district, and the feeling of being ignored are a few of the primary elements that fuel violence. Perhaps failure to understand and connect with people who live in less than stellar environs is one of the primary reasons why a lot of our respective city's leaders can't do anything about it. Standing around holding and smiling in childrens' faces and holding large cooking utensils at soup kitchens for photo-ops, are certainly not productive solutions. Our country's leader, unfortunately, does not lead by example, but I digress again and certainly don't welcome any political mooting on that matter. It's just my opinion. My derring-do also allows me to state that I cannot stand any politicans from any political party. I vote, but I'm always torn up over it. You can only stand behind that curtain for so long. The lot of them are ne'er-do-wells. For instance, why is this George W. Bush's first time, since being voted into office, addressing the NAACP? Man declined 5 years in a row, before accepting the invitation to their annual convention. Many of the NAACP's chapter leaders took what our prez said with a grain of salt... they listened on warily and with good reason. I mean, the man ignored them for five years! While his working relationship with new leader Bruce Gordon is good enough, many of them feel as if he's pandering to their sensibilities at a crucial point in his career. Republicans seem to be at a crossroad and fear losing their stronghold on Congress. He has just publicly acknowleged (to my knowledge anyway) that this country is still fraught with discrimination, bigotry, and racism.
"I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community... For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party. That history has prevented us from working together when we agree on great goals. That's not good for our country," says he.
Is Bush reaching out to the NAACP, because he feels culpable for ignoring many of the problems prevalent in the Black community such as; lack of healthcare, minimum wage still being stuck at a paltry $5.15/hr, rampant unemployment, and that some victims of the hurricane are still homeless? Who knows. I guess my point is, just where do a lot of our politicians' priorities lie? Now onto what prompted my tirade ... that aforementioned article I read, which details the Las Vegas city council's attempt to ban feeding the homeless, namely mobile soup kitchens that operate from that city's parks. I realize that surrounding neighborhoods are concerned about the bad elements feeding homeless people from the park could attract, but when didn't it become in vogue to feed people in need?? What other alternatives are Las Vegas's city council offering, other than stating that homelessness is an unsightly blight on the city?? Greed, antipathy, and ignoring the issues of poverty are also nasty nasty blights. In fact, it's downright inhumane not to care about people in need! Why is good leadership so rare, nowadays? These people get voted in to do a job, and they muck it up! It's a universal epidemic, that's not just exclusive to the U.S. The world's leaders are messing up, royally. As I'm pondering these issues, coincidently enough, I'm listening to Seal's song, Crazy... Anyway, just read the article. It's 'right disgusting.