12/30/2005, 2:00 p.m. Update: In the next couple of days I'm going to write and post something on the circumspection I feel whenever I publish criticism that is easily turned inside-out by those whose best and only idea of social services is probably to lay out cots for Room-in-the-Inn one-night-a-week at some suburban mega-church. Bill Hobbs responds to my MAC post by accusing me of not wanting poor people in my neighborhood. My guess is that he has confused his own "not-in-my-backyard" feelings with mine. If this is an example of the "journalistic integrity" that gets attributed to him, one wonders about the health of "journalistic integrity." If he means that I would like to see poor people in my neighborhood make their way out of poverty and realize the American Dream so that no one in my neighborhood is poor, then he is correct. I doubt his meaning is that charitable.
I posted the following comments to his weblog several hours ago, but they have yet to make it through the Hobbsian filter and into the light of day:
I've lived in neighborhoods for years with people in need lined up at local service providers (both private and public) for assistance. I would prefer that those people not have to stand in line in the cold and other harmful elements only to be told to come back later. You obviously have no knowledge of Fehr School's small facilities (or you don't care). But the small building is the reason people were lined up outside.
I also believe that urban neighborhoods unfairly bear most of the burden for social services. It's time for surburban neighborhoods like yours to share some of the social responsibility for safety nets that cities have been shouldering for too long now. I can live with social services. My guess is that surburbanites like yourself could not. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't.