Friday, February 22, 2008

"The Galapagos Islands of a Darwinian drama"?

The Nashville Scene decked itself out as the Beagle to Downtown's homeless quandaries, sailing in, gathering some specimens, and sailing out. Natural selection has chosen Downtown Cliff to protest Jeff Woods' piece in an as yet unpublished letter to the editor:
The article by Mr. Jeff Woods (Outlawing the Poor) is an insult to so many people. It insults the poor and the homeless by equating all of them with aggressive panhandlers. It insults the reader by over-simplifying a complex issue. It insults the Nashville Downtown Partnership, which provides valued services such as the lunch shuttle, parking shuttles, and the downtown ambassadors, who provide assistance to tourists. Most directly, Mr. Woods’ screed insults me and other downtown residents. His characterization of downtown residents is as disrespectful to me as it would be for me to assert that all homeless people are criminals.

In its bias, the story makes no mention of legitimate public safety concerns. How would the downtown resident who was recently raped by a homeless man feel about Mr. Woods’ dismissal of downtown residents’ safety concerns as complaints “about nettlesome bums lurking in the park, doing drugs and acting scary?”
Why does the Nashville Scene reporter ignore the alleged rape of a pedestrian at Bicentennial Mall by Ricky Lee Morgan, who has been identified as a homeless person, so as not to undermine his Galápagos angle? Nothing to see here among the marine iguanas and tortoises?

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