A majority of responses--at the newspaper's site and as emails to me--are far from being civil and constructive.
Here are a few excerpts, along with my comments:
Hey, why not go after the writer's Indian background and engage with that distraction?
As someone ‘growing up in India’ what is the writer’s position on the fact that “Homelessness in India has been a problem for centuries; causing the average family to have an average of five generations being homeless.”Or this from an email to me:
Dr. Khe, most of all, I am very sorry you have lived in our country so long without experiencing our kindness and generosity -- and I mean, as a whole people.Another wants to trade our homeless for India's homeless because that way "our social parasites will starve to death in India"
isn’t it amazing how people can travel thousands of miles risking death to come to America, manage to find jobs to not only support themselves but also send 1/3-1/2 of their paycheck back home to support their family, and yet right here in Eugene Oregon our citizens find it impossible to find work to support themselves. Surely laziness, apathy, and a dead end dead beat lifestyle has nothing to do with that. It’s obviously the 1% to blame. What Junior fails to grasp is simply put, let’s trade homeless for homeless. Bring in India’s homeless for ours. $10,000 says the Indian’s find jobs their first day and rise from poverty whereas our social parasites will starve to death in India.Another claims they have homes where they "live rent-free"--the public parks!
Many of the so-called “homeless” are not truly homeless. Their homes are in our public parks, where they choose to live rent-free. Living in a place that charges rent would require some of them to take on the burden of a job, and it would require some to give up other expenses, such as alcohol, that they consider more important.Comments and emails recycle the myths that have repeated so many times that people believe them to be facts!
I believe it is a fair assumption that most of them choose to be homeless rather than to make other choices more repugnant to them. Some people choose to live in the society whose values and personal responsibilities they reject. We have elevated our regard for individual liberty too far above our concern for civic comity.And the piece de resistance:
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz want to secure our border and rigidly enforce our immigration laws. That would stop the flow of countless tons of illegal drugs coming into this country."should have an implanted electronic chip" ... my, my, my!
The homeless population is composed of three main groups in varying percentages: the drug and alcohol addicted, the mentally ill, and just plain bums who feed off the bleeding hearts.
Public policy No. 1 should state that no homeless person should be allowed to interfere with commerce in any way whatsoever, cause the expenditure of public money to clean up their mess, or cause the expenditure of public money to support a sane, able-bodied person in any way.
Every state should have a very isolated intake-detention center where street people are taken under a police civil hold for a physical and mental evaluation. Every city should prohibit social service agencies from serving those without a 5-year work and residential history in that city.
Any talk of involuntary commitment of the mentally ill sends liberals into a frenzy. Every person afflicted with a mental condition that causes a break with reality should have an implanted electronic chip that shows their doctor’s name and address, diagnosis, prescribed meds, and next of kin or some person designated by a court as their guardian or lookout, which every patient should have.
There were a couple of people who emailed me wanting to work with me in order to address the problem. And then there was this comment at the newspaper site:
It is crude and abusive to allow people to mock other humans without having to show a little courage and let the community know who they are. I spent years living at the Mission decades ago, and learned a lot. But I really, really doubt those who mock the poor are open to anything but their own need to dominate and humiliate. Hugh Massengill, EugeneThey mocked him for that comment. How unfortunate!