When feeding the homeless becomes a crime
Reading bits about terror attacks, disease and sexual assaults in today’s news was already unbearable. And then my eyes caught this.
A 90-year old humanitarian got arrested for feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I re-read everything because I thought maybe it was some sickening fiction. No I had struck luck. This was atrocious non-fiction at its best.
Homeless activist, Arnold Abbot, the founder of the NGO Love Thy Neighbour Inc. was told to “drop that plate right now” by a police officer and then arrested. Who would’ve thought, Miranda rights for culinary crimes? Abbot has been feeding the homeless for over twenty years and despite the risk he is still adamant. Huffington post reported Abbot’s simple reasoning as, “These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing. They don’t have a roof over their heads. How do you turn them away?”
The horrifying fact is that it is not just Florida, but a lot of other states in the US are also implementing this bizarre law. I already have a problem with laws against feeding birds in many parts of the globe. But this is an all new level of the ludicrous. The mayor of Fort Lauderdale Jack Seiler thinks that prohibiting feeding of the homeless is going to help eradicate homelessness. Sure, ‘starved’ people will eventually be ‘dead’ people. That’s one way to go about it. Mr. Seiler, while you’re at it, why don’t you set up laws against pain medication for chronic diseases like cancer and HIV? After all scientists are working to find their cures. Why waste so much time and money on making pain killers then? Please do something tangible for the less fortunate like increasing employment opportunities and education for them. In the meanwhile, let Mr. Abbot do his job.
I know almost everyone reading this will show disgust and shock. Yet what’s frightening is the fact that even though a majority of the population raises fingers, it is eventually a handful of people who have the final say. Economic downfall is one thing but a society where stray animals have more rights than humans is something else.
Back home, I can go out in the streets and give food to anyone I want. A dog, a cat or a human. You’d expect more from a super power such as the US wouldn’t you?
I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) – November 2014. This is an awesome venture of Blogher.com. In their own words:
“Every November, thousands of bloggers commit to posting daily. But it’s about much more than getting that post up—it’s about community and connection. It’s also about honing your craft, challenging yourself, and taking your blog to the next level.”
I will write every day of November. This is my sixth post.
#NaBloPoMo – Day 6