When liberals and conservatives have conversations about things like homelessness, it can be frustrating. Conservatives want individuals to take personal responsibility. And while liberals find individual responsibility important, we also understand that there are systemic problems that have to be dealt with. That it’s really tough to bootstrap yourself into a house if you’re homeless and there isn’t enough supply. So, sometimes we talk past each other. Jason Rantz tries to circle that square by showing how liberals being tolerant is the real systemic problem (h/t).
I’ve been meaning to do a longer piece for a while, but it keeps being nice out. After like 4 days, it’s still too nice of a day to do a metacommentary piece on the whole thing, but here are some highlights:
But why so many in this neighborhood? I’ve never seen as many until recently. As other neighborhoods are engaged in trying to help deal with the problem, Capitol Hill seems like they’re allowing it to develop unfettered. I think I know why: ideology.
Homelessness is everywhere. I don’t know what neighborhood doesn’t have homeless people. Including suburban and rural places in King County. Also, is Cap. Hill’s tolerance new? Because otherwise, it doesn’t really apply to this supposedly new problem. Also, too, I walked from the light rail station to Drinking Liberally last Tuesday, and back fairly late at night. It was after reading this piece, so I was on the lookout for homeless people. It didn’t seem like a whole lot, at least compared to other neighborhoods. Sure, I passed by some people sleeping in doorways, but I don’t think more than Downtown or Belltown. Certainly not more than, say, the Terminal 91 Bike Path or SoDo, if we’re trading anecdote for data.
Progressive ideologues like to preach how tolerant they are. You ask them and they’ll proudly tell you. Now, they don’t support ideological diversity, but they’re pro-LGBT, pro-people of color, pro-atheist, pro-multicultralism, pro-whatever. The only things they’re against seem to be capitalism and cisgendered white Christian Republican men. And to show how tolerant they are, they seek to ban microaggressions; they support college students who need “safe spaces” from opinions that make them uncomfortable. They like to declare themselves allies of any group they believe to be oppressed.
Atheism and multiculturalism are both ideologies. So that third sentence is self-refuting. Some progressive ideologues are against capitalism, but I think most aren’t. Also, I don’t know what against “cisgendered white Christian Republican men” even means. Like, don’t think they should dominate the conversation, sure. But progressives are not the ones trying to regulate where cis people can poop or poised to nominate someone who wants a travel ban on Christians. Anyway, I guess we should just be glad he learned the word cisgendered and this isn’t a rant about that.
Oh my God there was so much wrong with that paragraph. OK. Keep going.
Nobody is trying to ban microaggressions. Pointing out how harmful they are? Sure. You can go yell racial epithets (macroaggressions if you like) in the park, and nobody is going to ban you. But you think a ban on microaggressions is in the works? Also, safe spaces and being allies to the oppressed is pretty rad. Like everywhere should be unsafe in general and harmful to oppressed people? What the fuck even is that? In fairness, he walks that back a bit in the next couple paragraphs, that I’m skipping. But still.
I think some ideological activists won’t help the homeless because they subconsciously want to live around them. They can say that they don’t judge people based on their appearance or status as someone who lives on the street, and this gives them a sense of superiority to those of us who want to intervene.
This describes literally nobody. The solutions to homelessness include build more housing and make it affordable. It isn’t just tolerate it. The closest thing I can think of to being tolerant as a policy was housing for chronic public inebriates, but that has been a success story among King County’s mixed-at-best record.