It is not often that the rough edges of the class war show themselves on our consciousness; they are generally far better hidden than this. But the disgraceful rhetoric concerning homeless shelters — in Marpole, and GW, and elsewhere — is one such rough edge.
“Oh yes, we support these Warming Centres and longer-term homelessness solutions; of course we do,” declare the faux liberals, but then add: “But ONLY if we get extra security for our homes and our schools.”
Why do they think they need that? Why do they consider that a group of homeless people they don’t know requires additional security? Why do they think these homeless people are more criminal and potentially violent than any other group in the neighbourhood?
Where are the police statistics to show that these ideas are based on facts rather than just bloody-mindedness? Are they basing their ideas on Trumpian “alternate truths,” perhaps? The Big Lie wins, is that the plan?
The only basis for this scaremongering is class war. Somehow, really poor people shouldn’t have all the rights and assumptions of innocence that we should give to, say, a middle manager or storekeeper; and certainly none of the rights and privileges of the really rich should percolate downward. Moreover, the really poor — unlike any other economic class — need to be subject of intense surveillance and narrowing of opportunities even though the vast percentage of crime is committed by people resident in housing, against family members, neighbours, and the community: not by the homeless.
This alternate narrative is followed relentlessly by the media: local crime buys eyeballs, and eyeballs buys advertising dollars and thus produces profits. Commerce is simple. Human interest is profit-driven.
This is class war. It almost invariably leads to authoritarian, and sometimes totalitarian, regimes. It is time the real liberals spoke up against the Big Lie narratives, and in support of the Warming Centres and other homeless remediation strategies, however imperfect they may be.