Homeless shouldn't be targets of hate


Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 10:24 p.m.
By now, most people have read about or saw video of the senseless beatings of homeless men Norris Gaynor, Jacques Pierre and Raymond Perez in Fort Lauderdale. Gaynor died from the baseball bat beatings. Three youths, 18 and under, are suspects. No reasons were given for these crimes against humanity.
I suggest it is because of the constant misinformation and hate speech directed toward the homeless. The homeless are constantly portrayed by bigots as single men who panhandle and drink. The reality is that half are children - the average age of the homeless is 9. A large percentage are veterans scarred for life from war. Others are mentally ill who can't get help because of service cutbacks. Still others are people who have fallen upon hard times that could happen to any of us.
While hate speech is protected by law, there are consequences. When people are publicly degraded and devalued, it makes them targets of violence by some sick people. Whatever happened to the commandment to love your neighbor?
Pat Fitzpatrick, Gainesville

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top