For the past week, we’ve heard about the racism up at UCSD with the “Compton Cookout” and a student TV show. Now, we have intolerance against the homeless in Ocean Beach , a community widely known for its tolerance.
Fliers being handed out over the last several days in OB have called for the eviction of homeless youth from the community. Calling for “Trolls out of OB”, these fliers have been handed out by unknown persons to homeless travelers and other people down at the foot of Newport Avenue.
This blatant display of intolerance comes on the eve of a public forum on homelessness called by the OB Town Council. This forum will be held on Wednesday, February 24th at the Masonic Temple on Sunset Cliffs.
For the past several weeks, local media have raised the issue of OB’s homeless youth. With business leaders complaining of aggressive panhandling, other residents complaining of public displays of drug use and sexual behavior – the issue of the homeless has become central in much of the community’s eye.
Yet, other residents assert that they are not bothered by homeless and cite the rise of the harassment of the homeless by police. Older residents remember that the issue of OB’s youth comes around every so often, and that merchants and residents have complained about the street people, the transients, the young and restless since the late sixties.
Meanwhile, there is a growing recognition in the community that there are no mysteries why traveling young people stop off at OB. Especially in the midst of the greatest economic down-turn since the Great Depression. And, there are no government services for the homeless in OB.
Now, a handful of supposed “locals” have called for the removal of homeless people – naming them after a sub-human mythical creature. And in doing so, a few people have soiled the reputation of this great community. In coming down on the soiling of the neighborhood by some homeless people, the messengers of intolerance soil themselves and their neighbors with their prejudice, indifference, and lack of human compassion.
The “locs only” message of the fliers mirrors similar attitudes among elitist surfers, who have recently even gone to the extent of posting signs at surfing spots along Sunset Cliffs that declare “Locs Only” – signs and attitude that begot ridicule and derision – and were torn down.
The leaflets of prejudice have no return address, no signature, no contact information. This cowardly display of the writers’ own lack of righteous confidence is overshadowed by the “clip art” style of the fliers themselves – meant to project a “hip-ness” and cultural coolness.
These fliers have stained the community. This open display of intolerance against the homeless needs to be answered by the rest of the community. Just as the racism up at UCSD needs to be answered by the college community, this prejudice on our local streets needs to be addressed by those willing to reassert the reputation of Ocean Beach.
The Town Council public forum on the homeless will be held at the Masonic Temple, located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. However, that portion of the Council’s agenda, is after reports and a OB Planning Board candidates forum. The OBTC meeting begins at 7pm. See our earlier post here.