Someone is spending more money on their underground campaign to rid Ocean Beach of its homeless. The sticker price just went up in this vicious, anti-homeless effort, an attitude shared by some merchants and others who are shameless in defacing city signs in getting out their hate-filled message.
They are placing slick yellow and black stickers on city signs around Ocean Beach with the message “Please don’t feed our bums.” So, not only are they staining the community with these stickers, they’re defacing and vandalizing municipal signs and property.
There has been an underground campaign against the homeless for a while in OB. We documented this sentiment when fear-mongering fliers appeared targeting the homeless.
These new stickers place a stain, a taint, on OB’s reputation as a tolerant community. And it’s been going on now without respite and without any public condemnation from any of OB’s civic organizations. Let’s hear some denunications of this campaign from the Town Council, the Mainstreet Association, the Planning Board, or even from the police or local churches. At least the Town Council held a forum a few months back on the problem of the homeless in OB.
The OB Rag hereby condemns this attitude, this underground campaign, this intolerance. And in this light, we are offering a reward for the most stickers torn off public signs in OB. Send in your tear-offs and the one with the most wins a free OB Rag T-shirt.
Send us your tear-offs to our PO Box and your name and address will remain confidential.
We repeat what we said about this issue when it came around last time:
The leaflets themselves proudly call into question one of the widely known traits of the seaside hamlet, its toleration for different lifestyles.
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.