Sticker Price Goes Up on Anti-Homeless Attitude in OB

by on June 10, 2010 · 27 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, Popular

anti-homeless sticker br 03

Photos by Bill Ray.

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.

anti-homeless sticker br 01They 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.

anti-homeless sticker br 02The 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.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

lane tobias June 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

whats next? “whites only” signs?


Danny Morales June 13, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Go up Newport a coupla storefronts and you might see a T-shirt emblazoned with the bald eagle and the words “THIS IS AMERICA-SHUT UP AND SPEAK ENGLISH!” as Sunshine and I did a week or so ago.


doug porter June 10, 2010 at 10:54 am

You have to ask yourself what purpose does the maker of those stickers have in mind?
**Is he/she arguing for hunger?
**Does he/she really think that any homeless person will leave OB because of these stickers?
**Or is she/he seeking to dehumanize a group of people (who have all kinds of reasons for their situation) so that it’s easier to hate them; using the logic that if you hate somebody and think they’re less than human it’s easier to commit acts of violence against them.
This is a time tested technique. It worked with the Jews in Russia & Germany and against minority communities world-wide.


bcsy June 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm

It’s funny. It’s also a commentary on the droves of kids who capitalize on the good will of our community while stealing from us and polluting our town. This is clearly not the demonization of all homeless people. lighten up.


lane tobias June 10, 2010 at 11:20 am

well said doug.


Jon June 10, 2010 at 11:20 am

Aw sweet! I’m real good at removing stickers and tags. Wonder what the prize will be!


Kenloc June 10, 2010 at 11:36 am

While I in no way condone the hate mongering campaign against homeless people, these stickers are a direct result of NOT dealing with this issue.Even the most tolerant of us is only going to clean up vomit and human feces and garbage thrown on the ground of the community we love for so long before we feel anomosity toward those causing the destruction. The merchants are tired of chasing them from the storefronts,not to be mean but because it hurts their livelyhoods. People with mental issues getting drunk in public is a recipie for disaster.The murder in front of the library,the house burned down during a drunken fight,the guy thrown in the firepit.All perpetrated by homeless folks.Let us not pretend it isn’t a problem


oBak June 10, 2010 at 11:41 am

I’d like to see who these “locals” are and how long they’ve lived here. I heard a neighbor of mine talking trash about the homeless (no pun intended) and calling herself a local after just moving here six months ago from Oregon.
Some people are just jerks I guess.


OB_Warzone June 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

While I do not agree with these stickers by ANY means, I wouldn’t mind if the homeless wouldn’t go through my recycling bin every 15 minutes. Pouring the remains of empty cans on the sidewalk or throwing up on the corner of my patio can get a bit old.


Jack June 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I am just getting ready to leave to facilitate four and half hours of mediation training for restorative justice. I probably should not have read this article just before I left, as it has completely blown my chi. But on the other hand….it is probably good for me to cool out before I weigh in. You can bet I will.

First thought, however, how about finding out who printed the stickers, expose and boycott the business….? Afterall…if the business were printing up any other kind of hate message, I believe everyone would respond the same. Oh for those of you who think hate speech is free speech….it isn’t.


Frank Gormlie June 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Good thoughts, Jack. Check out the follow-up article.


Bobdace June 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm

The sticker states, “Please don’t feed our bums”, not “please don’t feed our homeless”. A bum is someone who refuses to work and contribute to the community. I am happy to give a buck to help the guy sweeping the sidewalk get a bite to eat. I don’t feel the same philanthropic urge for a bum. I have my own kids to feed.


Robert Burns June 10, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Isn’t that sign picturing a London Bobbie and a dog?


Robert Burns June 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Don’t forget the “No Loitering” signs.


Robert Burns June 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Kenloc, think about what you just wrote. Downtown San Diego homelessness is licensed by the City and the extremes there make OB homelessness look tame in comparison. The City and folks like you have no credibility attacking homelessness in OB while officializing it in far worse circumstances in downtown San Diego.


Tony June 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm

North of the 52 it is rare that you ever confronted by a derelict. I don’t see any reason why OB shouldn’t strive for the same.

If they ask me for change I reply “change comes from within” or if they do not use the word “change” I respond “sorry, only have hundreds on me.” I don’t feel that I am being a jerk, however if I was enabling them by giving money that would be very cruel.


Danny Morales June 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Hey Tony-How do YOU spell gentrification?…Duh, I think you just did!


Kenloc June 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

folks like me…. give it a rest there Bob.Folks like ME owna home in OB.Folks like ME know all of the local merchants and frequent their establishments.Folks like ME feed these folks when I see thm digging through a trashcan.Folks like ME work all day and come home to have to ask 4 dudes on my front steps to go drink and smoke somewhere else.I don’t live downtown Burns, I live in OB. I like my community.I don’t like people trashing it our my property.I’ve lived here for a long time and deal with this on a daily basis. I think that gives me plenty of credibility to address the issue in this discussion.Don’t jump on here feeling your opinion is the only one that’s credible.


Danny Morales June 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

You own(?) the property but the community belongs to all of us. It gets some of us fired up when individuals in our midst express the notion that somehow their identity or life itself is nothing more than something we invest in. (apologies to Bob Dylan) or when the notion of property rights (or right to property) usurps human rights.


Debbie June 11, 2010 at 7:01 am

Whoever made those stickers can’t be too serious about their message otherwise they would be giving them away instead of sellling them. As for the Black….it may be a long staple here in OB but I have never heard of the owner or its workers doing anything for this community…again, just about making money. Heck, I have never heard of the Black marching in OB parade, no discounts for locals, the shop windows are dirty and so often the employees aren’t too friendly…’s kind of sad when you think about the vendors we have and how few actually take pride in their community.


Frank Gormlie June 11, 2010 at 8:35 am

Despite the owner, there are some really nice people that work there, as in many businesses, the workers don’t always reflect the attitudes of the owner(s).


Chris Moore June 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

That’s why I can’t really bring myself to boycott the ARCO – I know all of the people that work there including the manager, they’re part of my daily routine.

Back on topic, the stickers are pretty rude & cheesy IMO.

Of course some of the local homeless folks are far more considerate than others – take any given group of people and a certain percentage are bound to be jerks.


Danny Morales June 13, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Debbie-Remember when “The Black” refused to back up the anti-Starbucks movement here in OB? Whereas “Your Mama’s Mug” and “Lighthouse” ice cream did! Would that our reach was as long as our memories. That would be the day!


OB_Warzone June 11, 2010 at 9:45 am

What about these “OB out of the US” stickers? What’s the deal…I mean NO WAY! No way are we leaving the U.S, what’s next, out of this planet? I’m not standing for this type of behavior. We have ever right to be in the US!! I’m calling Turko, Thats not right!


Frank Gormlie June 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

Hey warzone, we’re the comedians around here! What gives you the right to be the clown, eh, dude?


psd June 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I was thinking the implication was for OB to kick the US out instead of vice versa, but…uh…well…


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Maybe the color of the stickers is actually yellow and dark green?


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