Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Akron Assault on Free Speech Continued

Feagler Just Needs to Retire

I was surprised to be quoted in the Crusty Old Man's Column today in the PD (No link, if you want to read it go find it. I am not going to make it easy for you.) since I have never talked to this guy in my life. I would have liked to discuss the Bill of Rights with this guy. I know it is a waste of time to talk to him about panhandling because he would never listen, but free speech is his business. I do not understand how any journalist can defend pre-registration in order to speak. Just say No, Dick!! You have the freedom to say no to these panhandlers. You have the freedom to make fun of them in your column. Why can't they ask people for money? No one will think less of you to just say no to panhandlers. In your old age have you become so afraid of human contact that you are willing to amend the Bill of Rights to keep beggars quiet? Remember that these Itinerant Private Charitable Advisors fall under the same Amendment that allows you to publish.

If you are concerned that the panhandlers are asking too much money, walk away. If you believe that they are too aggressive then why haven't you filed a police report for their violation of the ordinance that passed last year? Why, because it is a waste of time ordinance that does nothing, but make beggars into criminals. What I would explain to the Crusty Old Man is that once we throw the panhandlers under the bus, it is not a stretch to think we should register political protestors who are far more annoying and disruptive, and then it is not a great step to register people who might give comfort to our enemies in their writings which are available on the internet especially Crusty Old Men who criticize the war.

The Crusty Old Man just needs to retire and stop embarrassing himself. He used the word "bum" throughout the commentary because that is what they used to call guys who asked for money on the street when he was a kid. I seem to remember this same kind of stupid logic was used by the racists that I met in college with their subtle distinction of hard working black people and the lazy shiftless individuals who had another offensive label. There are a lot of words that we used when the Crusty Old Man was a kid that we do not use anymore. Why the anger at a group of people with a problem who are annoying but harmless?

P.S. Rumor has it that the Crusty Old Man is going to receive a social justice award from Community Shares. There goes the neighborhood...


Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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