My kingdom for some spare change
Thanks to a tip from Chris Wage, I attended the Urban Residents Association meeting tonight, where the topic was panhandling and the new “Please Help Don’t Give” program from the Nashville Downtown Partnership, which discourages hand-outs.
I got there late and missed a lot of stuff, but what I gathered is that the majority of residents present had moved downtown with the hope of living in some sanitized urban Disney World, and had no comfort level with interacting with panhandlers, no matter how innocuous some of them might be. In fact, a few people made impassioned pleas for “zero tolerance” towards panhandling.
But rather than bore you with all that, I want to tell you what this one woman said. She encouraged everyone to remember that “home owners have rights, but homeless people have no rights.”
This turns out to be a good debate tactic, because it completely shut me down. I was stunned beyond any ability to reply, because as I told Chris, I had no idea we had time-traveled back to medieval fiefdom.
Never mind, of course, that we weren’t even talking about the homeless, per se. It makes me wonder, all those years when I was renting, was in a rights limbo? Perhaps not quite as many rights as a homeowner, but more rights than a homeless person? Or maybe just better rights.
Nope, actually, no idea how to interpret that.