De Blasio’s Homeless Hypocrisy

Remarking on the rise in homelessness on the streets of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded uncharacteristic of a progressive fighter for the poor and disenfranchised. He condemned people sitting outside begging for money, “who are bluntly just panhandlers, who are not even homeless,” but scrounge for handouts “because somehow they think it’s fun.” He contrasted these pleasure-seekers with “families who the only problem they have is an economic one . . . the cost of living in New York City, they could not keep up,” and also with people who panhandle because “they are in need,” and who often suffer from “substance abuse or mental health problems.”

Advocates for the homeless and the poor, not to mention many homeless people themselves, failed to appreciate the subtlety of the mayor’s distinction between what were called, in less sensitive times, the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor. “De Blasio is a rich white man. He has never been in my situation, so he don’t know,” a panhandler named Donna Gay told the New York Post.  “I ran away from a group home at the age of 14. I’ve been doing this way too long not having fun.”

De Blasio seems angriest at what are commonly called “crusty punks”— lavishly tattooed men and women in their twenties, often with dogs in tow, who populate the corners and parks of lower Manhattan, panhandling during the day and sleeping rough at night. The mayor, asked specifically about the “crusties,” explained that he is “very upset at the notion of anyone who in effect gives the impression they are homeless to make money.”

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About OyiaBrown

Please send me, as a comment to this page, any old material you have for inclusion in The Daily Joke Alert - to help enable us all to have our fancy tickled regularly! Never mind the state it's in as I tidy everything up prior to publication. Don't let good material go to waste - and so much does. In the interests of the environment we should always try to re-cycle everything, especially jokes. You know that makes sense! You may find some historical stuff here, but this does not really matter as humor is fairly timeless.

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