“You see you don’t have to live like a refugee (don’t have to live like a refugee)
I said you don’t have to live like a refugee (don’t have to live like a refugee)…”
-Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Many homeless people are living like a refugee. The recent eviction of the homeless camped in Queen Anne Park in lower Bucks County, PA is an example of the nomadic existence some people have to live.
Why aren’t the homeless in Bucks County able to live in a more stable place? And why are they unwelcome in many places?
The answer is largely hobophobia, “the extreme and utter fear of hobos, or the homeless. This is usually caused by the lack of exposure to the homeless throughout the world. A dose of homelessness is an easy cure to hobophobia”, according to the Urban Dictionary.
What causes hobophobia? One factor is the homeless themselves. In many cases, irresponsible people in the homeless community cause problems and it brings the heat down on the whole community.
Complaints about drug use (syringes were found in the woods) and warrants for people living back in the woods precipitated the recent eviction in Queen Anne Park.Trashing the place out and open campfires contributed to the problem. The final straw was when a homeless young woman in the woods overdosed and had to be taken out of the woods.
In most cases when the homeless were raided, the homeless were not exactly discreet where they stayed. An exception is two tent cities that were raided the day after Warm Hearts brought the Trojan Horse when they visited the encampments.
Of course, there is existing prejudice against the homeless from judgmental people, many of them who can’t get a good view from their Ivory Towers.
Prejudice against the homeless is analogous to racial prejudice against blacks.
How do you combat prejudice — hobophobia?
Back in the 60’s, unlike some homeless who contributed to stereotypes by coming to community meals and other public venues drunk and disorderly, doing drugs, panhandling, stealing, etc., blacks got with the program and acted responsibly. They realized that contributions to ethnic stereotypes are not tax deductible.
Circa 1960, in King of Prussia, PA, where I grew up, blacks started coming into the public school district. They weren’t completely accepted right off. Although people weren’t prejudice per se, they, especially school kids, weren’t used to kids who looked different than them, and some black kids were teased, as were others.
Soon, blacks were accepted and blended into the white suburbia.
Most of the blacks in our school district were from decent families, many of them churchgoers. And they didn’t create problems in schools. White kids were the main troublemakers. Blacks kids, however, could be funny and mischievous.
In boy’s health class, when the teacher turned his back to write on the blackboard, a black kid sitting in the front row flashed a Playboy Centerfold so all the boys behind him could see.
In the cafeteria, when the lunch monitor wanted to quiet the kids down and said “shhhhhhh”, a black kid said “it”. This kept up and a lot of kids joined in, saying “it” every time the lunch monitor said “shhhhhh”. It was like playing Marco Polo. I think even the lunch monitor thought it was funny.
To fight hobophobia, the homeless need to coalesse their feces (get their sh** together). They need to not tolerate druggies and other irresponsible people who cause problems, and need to hold them accountable for their actions and get them evicted.
Another problem is some homeless people’s mouth. A homeless person whose quest was to be the Queen of the Homeless started spreading false witness, and there was a chain reaction of non-thinking homeless folks who parroted the lies and verbally, sometimes physically, attacked the target of the Queen wanna be. Being homeless is tough and I can understand pent up anger, but this kind of behavior is counter productive.
To become people who will respect you, you need to, in the words of The Staple Singers
“Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself”
The way to truly become a human being someone will like and respect, we need God — all of us.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
We shall overcome.