Throw the Bums Out
Touche: You're good, Angela Hunt. Very good.
We thought we had you last week, after you tweeted photos of ordinary-looking folks hanging out in Main Street Gardens park with their luggage. Lots of luggage.
"I'm tired of bums in Main St. Garden," you railed. "Counted 12-many sleepng. Where is DPD? Where is Bridge?! ..."
How classist. Buzz reached for a big can of righteous indignation, the lazy opinionator's second-favorite drink (behind anything 80 proof). Why, Buzz gave 10 whole dollars to a beggar once. (It was Christmastime, and we thought it was a single.) We guess these bums are too indecorous for delicate Ms. Hunt and should confine themselves to The Bridge homeless shelter. Harrumph, harru ... oh, damn. She returned our call.
"So, are you going to light me en fuego?" she asks cheerily.
Who, us? No, we're just wondering if suggesting homeless people stick to The Bridge is a tad harsh.
"It's not a matter of wanting homeless people to be out of sight, out of mind," she says. "It's a matter of sleeping in the park, urinating in the park." Bums sleep on playground equipment and panhandle aggressively, she says. Constituents complain, driving some families away.
Elitist bourgeoisie families. If Buzz had kids, we'd have 'em skipping rope with "bums" in brotherly solidarity. Besides, this is America. If the lubricated want to sleep on every public surface and piss on every post, what can be done? What has Hunt done? (Bet she never accidentally forked over a ten-spot to a legless man.)
Hunt says something about lobbying in Austin, working on a deal for single-room occupancy supportive housing on Akard Street and speaking at two national homeless conferences. She seems hard-working, homeless-wise. That can of righteousness is going flat.
We rally. But "bums?" Bums? Does she regret the word?
"I'm an advocate for the homeless," Hunt replies. "I did not use the word homeless — purposely." The city has made strides in offering help to the homeless. The word bum "is an indictment of the folks who refuse to use the services offered."
And piss in the park. OK, bums it is.
So you win this round, Hunt. Just remember: Buzz drinks self-righteousness by the barrel, as do the anonymous online commenters who flamed you for those tweets and photos. We'll be back. We have nothing better to do.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.