“Seattle is dying.”
That’s the provocative title of a one-hour documentary written and narrated by Eric Johnson for KOMO TV (ABC-4) in Washington. The program initially aired March 16 and has subsequently gone viral with 1000’s and 1000’s additional watching on YouTube and totally different internet platforms.
Ostensibly an investigation into Seattle’s homeless epidemic, Johnson took a bat to a beehive by inserting the blame squarely on the shoulders of Seattle’s mayor and City Council; in numerous phrases, on liberals and their false-compassion insurance coverage insurance policies which have enabled the drug-addled and mentally incompetent to remain on the streets with impunity. And after I say “live on the streets” of course I indicate die on the streets.
KOMO is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest television agency with 192 stations in over 100 markets. Sinclair is overtly conservative and makes no secret of the ideological slant it locations into its info safety. Five minutes of “Is Seattle Dying” shall be adequate to influence you no Los Angeles info director would ever put one thing choose it on the airwaves proper right here.
Now sooner than you flip the online web page or click on on on that amazingly cute cat video, ask your self this: “What if Eric Johnson happens to be right?” Conservative or not, the documentary must be required viewing for anyone who truly cares about fixing this nationwide disgrace. It have to be half of the dialog.
“This program is not about demonizing those who are struggling with addiction and homelessness and mental illness,” says Johnson. “It asks the question, ‘Why aren’t we doing more? Why don’t we have the courage to intervene in lives that are, in the face of a grave sickness, reeling out of control?’”
And what if “doing more” means exactly the choice of what we’ve been doing? Los Angeles, like all of California, is reaping the bitter fruit of AB109 and propositions 47 and 57, which have efficiently handcuffed regulation enforcement from intervening on this humanitarian catastrophe. By legalizing or decriminalizing many drug/drug-related crimes, addicts have been allowed to spiral downward until they land on the streets matter to rape and theft and illness, whereas perpetrating crimes every petty and horrific to keep up their addictions or because of this of they’ve misplaced contact with actuality and humanity.
What if Seattle is dying by means of a tsunami of misplaced souls soiling the streets with used needles, vomit, urine, feces and every ensuing bio-hazard that follows like a lethal caboose? Homelessness and drug behavior are normally not left/correct factors. If we’re in a position to’t work up compassion for addicts or the mentally disturbed, pure self-interest should demand a change in course. We have thrown billions on the homeless and that money has did not stem the tide.
“It’s about citizens who don’t feel safe taking their families into downtown Seattle. It’s about parents who won’t take their children into the public parks they pay for,” says Eric Johnson. “It’s about filth and degradation all around us. And theft and crime. It’s about people who don’t feel protected anymore, who don’t feel like their voices are being heard.”
And these individuals are you and me. Those individuals are house owners and renters, enterprise householders and library patrons and regulation enforcement officers who’re tasked with policing streets which have flip into toxic zones without the authority to actually do one thing. Pooping on the sidewalks the place youngsters stroll to highschool? Shooting up in public parks? Shoplifting? All these crimes and further are literally primarily consequence-free. Compassion without consequences simply is not kindness. Allowing these tragic circumstances to endure in public and impose intolerable blight on neighborhoods simply is not an act of love.
We’ve been finger-pointing on homelessness for nearly 50 years. The downside has gotten exponentially worse. Drug abuse and psychological illness is popping right into a pandemic. It’s not solely a metropolis downside. Last 12 months I seen a tent encampment beneath an overpass spanning the Trask River in Tillamook County, Oregon. While we don’t hesitate to condemn anti-vaxxers and native climate change deniers for being fact-phobic, we by hook or by crook allow state legislators and metropolis councilors and mayors to talk earlier actuality with clichés like “we can’t arrest our way out of the problem” or “sustainable housing” jibber-jabber. What housing will preserve a meth-head?
In California, as in Seattle, officers blame all people and all of the items in addition to the drug-addled or the ACLU and totally different enablers for this catastrophe. As everybody is aware of, of us investing in our communities, who take satisfaction of their homes or corporations, are the unhealthy guys.
What we’re unwilling to contemplate when discussing housing costs are the sanctuary insurance coverage insurance policies which have welcomed with open arms 1000’s and 1000’s of illegal immigrants. News flash, they aren’t shifting to Bel Air or Newport Beach. What do you suppose happens to low-income housing when 1000’s and 1000’s of low-income migrants arrive? But even when there weren’t a housing shortage, junkies will ultimately end up throughout the gutter because of this of the character of drugs like crystal meth, bathtub salts, opioids and crack cocaine dissolve human connections and self-pride and ultimately unmoor addicts from civil society.
Whether you agree with all of the items or nothing in “Seattle is Dying” or this column, we’re in a position to not ignore this downside. On excessive of the human tragedy homelessness represents, it’s a colossal embarrassment. Forty million of us visited Southern California last 12 months. Is this what we want them to see?
So, let’s ask one other uncomfortable question: What if we cross out “Seattle” and pencil in L.A, Anaheim, Santa Ana or simply about Everytown, U.S.A.? What if we ask, “Is Los Angeles Dying?” Or “Is Fill-In-The-Blank Dying?”
The markets are booming. Unemployment is minuscule. Tax revenues are reaching doc highs. Yet we’re stepping over human splat and driving earlier squalor and degradation on an unlimited scale. Scooping out turkey and yams yearly ain’t getting it achieved. We need new authorized tips that will cross court docket docket challenges that empower the police to remove the sick and the dangerous from the streets. We need courts that will present the choice of rehab or jail and we would like restoration services the place the addicted can withdraw and recuperate whereas the mentally unwell acquire the compassionate care they require.
It obtained’t be low-cost. Neither is what we’re presently doing.
Doug McIntyre’s column appears Sundays. He shall be reached at: Doug@DougMcIntyre.com.