Holy shit, Seattle Times editorial board. Holy goddamn shit.
This is the most vile, hateful drek I have read in a long minute.
A guest editorial by Philip W. Eaton, who lived “in the president’s home on the lovely campus of Seattle Pacific University” (MUST BE NICE) before moving downtown (because, what, you watched a lot of “Frasier” and assumed that there really was a Cafe Nervosa at Third and Pike?), this piece is meant to highlight all of the problems Seattle faces through the lens of downtown.
But what it actually does is points out the fact that Seattle is a city with people who are suffering and not getting the services that they need (OH WHAT STOP THE PRESSES!!!) — and then blames it on…
…are you ready?
NOT ENOUGH RELIGION.
He also does a pretty solid job of chastising the people who are in need, rather than the people who have the power to help them, for the problem. And it’s illustrated with a really excellent photo of some dirty poors yucking up Phil’s view of palatial Westlake Park.
Like, look at this asshattery:
As my wife and I walk the streets from our new home, we spot the drug deals in the shadows of reeking alleys. We see the vacant eyes of the mentally disturbed, helpless folks dumped on our streets. We see the ravages of addiction sprawled on our sidewalks.
We navigate our way uncomfortably among teenagers who occupy Westlake Park, hanging out with their pit bulls, backpacks and skateboards, lately with their babies, freely smoking their now-legal marijuana. With utter dismay we read the stories of random violence.
OH GOD, URBANIA IS TAKING OVER! THERE ARE PIT BULLS WHERE THERE SHOULD BE POODLES! SKATEBOARDING!!! EVERYONE DUCK AND COVER!
Jesus fucking Christ, Phil. It’s cool that you live by Pike Place (which was the hotbed of crimepeople in the 80s and 90s, or did you never watch “Streetwise”?) and Benaroya Hall, Official Palace of Sanctimonious White People. But what did you expect? What DO you expect? What do you think an urban core is suppose to look like?
Phil then goes on to admit that he doesn’t know shit about shit:
I have no expertise in these complicated matters, only a love for this city, a care for the poor and a belief in the power of community.
Do you care, Phil? Because it sounds like you mostly just don’t like the icky poors and you want them gone and taken care of by some magical other person. Which isn’t caring. It’s just straight-up repulsion.
When was the last time you volunteered for something? Or offered to help one of the people you saw? Or, I don’t know, struck up a conversation with a Real Change vendor? That’s caring, Phil. Actually wanting people to have what they need so they aren’t lollygagging high on alcohol on your beautiful downtown streets, rather than just wanting them to GTFO.
Then, as if to point out that he REALLY DOES NOT KNOW SHIT ABOUT SHIT, Phil starts yammering about the “Broken Windows” theory, which is largely considered to be COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT.
Phil then offers some REALLY GENIUS SOLUTIONS:
So what do we do? The first step is cultural. These visible signs of brokenness scream out that families are disintegrating across our society: Our churches have pulled up stakes, our schools are failing much of the poor and economic opportunity dwindles. The consequences of pushing religion to the margins of influence have not been good for our society.
Oh. Families are disintegrating because the church isn’t doing enough. The lack of religion is why people are shit out of luck.
Really solid, Phil.
The second front is tough-minded confrontation of disorderly behavior. We need to empower and support our police to look the perpetrators in the eyes and say, “No more. This is not the way we do things in Seattle.”
Our police need to be able to step out from under the politicized scrutiny that makes them hesitant to fix the first broken window.
So…more arresting of innocent people of color? More violence? More harassment of local journalists that borders on outright homophobia and bigotry? What’s the plan, here, Phil? Lock up petty criminals so you don’t have to look at them and then feed them nothing but Bible pages? How do you propose we pay for this, Phil?
Third, we must further empower the extraordinary work already happening. In my experience, organizations like the Salvation Army, Nightwatch and the Union Gospel Mission need our encouragement. We must applaud the work of the Downtown Seattle Association. Let us enlist the partnership of our universities, our surrounding churches, our hospitals and our merchants. We need strong bridges between all the players.
Really. Really? You’re going to support them WITH APPLAUSE? You know what doesn’t feed people? Applause. Also, the Salvo is super anti-gay, so there’s that.
Here’s Phil’s real mastery, though:
Maybe we start with the trashed flowerpot in front of Macy’s, the gum spots all over our streets or the camped-out teenagers; we begin with the little things.
Are YOU out there picking up trash, Phil?
Let me level with you, man.
Yes, downtown is a rough place to look at because it forces you to realize that every night, over a thousand people in King County sleep outdoors. And that hundreds of children are among those numbers. And that many thousands more are on the verge of that reality every day because the rent is too damn high and Metro is getting cut and food is expensive and work is hard to come by and wages for laborers suck dick.
So Phil, unless you’re planning on, I don’t know, pledging your support to pay McDonald’s workers more or are voting for a progressive candidate or donating some of your buckets of money to Solid Ground, I suggest you pipe down and enjoy your Ivory Downtown Palace. Because the poors were there first and they don’t WANT to be there and crimepeople don’t just LOVE CRIME BECAUSE CRIME IS FUN.
You — and your impotent hand-wringing — are part of the problem, Phil.
BTW, if you’re in need of food assistance, we’ve compiled a list of some resources. Here it is. THAT is what caring looks like, Phil.
ALSO!! Phil is a confirmed (by our awesome readers — we love you so! — NIMBY and, apparently, a chronic opiner about why everything is just the worst. He is the worst kind of rich white dude.