Monday, September 22, 2014
Honolulu the Latest to Criminalize Homelessness.
It has been said that law is, at best, a crude tool for solving social problems. It cannot be wielded with the precision of a scalpel to excise the cancer from the body. It has to apply to everyone, sometimes, in a way so as to grossly overreach without actually addressing the root cause of the problem. So it goes with criminalizing homelessness. Honolulu has become the latest among a growing number of jurisdictions to deal with the social ills of homelessness by empowering law enforcement to arrest the victims and remove them from sight. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. It reminds me of the quote from Anatole France, "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread."