Dear Editor: Homeless are people, too

February 20, 2013

I found the language and attitude of the (Buzz) article “Let the Vilification Begin” extremely disturbing. It is true that the Northeast as well as other parts of KC have problems with homelessness, meth addiction and addiction in general. However, the phrase, “We could bus them to your doorstep at 110th and North Oak and see how you like ’em,” reminds me of the rhetoric that hate groups use to talk about people they find undesirable and want to dispose of. 

This article that should be labeled as an editorial but is not, calls the homeless “vagrants” which insinuates criminality and lack of social worth. The attitude of this article drives the problem of addiction and homelessness and shows clearly a lack of understanding and empathy. But worst of all, the article tries to de-humanize the people who are suffering the most. 

I live very close to these homeless camps. I know some of the homeless by name who hang out on Independence Avenue. I see how cold they get standing out there in the elements with no real place of comfort to go. 

They are not all meth addicts, and those that are addicts need real help and healing. Yet, the article espouses fear and criminalization. When I see these homeless people so frequently at the traffic light by the highway I do not avert my glance in discomfort. I speak with them. I wish them a good day. I tell them my name. I offer them a kind word and sometimes food, both of which they eat hungrily.

These people are people who have problems that all parts of society are responsible for, you, the editor and myself included. Many of these homeless people are veterans. Some of these people are women and men who have been sexually abused and then succumb to addiction. But most importantly, these are people…people who need help even if other’s perceive them as lowering property values. As a resident of Northeast Kansas City I am very disappointed in this article and I certainly do not share in the attitude it puts forth.

Tamar Jaffe Reyes

Pendleton Heights 

(Editor’s note: “Let the vilification begin” appeared on the Opinion Page and is part of the weekly column, “Buzz Bunny the Newshound.”)



Comments are closed.

  • Letter to the Editor: State test scores and teachers

    November 5th, 2014

    Northeast News November 5, 2014 Dear Editor, Think back upon your school days and your favorite teachers. What made those […]

    Letter to the Editor: Education and etiquette for the new NE playground

    November 5th, 2014

    Northeast News November 5, 2014 Dear Editor, Please let our neighbors know that the giant green swing on the new […]

    Letter to the Editor: More lights could deter NE crime

    September 30th, 2014

    Northeast News October 1, 2014 Dear Editor, One of the continuing concerns of residents throughout the Northeast neighborhoods is the […]

    Letter to the Editor: Let’s talk trash in our neighborhoods

    September 16th, 2014

    Northeast News September 17, 2014 Dear Editor: Lets talk trash once again. Troy Nash held a meeting at The Gem […]

    Letter to the Editor: Don’t close the gates at Cliff Drive

    September 16th, 2014

    Northeast News September 17, 2014 Dear Northeast News: Cliff Drive is a lovely and leisurely natural bypass of Benton Circle, […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Last week’s Buzz article missed the point

    September 3rd, 2014

    Northeast News September 3, 2014 Dear Editor, I was deeply disturbed by your recent editorial, “Due Process is Over-rated.” While […]

    Letter to the Editor: Praise goes to the police department for reduced crime rate

    August 26th, 2014

    Northeast News August 27, 2014   Dear Editor, Just a short note to say that I greatly enjoyed your article […]

    Letter to the Editor: Mr. Mayor, time to give up the streetcar

    August 26th, 2014

    Northeast News August 27, 2014   Dear Editor: A little note to Sly and the Boys: No, the ballot language […]

    Letter to the Editor: Concern over lackluster police service

    August 26th, 2014

    Northeast News August 27, 2014   Dear Editor, I wanted to express my longstanding concern as to the poor service […]

    The life of an intern

    August 12th, 2014

    By MICAH WILKINS Northeast News August 13, 2014 Within the past two months I’ve tried, both literally and figuratively, to […]

  • What’s Happening

    Local artists offered chance to display on Crossroads ARTBOARDS

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Charlotte Street Foundation (CSF) and Missouri Bank are once again calling on local artists for […]

    Fire destroys home near Askew and Smart

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News An early morning fire near the intersection of Askew and Smart on Friday, September 22 […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 27 – Northeast HS Homecoming and sports at KCPS w/ athletic director Dr. James Sanders

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, Kansas City Public Schools athletic director Dr. James Sanders […]

  • Local Weather