No, putting a public scandal on Page One is not ‘shaming the homeless’
More than one critic has suggested that The Post has “shamed a homeless person” whenever we’ve given major news coverage to someone like Matthew Mishefski (the “Jesus” of Washington Square Park) or Rashid Brimmage (who allegedly shoved a 92-year-old woman to the ground). No — we’re shaming the city.
That’s true going back at least to our July 2015 front-page photo of a vagrant urinating in the middle of Broadway: As ever, our ire is with the public authorities who fail everyone — the homeless and the communities they move through — by not offering effective help.
Not all homeless are mentally ill or drug-alcohol abusers. But that does cover most of those who cause serious public disorder. Yet the institutions that are supposed to help them instead dump them back on the streets as soon as possible.
It’s not healthy to be living in the middle of a park, nor is it fair to the rest of the city. Yet, after arrests on Saturday and Sunday, Mishefski was back in “his” park again Monday. Similarly, Sunday’s Post detailed how authorities have failed Brimmage (and his victims) for 15 years.
Of course, self-proclaimed “advocates for the homeless” insist that the severely mentally ill have every right to take public spaces for themselves — and have spent decades, going back to the Billy Boggs case, bullying the city into respecting such “rights.”
Those same advocates now push the claim that media who publicize the results of this idiocy are “shaming the homeless.” In reality, they’re ashamed of what they’ve wrought, or should be: They certainly don’t want the public thinking about it.
The Post makes no apology for demanding attention to a truly shameful state of affairs.
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