No, Diddie is not literally equating Mayor Sylvester Turner to Stepin Fetchit, any more than Ralph Nader was calling Barack Obama an Uncle Tom in an infamous 2008 interview with Shep Smith.
Diddie promised last week to post an entire piece on a piece of municipal legislation he found particularly loathsome. To his credit, he wanted to regain his composure and get his facts as straight as possible before posting. As Diddie himself has phrased it, he has recently been "blogging less and enjoying it more," so he doesn't generate bloggage as quickly as he had only a few months before.
Sigh. I would like to believe that the liberal majority on Houston's City Council (the ones PDiddie calls "Democrats") have the best interests of the people at heart and in mind when they craft ordinances like this. Even if they do, even if they aren't merely running interference for their cronies in the bidness community, I don't think subjecting people to fines and potentially jail time for pandhandling or pitching tents in underpasses is the right solution.
Houston's FNB runs on volunteers and small-lot donations of foodstuffs, not large grants from millionaires or corporate do-gooder funds. The volunteers have been feeding people, homeless or not, for more than 20 years, technically in violation of a city ordinance for the last five years, addressing head-on a problem that stubbornly refuses to go away.
Contrary to appearances, homelessness in Houston and Harris County has decreased in recent years—at least according to City Hall. If you frequent certain parts of Downtown and Midtown and see the tent cities, you are seeing the effects of a concentration of homeless people near essential services, not a massive increase in their population. (In the case of Wheeler Station, those "essential services" might also include access to a hit of kush.)
PDiddie's mixes his condemnation of Turner and his policy with some praise (boldface mine).
Turner showed up at the Climate March on Saturday and made another speech emphasizing unity and inclusion. He's fought hard for sanctuary for DREAMers and the undocumented against the Austin Republicans and the Trump Deportation SS, aka the Texas DPS. He's big on holding the fort for the LGBT community, and they'll once again be strongly behind him whenever he next stands for re-election. Those people are well-organized, after all, and the Latino bloc remains the so-called sleeping giant in electoral politics.
Not so much the homeless. Hard to have a photo ID if you don't have an address. Trying to figure out where your next meal might be coming from is a little more important than voting in the HISD recapture election wrapping up, after all. And if we don't have any city elections this year....well, there goes some accountability for Democrats to act like they care about working people, non-working people, and those less fortunate than that, and to be more concerned with little girls who live in the Heights who want their sidewalks fixed, or the moderate Republicans in River Oaks and Tanglewilde who despise seeing those dirty people holding signs begging for money at the intersection. And who write fat checks to politicos.
- I think that Diddie meant Tanglewood. The Tanglewilde area, out toward Westchase, is a bit more middle-class housing mixed with working-stiff apartment villages. But there is no shortage of sign-wavers in Westchase, which contains some of the busiest intersections in the city—e.g., the intersection of our two longest continuous arteries, Westheimer and Gessner Roads.
- Also, regarding the photo ID requirement: SEARCH Services does provide the chronically homeless with an address and a mailbox. Not all people living on our streets take advantage of that service, but it is available. That said, it is also difficult to have a photo ID if a fellow street denizen has stolen your stuff, which also happens in the shelters, or if a mental incapacity makes it hard to keep track of your stuff.
To be, as they say, continued.