A five-term state politician, Rep. Tom Brower (D), has been taking a sledgehammer to homeless persons abandoned shopping carts as an alternative to doing something in the way of finding them a sheltered place to sleep. He says he is disgusted with the homeless problem and told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this is his way of demonstrating his “own brand of justice.”
Brower told Hawaii News Now that he wants “to do something practical that will really clean up the streets.” Other states like New York, San Francisco, Chicago have offered free storage space as a partial solution to their homeless problem. Brower’s solution is to take a sledgehammer to the shopping cart that holds everything the person owns. Smashing private property is something he couldn’t get away with in a middle class neighborhood.
The Hawaiian lawmaker wasn’t going to stop there. Brower feels that, “If someone is sleeping at night on the bus stop, I don’t do anything, but if they are sleeping during the day, I’ll walk up and say, ‘Get your ass moving,’” he said. Aren’t liberals notorious for defending the defenseless? It seems that Brower has taken a wrong turn somewhere.
There are a couple of reasons Hawaii’s homeless population is so large. An island existence is very expensive and being stuck thousands of miles from the mainland makes it extremely difficult to leave. A shortage of buildable inexpensive land on these islands makes it almost impossible to build enough affordable housing leaving over 17,000 of Hawaii’s large impoverished population homeless. Hawaii has the largest homeless population in the U.S..
Hawaiian legislators think they have found a faster, more efficient solution to the “blight” that is ruining their tourist trade and sleeping on their beautiful beachfront property. Hawaii’s lawmakers recently appropriated $100,000 to be shelled out over the next two years for what they call the “return-to-home” program.
Instead of building affordable housing these crazies want to fly them over to the U.S. mainland. If you can’t fix the homeless problem by sledge hammering it away, simply ship them someplace for another state legislature to fix. That way, Hawaii can clean up their beaches and get rid of the poor.
It should be noted that Brower has unrepentantly stopped his sledgehammer fiasco after it went on the national news. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser quoted him as saying, “I’m not trying to attack the homeless. I’m trying to attack the issue of cleanliness, but some people interpreted as an attack on the homeless.” He wanted to “clean” the homeless problem away with his sledgehammer.
Richard Andrew is a guest blogger for Ring of Fire.