EDITORIAL: People are people, no matter the desperation

Unfortunately, this turn of phrase pops up frequently.

These people.”

It’s a phrase we’ve seen all too often in letters to the editor and comments on stories and Facebook posts.

We can safely guesstimate that 99 times out of 100 it’s followed by a deeply racist/sexist or another highly offensive statement not fit for print. It’s very similar to what usually follows the disclaimer, “I’m not racist, but…”

Unfortunately, this turn of phrase pops up frequently when Vernonites talk about the negative side effects of the growing drug and homelessness problems in our region. Yes, it’s a serious situation that needs expert consultation, a proven action plan and swift execution, but we must remember that “these people” are still that — people.

If you have somehow been fortunate enough to not have been impacted by the opioid wave that has carved out swaths of humanity in North America, you are in the minority.

While lower-income people are likely more represented in the demographics in the victim lists, the reality is, addiction knows no class lines.

That person rolling a damaged shopping cart down the path, full of any possessions deemed worthy and that will fit in the cart, could just as easily be you, or a family member.

“These people” who congregate along public parks and pathways to share just-getting-by tips on survival in Vernon, are doing anything they can to do just that — survive. Sometimes that means breaking into cars in a search for money to buy food or more drugs.

The desperation of fulfilling your basic human needs can create scenarios that otherwise would be deemed immoral.

This is not to justify illegal behaviour, but to bring a level of humanity and compassion to the overall quality of the discussion.

If we can look past our righteous indignation and first respond with care and positive intention, we’ll be better off as a community.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rolling memorial for Armstrong man

Friends to host special tribute for Jesse Haller Saturday

Vernon mom cherishes life-saving alert dog

Carrie Lemay, single mom and a diabetic, welcomed Freckles, an alert guide dog, into her life

Dream funds serve up dream kitchen for Vernon organization

CMHA upgrades space thanks to Kalamalka Dream Auction donation

Vernon artisans guild celebrates 40 years with sale

Okanagan Artisans Guild to host mega art sale showcasing local artists

Windsor Dukes dominate Vernon Panthers

North Van school scores 47-8 B.C. High School Junior Varsity Football quarterfinal win at GVAP

Gym enthusiasts invited to get in gear for kids

Spin4Kids Saturday at GoodLife Fitness

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Province working with RCMP to address the force’s B.C. budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Disciplinary hearing date set for South Okanagan pharmacy

Hearing will take place on Dec. 4 in Vancouver

Salmon Arm Golf Club sold to consolidator GolfNorth Properties

Decision to sell unanimously approved by club’s board of directors

Probus Vernon tries it all

Networking and fun all had at local club

Local Lizzie: Advice for the first day of university

Lizzie Skelton is a UBC Okanagan student who writes a column for Black Press

UBC Okanagan, RCMP collab for study on reporting child abuse

A fundraising gala will present a UBCO psych student’s research on how and when abuse is reported

Shuswap resident seeks return of stolen jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was taken from a storage locker

Most Read