Letter: Careful with human labels
Some have asked me whether I knew either of “the homeless men” who were recently in the news. Some are talking about “the homeless man” who was killed last week, in addition, to another “homeless man” arrested for the crime.
Yes, I knew them.
However, because this is now an ongoing investigation I will withhold their names and just speak of them as only the men I know them to be. I didn’t know one of the men as well as the other. That man is a quiet man, intelligent, a son, one who worked hard and kept to himself.
I knew the other man better. He was also intelligent, a good man, a veteran, a son, a father, kind, humorous, a man with a love of language, and in addition a man whom I consider a friend. Both men have names, family, friends and a place on this earth. They weren’t just “the homeless,” they were people — people others have categorized as “the homeless.”
Much in the same way other people we consider different than ourselves have been categorized “the migrants,” “the immigrants,” “the gays,” “the Muslims,” “the poor.”
These people all are a part of humanity, they all have faces, names, families and lives. Those we don’t know personally need to be recognized as our fellow human beings, not just categorize them and place them on the edges. We need to stop treating others as if they are disposable, so that the day may come when we stop throwing these people away.