Looking At All Sides

by Mike Roberts, Santa Cruz
Good Times Letters to the Editor 6/21-27/12

I moved here three years ago and continue to find this the most wonderful place in many ways. I came here from Charleston, S.C., where I grew up. I worked 20-plus years for the woman that raised Jesse Jackson. I know something about ‘black’ people, I think. And I know it is increasingly inappropriate to consider race when chasing riddles, but I think the biggest misperception common to Shannon Collins’ murder was that which linked him to the homeless community here, a community which I have been a part of since I got here because I recognize these people as family regardless of their hygeine and sanity, for I am myself homeless. What I think should enter public thinking is the observation that the man was a big misfit, unable to reconcile himself to any idea of how to find a comfortable existence among all of these dirty, scary white people (and he had made basically just such complaint for the record at some point as I read it). Someone in his place is as lost as someone in a nuthouse who considers that the only way out is through the window, no matter how high, and he felt like he was on the roof of the nuthouse. Carrying a Bible, come on. Who did not see this as an outcry for some sort of personal, spiritual attention.

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