The following video will hopefully make you stop and think for a minute about how the homeless are treated. YouTube user QuietAssassins and his friend Sandy, who also happens to be homeless, had a fantastic idea for an experiment — they’d have Sandy panhandle as a homeless man, and then give him a haircut, stick him in a suit, and have him ask strangers for money in the same area. Which do you think would get more results? Here’s the video:
In what is the most shocking and heartwarming part of the video, around 2:12, a homeless man gets visibly frustrated when he can’t find a quarter to give to Sandy — despite the fact that Sandy is wearing a suit. Sometimes those with the least understand the feeling of lacking better than anyone else. On the other hand, at 3:10, a man says “no” before Sandy can utter a word, and when Sandy starts to speak, cuts him off with a “stop.” The lack of empathy is horrifying.
Whether or not you think that money should be given to those begging on the street, this video is troubling. It shows how deeply ingrained it is in our society that poverty is something dirty. Homeless people are treated like disease, and laws are made to put them out of sight — because, for the record, laws criminalizing homeless don’t get rid of homelessness. They just punish poverty.
If you would give a man in a suit money when he asked, but you wouldn’t buy a homeless man a cup of coffee, you need to seriously check your moral compass. A quote at the end of the video sums up the rebuke well:
“People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.” — Sheila McKechnie