Thursday, March 17, 2011

The problem is homelessness, not "homeless".

Another item about victim-blaming:

Sunday's SF Chronicle worked a sad little reversal on some poll results, possibly with the help of the Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the poll.

The headline is "Homeless Still Top Voters' List of S.F.'s Woes." However, the poll question posed to voters was described this way: "They were asked if homelessness has gotten better, worse or stayed the same over the past few years. Forty-six percent say it's gotten worse, 36 percent say it's the same and only 13 percent say it's better. Pollsters also asked respondents to name the city's most pressing issue and allowed them to name more than one. Thirty-two percent mentioned homelessness..."

So it was only an interpretive guess to say that respondents viewed homeless people as a "woe" to the housed. Quite possibly, respondents may have had the decency to view the problem of homelessness as a woe to the people who are homeless.

Another thing: most homeless people are eligible to vote, and many are registered to vote, but they are unlikely to have been reached by polling calls.

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