The Twilight of Tolerance?

(Photo credit MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Behold the good people of K-town,  marching down Wilshire, in protest….
Against climate change? No.
Trump? No.
Kim Jong-Un?
A homeless shelter on Vermont.

This is the point of frustration we have reached in Los Angeles.

Faced with the abnormal being made permanent, the city is in rebellion.

There’s just one catch. With one city councilperson per 300,000 residents, rebellions can be safely ignored.    The Koreatown shelter, mightily resisted in May, is quietly being moved downmarket to working-class linguistically divided Macarthur Park.

What are the odds Latinx Armenian Filipino Thai Middle Eastern White Hipster Van Nuys is going to escape a similar fate?

Lets put it this way, we are unable to get the palm weeds pulled in front of the Valley Government Center.    The weeds don’t pay anybody. They don’t have a lobby. But in The Nuys they own the sidewalk.   One can obtain Bitcoin at an ATM on Oxnard Blvd, then cross the street into a state of nature. Such are the contradictions we enjoy now.

Every time you see one of these guys understand there are people who do not live in your neighborhood making money off them.    Your blight is another person’s meal ticket, shuffling about in rags.  He has a power structure behind him. You do not.

Service providers with a stake in the outcome infiltrate public meetings with shills holding signs and nary a peep of contradiction do we hear from the Times.  The lobbying by interested parties and the coverage of same by local media has become a feedback loop of assumed agreement.

Among the unexamined assumptions are these:
Is there a right to hop a bus to LA, squat on the sidewalk and declare residency?
Are such people entitled to free housing and health care?
Can Angelenos demand sobriety and labor in return for public assistance?
Housing is cheap and abundant across the U.S. Why is LA the solution?

Mr. UpintheValley votes No, No, Yes and Good Question to the above.  My neighbors would as well. Which is why we do not hear the Issue of Issues debated in the city government.  We get warnings instead.  They will educate us about our misconceptions.

Who among us practices the inclusivity he preaches? Very few.  If there is a person in the power structure downtown who has opened his home to a crack addict he has been awfully discreet about it.

Our ability to live Christ’s example is daily impeded by the dark river of social ills policymakers have created.   The current is too strong to cast our nets as fishers of men, even in those off moments when we wish to.   City Hall is breaking the bonds of fellowship between citizens. It has made us all a little harder, something we’re beginning to recognize in ourselves and resent.

Almost everything about Van Nuys has changed dramatically for the better in the past decade.   Except for Shantytown, Inc.

As my friend Wise Andrew put it, we may be looking at the twilight of tolerance.

3 thoughts on “The Twilight of Tolerance?”

  1. We (all of us, left, right, and center) embraced the dynamics that delivered us to this moment. For decades we voted at the ballot box, with our dollars, and with our feet for the things that drove down costs, loosened restrictions, freed us from obligations, and enabled innovation. And we enjoyed the resulting benefits – which were plentiful. But there were costs and unintended side effects. There were winners and losers. The armies of homeless people on the sidewalks of your neighborhood – and mine – are among them. So is the mighty, sclerotic, and unresponsive bureaucratic armature you describe, because a hyper complex globalized economy requires hyper complex globalized administrators. The short term cost of individual products and services dropped like a stone, but the cumulative costs of the system itself has become a new kind of burden. And now we’re all pissed off about it. Brexit. The Yellow Vests. Trump. The Wall. We want to go back to the constraints we previously threw off. We want order and discipline. We want consequences. We want control. It’s highly likely that we’re going to get it too as the slow heavy pendulum of history swings back again. I assure you the streets of Van Nuys will be cleansed of homeless camps some day. But that process will come with its own winners and losers. Don’t automatically assume it will play out entirely in your favor.

  2. “The short term cost of individual products and services dropped like a stone, but the cumulative costs of the system itself has become a new kind of burden.”

    Nicely put. I would argue there is room in a globalized California for marginal people to be warehoused somewhere other than the street, and a sclerotic government can achieve this with first principles. Border enforcement. Broken windows/behavior enforcement. Work requirements. Sober Trailerville in the Desert. Cost-effective housing choices, i.e., not $400K/unit in the urban core.
    I am willing to do my part. I would be willing to let someone park his camper in my driveway for a year, and run an extension cord into my house, gratis, if I saw any kind of serious movement on the above.

  3. FBI agents have been seeking evidence of bribes, extortion and money laundering possibly involving L.A. city officials for the past couple of months.
    No charges have been filed as to date.
    It appears to involve Chinese money being injected into the downtown building boom.

    For many years, downtown became a ghost town, when all the office workers departed for the day. Then it was okay for Skid Row to exist, out of sight, out of mind.
    Today, downtown is becoming more of a livable location, with the abundance of converted lofts and band new apartment buildings, how are developers going to push east past Los Angeles Street? Skid Row needs to be dispersed to areas like Korea Town.

    All in the guise of ‘helping the homeless’

Comments are closed.