- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 7, 2021

However much you hate Washington, you do not hate it enough.

The contempt for human life is obvious on every street corner. Yet every building here is a monument to orgiastic opulence — unbridled celebrations of money and power.

This place puts any third-world, shantytown dictatorship to shame. And every square inch of the place is run entirely by Democrats and has been for more than half a century.

True story: The District of Columbia this week issued immediate changes to how the city clears homeless encampments.  The sudden move comes after a homeless man was hospitalized on Monday after a front-end loader clearing his encampment under a bridge scooped up his tent — with him inside. Even by Washington’s standards — where droning a family of charity workers in Afghanistan, including seven children, goes largely unnoticed — this was a startling situation.

According to local news reports, the city bulldozers were being used to push the tents and all their worldly contents over a 3-foot-tall metal rail that separated the road from the sidewalk under the bridge. As the loader pierced the side of one of the tents, a man could be heard screaming.



A tense stand-off ensued as the city’s “advocates” for homeless people tried to rush to the screaming man’s rescue while police tried to maintain order.

Video shows a chaotic scene with people yelling and digging through the rubble. In the background is the constant echo of the loader’s reverse beeping that you hear at the county landfill. And then, of course, the man’s screams after being scooped up with his only home and all his life’s belongings into a steel bucket.

All this, of course, just miles from where Democrats in Congress were at that moment demanding that you borrow another $5 trillion — not to fix this problem. Math expert Alexandria Ocasio Cortez calls it mere “crumbs.”

To the rescue comes a deputy mayor for the city named Wayne Turnage — because, apparently, Charles Dickens still names all the characters in the tragic story of Washington (i.e., “Weiner, Anthony”).

Mr. Turnage insisted that the tent was checked for humans before the bulldozers began clearing the encampment. Clearly, however, there was some kind of mix-up. 

So, Mr. Turnage announced, the city is issuing new guidelines for clearing homeless encampments. From now on, they will REALLY check for humans inside tents before clearing them with bulldozers.

“There will be a check to make sure there is absolutely nobody in that tent, and then a person will stand there while the Bobcat comes to make sure nobody comes in the tent after the check is made,” Mr. Turnage declared.

In other words, the turnage of the screw will occur with greater precision going forward.

As with any good Dickens novel, you need more than just a vivid name. You also need a vicious villain. 

Enter Brianne K. Nadeau, apparently elected to the DC city council representing Ward 1. She describes herself as an “advocate for affordable housing.”

And nothing helps homeless people more than coming up with new words to describe their situation. “Unhoused neighbors,” Ms. Nadeau calls them, to the extravagant appreciation of hungry, homeless people living under bridges all across Ward 1 of Washington, DC.

Apparently, Ms. Nadeau was so upset about the unhoused neighbor being scooped up like trash by heavy machinery that she took to Twitter.

“When I’ve seen encampment clearings in person, I’ve witnessed a lot of trauma, and there is no room for mistakes,” she explained.

But using bulldozers is the only safe option, Ms. Nadeau insisted, as deploying actual humans to do the job by hand can be dangerous work.

“One of the reasons that we do not disassemble encampments is because there are risks involved,” she said. “There are risks involved in asking people to move all of their belongings and risks involved in forcibly removing people from their home.”

Oh my Lord, Hannibal Lecter is capable of more empathy than the soul-dead people running this place.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ms. Nadeau went on to downplay the unhoused neighbor’s injuries and hospitalization while claiming to appreciate the potential gravity of the situation. 

“While I’ve been informed that no one was hurt, if the resident had not been able to communicate their presence, they could have died,” she declared, in a stunning display of illiteracy. (Ms. Nadeau also claims to be an advocate for “stronger education.”) 

Yes! Thank God for the human voice box! But for that, Ms. Nadeau’s city would have scooped up one of her unhoused neighbors, crushed him in a compactor, and hauled his remains to the landfill.

Perhaps we should enshrine screaming as some sort of constitutionally protected right. That will solve the problem.

Because, you know, Unhoused Neighbors Lives Matter.

• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor at the Washington Times.

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