Civil Rights Leader Peter Johnson Excoriates Council for Proposal to Bus Out Homeless

Categories: City Hall

PeterJohnsonDallas.JPG
Via.
The Reverend Peter Johnson
Last week, as they City Council was being briefed on the still very incomplete effort to end chronic homelessness in Dallas, a frustrated Dwaine Caraway proposed a surefire solution: Why not round up the homeless people, stick them on a Greyhound bus, and send them back to where they came from? Most of them came from somewhere else, the councilman suggested, so they could take advantage of Dallas' uniquely robust network of social services.

Homeless people, the advocates who work with them, and pretty much anyone else have reason to doubt this assessment. Mental illness and substance abuse drive chronic homelessness and, however wonderful The Bridge may be, the thought that the services offered are so generous that homeless people from across the country are flocking to it seems far-fetched.

Caraway's colleagues let Caraway's soliloquy on homelessness pass without comment. The Reverend Peter Johnson, longtime local civil rights leader and former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had other ideas. He stepped up to the microphone during the public comment section following today's City Council meeting and addressed Caraway's comments and the rest of the council for keeping silent.

"I really struggled on how to respond to this," he began. "First to let you know that people who sleep under bridges and beg on our streets and walk around talking to themselves and drinking out of paper bags, in Jesus' eyesight, they're more important than you, Mr. Mayor. In God's eyes, they're more important [than rich people].

"The idea of putting homeless people in buses and sending them back to states where they came from is offensive to me. ... As a city, as a collective community, we won't be judged on how we treat rich people. We will be judged on what Jesus called the least of these."

He probably would have dropped the mic at that point were it not attached to the podium. Still, his point was made.


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15 comments
cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

And what point was that? That some fictitious windbag had a hard on for poor people? Who cares. 

Let this reverend show how Jesus like he is and take care of these poor people himself. 

Fuck all this human garbage and these superstitious religious people/liberals who enable them

txsouthpaw
txsouthpaw

Hearing Reverend Johnson's response to Mr. Caraway helps to restore my faith that Christianity can be reclaimed from those who have absconded with it.  Jesus spent his time caring for the sick, the poor, and seemingly worthless sinners during his time on earth. It's very easy to be pious and concoct fictitious and self righteous narratives about the holiness of prosperity when one is at the top. What would Jesus say about showering tax dollars upon developers while our schools suffer as they do? What would Jesus say about providing healthcare for all regardless of one's ability to pay? Maybe I read the wrong Bible, but I thought Jesus wasn't a lobbyist for HMO's, American PHARMA, and Wall Street. 

DowntownResident
DowntownResident

90% of the time I'm hit up by some homeless guy it's because he says he needs bus fare. Sounds like Caraway is just giving them what they claim they want.

wedaddams
wedaddams

Im sitting next to a homeless man that would use this service-- he is disabled Viet Vet. who needs arideback to Kansas City.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

I do not think that they agreed with Caraway.  Rather, I think that the rest of the council said nothing at the time because they have learned to either tune out Caraway or know that just let him ramble until his next outrage occurs. 

meandrojoe
meandrojoe

The Rev Johnson speaks TRUTH to power!

And why are there so few comments here?

lmokeke1
lmokeke1

I hadn't heard about the Councilman's comments. Wow. So glad the pastor had the bravery and compassion to reprimand the council and speak on behalf of many (probably not all) Dallas citizens. Homelessness is not an easy problem and there certainly aren't any easy solutions. But I for damn sure know the solution offered by Mr. Caraway is NOT it.

samra_2007
samra_2007

@cantkeepthetruthdown 


HA! Human Garbage? If rolls were reversed you'd want someone to help you. Don't forget that the life you may have now can be stripped from you in an instant and you could end up in the same predicament. 

James080
James080

@meandrojoe  

Possibly because Dwaine Caraway is generally considered to be a flake of the first order, and no one besides Archie and Andy pay attention to any of his officious babbling.

txsouthpaw
txsouthpaw

@cantkeepthetruthdown @txsouthpaw I respect your viewpoint. My comment was more of an indictment on those who claim the faith loudly while mangling it's teachings. Judging by your comment above, you believe in no god or that it's presence can't be proven. I respect that too. Have a good evening.


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