Spikes are popping up all over the world.
Spikes in the ground in order to prevent homeless people from sleeping wherever they are. They have been installed in many countries, including China, England, and the United States, generally in areas that rich, touristy people would visit, in order to maintain their scenic impression of the place theyâ€™re visiting. These spikes take away from locations where weary, homeless individuals can seek shelter and get some rest. Essentially, spikes are cleansing the streets of visible homelessness.
Needless to say, this system is inhumane and demeaning. Spikes are not making fewer people homeless, but taking homelessness out of sight and out of mind by the public eye. If you canâ€™t see them, they must just not exist, right?
If people had such a big issue with how their homeless population was sitting around clogging up the streets and making them uglier, maybe they should invest in better programs to tackle the problem rather than just hiding it. Spikes are not diffusing homelessness, they just serve to take away even whatever sliver of comfort the homeless population can glean in a world that treats them as waste.
Suppose we lived in a world with no handicap accessibility. Clearly, there are people who are born in a place where they would suffer from this because they may have dysfunctional legs, their family members may need even more extra attention and care, and they might be shut away from many opportunities they could have if they werenâ€™t disabled. However, a lot of people who are not born with physical disabilities also could be handicapped at times in their life. If there were no such thing as handicap ramps and elevators, would this group of people who is not naturally handicapped just work extra hard to avoid getting hurt, or would they just suffer a lot once they did? Would less and less people be in need of handicap accessibility if it wasnâ€™t an option? Would there just be a decrease in the disabled population?
The principle behind spikes is essentially the same as assuming that to eradicate the issue of disabilities, one would have to take away all handicap accessibility so that people would not even have the option of utilizing it.
For all of those people who have the (flawed, twisted, and irrational) mentality that basically goes â€śWhy donâ€™t unemployed people just get a job?â€ť or â€śWhy donâ€™t homeless people just find somewhere to live or something?â€ť I urge you to look beyond your limited scope and consider the thousands of people who are doing all they can to make ends meet and still cannot. I urge you to think about their children who are brought into this world without the agency to â€śjust work harderâ€ť and â€śfind a place to live.â€ť No one chooses to be homeless.
The biggest issue I see is that when we see a population that we label â€śa problem,â€ť we do not work to fix that problem or help them, but rather we make it impossible for them to live as any human being deserves to live. For example, with an increasing number of undocumented immigrants over the last few decades, our â€śsolutionâ€ť is not to help them or provide them with any type of mercy. Instead, we make it utterly impossible to live and function in this country as people deserve to.
We, as a society, instead of digging deep to find the root of the problem and addressing that, we apply a technical, unsustainable band aid over the top just to keep the system alive for a short while longer. This is why the world is on its last limbs. Instead of going back and looking at our unbelievable rate of consumption, we just try â€śalternative fuelsâ€ť or â€śbetter working conditionsâ€ť. What we should be doing, is reducing consumption entirely and giving people more basic rights and the ability to build independent societies. The way our culture works does not allow for these radical, fundamental changes in how we do things, rather just an extension of the same underlying principles. It is a theme found everywhere. Our temporary fixes allow us to look past things and tell ourselves that we have done enough once the â€śproblemâ€ť is momentarily out of sight.
I understand that solutions do not lie in hand outs, nor am I proposing that. Every single person who is homeless shouldnâ€™t immediately just be thrown a home to live in. All of the families entering the United States illegally every day should not automatically be granted citizenship. However, what I am saying is that we need to be more mindful of how we make people invisible in our society and treating them as if they are not even human. Spikes are not a solution to homelessness. This is just another band aid that is hiding a wound that needs stitches, and the band aid is slowly starting to peel.