Last night I was sitting in my car during my security job shift in southern California. While I passed the time looking up business leads and responding to emails, tweets and comments on Facebook via my cell phone, I found the photo you see below. I was upset to say the least – did you have the same reaction?
I saw this on my friend Carey Fuller‘s wall. Carey, or Miss Fuller as I like to call her, is a homeless mother living in Kent, Washington. She supports herself and her 2 daughters as best she can, while all 3 are living out of a van. She’s the loudest mouth in Kent when it comes to homelessness, especially with the homeless youth she interacts with on a daily basis, getting them food, clothing, money, shelter, rides, anything and everything she can with her limited resources. She takes advantage of Twitter and Facebook to tell her raw story as it happens. Informing me and you about what no one else dares to talk about. I recommend at least following her on Twitter: @careyfuller, but you can also read her articles as a regular blogger on Huffington Post.
Back to the reason for this article. As soon as I saw the above image I asked Carey for the link to the article so I can get it’s full context, as I immediately planned on mentioning this to my readers. The link Carey sent me was to the Kent Reporter’s website, KentReporter.com. The Kent Reporter is a local newspaper for the city of Kent, the fourth-largest city in King County, WA with a population of 86,000+.
While viewing the virtual edition of the article, I found I was unable to read the verbiage, as the zoom was not high enough quality for my phone. I clicked Web View on several different pages of their website, which only directed me to dead links. After realizing the entire website refused to let me view it in desktop form, I went to Kent Reporter’s Facebook page to inform them of their programming mistakes. Now I have to wait until the morning and read the article on my laptop.
This Easter Sunday morning, I walked into FedEx Office as I usually do to use their free Wi-Fi so I can finally write about this little newspaper. I finally read the article titled Hope for the homeless in Kent, which was posted directly below the inconsiderate comic. The article was posted by Elaine Lowell in the Kent Reporter’s Opinion section. Because I couldn’t find the website’s reasoning for naming this section Opinion, I could not learn whether Elaine was a reporter of some kind, or just a random citizen of Kent stating her encounter with a homeless man named Thomas. If you click the link to the article, you’ll notice that the comic is not there, and I don’t think it was ever there. For some reason they chose to put the comic in their virtual newspaper, and presumably in their print newspaper as well (not living in Kent, I’m unable to see their print newspaper for myself). Maybe so not too many people see their lack of compassion or common sense for their neighbors?
If the same drawing was of a black person wearing a hoody, or a man wearing a turban, this image would go viral. I don’t care that this is just a newspaper comic, it’s still prejudice, it’s still naive, and I feel Kent Reporter owes an apology to the citizens it so carelessly represents.
To view their virtual newspaper yourself, click here and click the April 06, 2012 Page View link. You’ll find the comic and article on pages 6-7. And while you’re there, feel free to contact those responsible and demand an apology for this disrespectful representation of their own citizens.
Publisher, Regional Manager, South Division
253-872-6600, ext. 1050
253-872-6600 ext 5050