Comment 36140

By geoff's two cents (anonymous) | Posted December 09, 2009 at 07:36:34

Grassroots, before you reply I should add that, much like yourself, I found aspects of Lorne's otherwise spot-on article rather offensive, particularly the stereotyping of Hamilton's poor as young punks, welfare moms, drug dealers with attack dogs and panhandlers. In fact, the article, otherwise a clarion call for greater civic engagement, which I'm sure you and I can both agree is a good thing, read in many parts like an immensely condescending rant mis-placing the blame for Hamilton's woes squarely on the backs of an apparently morally-bankrupt poor. So much so, in fact, that I found myself questioning by the end of the article my own desire that downtown Hamilton have more such middle-class amenities as department stores, cleaner parks and sidewalks, clothing boutiques, bookstores, etc.

(I've since resolved this dilemma, I think, in putting forth that I would like to see downtown Hamilton retain its economically and culturally diverse population - with, of course, an increase in a more affluent demographic as well. With all those parking lots, there's lots of room, as I've said, for everyone, rich or poor).

That said, I doubt Lorne intended it to read as such; as a contributing author for such a magnificent online publication promoting greater social and ecological consciousness, I think we all owe him the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, the social conscience you obviously have is a necessary antidote to such elitism, real or perceived, and one I hope I can still have access to while keeping my comment threshold at "O."

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