Since it’s misguided at best for a news outlet to publish only one side of a complicated issue, I was glad to see Steve Waleri’s more balanced letter (Feb. 7) included among the many unequivocally supporting the Eugene library’s handling of their homeless patrons.
It’s important to hear the perspectives of someone like Waleri, a first responder with firsthand experience of all the aspects of homelessness — not just the media-acceptable ones. Much of what he said matches my own civilian experiences.
I thought the letter was a good conversation starter about how to be sensible and compassionate towards the homeless whilst also being realistic and reasonable towards everyone else. However, I then began to contemplate the title your paper gave to his letter: “Get Rid of the Poor.”
Nowhere in his letter does Waleri state this; instead, he says, “We should continue to provide benefits and shelter … however, vagrants, squatters and lawbreakers should be out.” Clearly not the poor, many of whom, many seem to willfully forget, aren’t homeless.
This is veering dangerously close to the kind of propaganda I work hard every day to avoid in the mainstream news media, and the Eugene Weekly has demonstrated this kind of slant before. (Defending guns in middle schools? Really?)
Please, for all of our sakes, you must do better.
Editor’s note: The letters and opinion section of Eugene Weekly and other newspapers is where newspaper editorial boards and community members express opinion, which is slanted.