Much like Batkid, Hawaii has found its own superhero. Except that instead of protecting the powerless from harm, he roams the streets with a sledgehammer and looks for homeless people in order to literally smash their possessions. Remarkably, this vigilante isn’t just some random Hawaiian, but five-term State Rep. Tom Brower (D). Noting that he’s “disgusted” with homeless people, Brower told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about his own personal brand of “justice”: “If I see shopping carts that I can’t identify, I will destroy them so they can’t be pushed on the streets.” Brower has waged this campaign for two weeks, estimating that he’s smashed about 30 shopping carts in the process.
It would be easier for me if I could blame this heartless excuse for humanity for being a Republican. Turns out that being an asshole can be, and quote often is, a nonpartisan undertaking. What kind of monster works so diligently to make the miserable lives of the already miserable that much more miserable? Tom Brower may think he’s “cleaning up the streets,” but he’s merely someone who’s convinced himself the homeless are subhuman and therefore unworthy of the protection and consideration afforded to more “normal” people. By “normal,” I mean of course people with a job and a roof over their head.
Uncontent to just destroy homeless people’s items, Brower is also on a mission to wake those he finds sleeping and tell them to sleep somewhere else. “If someone is sleeping at night on the bus stop, I don’t do anything, but if they are sleeping during the day, I’ll walk up and say, ‘Get your ass moving,’” he said.
It’s no stretch to assume that if Brower were found roaming middle-class neighborhoods and smashing items in people’s homes, he would find himself both out of office and behind bars. But segments of society view homeless people as less important and undeserving of the dignity of having their possessions kept safe.
It would be simple thing to try to do something to help the homeless get off the streets and improve their lot in life. But it’s got to be WAY more fun to wander the streets with a sledgehammer attacking the defenseless and destroying what few meager belongings they have. As if being homeless isn’t punishment enough, Brower sees his calling as pouring salt in the wounds of those already wounded by life. Then again, he’s representative of a Hawaii state government not exactly renowned for being kind and compassionate when it comes to the homeless. It’s not enough the Aloha State has the highest homeless rate in the U.S. The state legislature has also allocated $100,000 over the next two years to pay for one-way tickets off the island for any homeless person wishing to leave Paradise for someplace more compassionate and hospitable. Nothing like shipping the problem off to someone else, eh?
Beauty may be only skin-deep, but mean and ugly go all the way to the bone. And it seems no one will ever mistake Brower for Gandhi or Mother Teresa
Hey, it’s not like the homeless are real people, amiright??