The New York Times recently addressed the so-called “wave of violence” that has recently been occurring in Santa Cruz, California. What is most striking is that the article begins by describing the February 2013 murders of two police officers by a violent veteran with a history of rape charges, and then lists unrelated examples of anti-homeless and illegal drug issues, trying to convince us that the diverse issues are somehow related.
The murders of the police officers were committed by Jeremy Goulet. He was not homeless. The murders he committed might say a lot about the present “normalcy” of the USA, where men and women are paid to kill middle easterners for reasons of monopolizing world oil supplies and enriching military-industrial corporations, and later left to fend for themselves after their dismissals. Most people are aware of the difficulties veterans face upon returning to “ordinary” society. The murders might also draw criticism against the military, which seems to have a penchant for suppressing rape allegations against its soldiers. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to his credit, highlighted this disturbing reality.
Pauly Silva appears to have been shot by ordinary civilians. The description of the suspects said that it was three men in a sports car. It is unlikely that they were homeless. Most homeless people in Santa Cruz do not drive sports cars.
One case of murder by a mentally disturbed homeless man, where the owner of the lingerie shop Camoflauge lost her life, does not in any way indicate a present wave of crime being committed by homeless people. It would be just as poor to allege that the murders committed by Jeremy Goulet should cause the community to fear all returning veterans, it would be just as poor to allege that all veterans are rapists.
What seems clear to me is a ruling class propaganda campaign to villainize homeless people. In fact, during the Goulet investigation, the local Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper published the name and photograph of a young homeless woman who “allegedly” had some connection to Goulet. I spoke with her and she said that she had never met him and that “they’re just trying to draw us (the homeless) into the picture.”