My colleagues and I have spilled a great deal of metaphorical ink explaining exactly how Kerry Morrison hung up fake kids-only signs in Selma Park in 2007, thereby stealing 8 years of access from the people of Los Angeles, and the issue has taken on some renewed currency by virtue of her newly revealed conspiracy with Mitch O’Farrell regarding restrictions on playground use in City parks. But until fairly recently we didn’t really know why she’d done it.1 Well, it turns out that the explanation was lurking in her BID’s 2006 First Quarter report to the Clerk’s office, wherein we read:
HED staff and the security team continue to monitor the situation in Selma Park, where a Saturday feeding program for homeless individuals has overtaken a park intended for neighborhood children. Attempts will be made to organize the families to prevail upon the council office to declare the entire park a “children’s only” playground.
Now, where in the world, I wonder, did Kerry Morrison get the idea that Selma Park was “intended for neighborhood children”?
She certainly didn’t get it from looking around the park, which includes amenities obviously not intended for children, such as adult-sized tables with chessboards embedded in them. She certainly didn’t get it from Recreation and Parks Commission Resolution 9992, in which the Board accepted jurisdiction over Selma Park “for public park purposes” with nary a word about neighborhood or any other kind of children. She almost certainly just made it up and then lied about it to the City Clerk in this report.2
It’s also important here to note that, according to her, she was working with Eric Garcetti’s office to get the whole park designated as a playground. This information certainly shines a new light on Mitch O’Farrell’s universally reviled playground proposal. O’Farrell’s angry-constituent-beset spokesman, Tony Arranaga, seems to be trying as hard as possible to give the impression that the motion is about protecting existing playground space from incursions by non-breeders, but as far as I can see he doesn’t actually explicitly say that anywhere. If Councildudes are going to work with Kerry Morrison to turn entire parks into designated playgrounds, all those nightmare scenarios being tossed around on the Internet and in the editorial pages of the Times may be closer to reality than hitherto suspected by sane people.
BID Patrol surveillance photo of the Get Love feeding program is a public record and therefore free of copyright restrictions.
- Apart from her generalized hatred of civil rights and her characteristic propensity to destroy public space in order to prevent homeless people from being in it.
- You might well object to my characterization of her misstatement as a lie. In fact, perhaps you will argue that it’s possible that much or all of the time Kerry Morrison isn’t aware that she’s making stuff like this up. She’s so used to the mostly-true theory that all of society is designed to validate the random whims of her and the rest of the property-owning zillionaire masters of the universe that she doesn’t see any reason to check the truth of her claims as long as they’re based on the theory. And that’s actually a reasonable argument. A person is generally not guilty of lying if they don’t actually know that what they’re saying is false, even if the reason they don’t know it is thoroughly delusional. But there are some exceptions to this principle, one of which is that if the context of one’s statements is such that they have the potential to have extraordinarily far-ranging effects, one has the responsibility to apply the diligence due in context to discovering the truth of statements before asserting them, especially if one is able to do so. E.g. you’re still a liar if you identify someone as a murderer, leading to their execution, when you just made up the theory that they’re a murderer, even if you delusionally think that you somehow are allowed to just make up stuff like that or if in the past stuff like that that you’ve made up has turned out to be true or, equally likely, has created its own truth merely by virtue of being made up by you. If you have the ability to check the truth of your statements before you make them you have a duty to do so, and Kerry Morrison is not so delusional that she’s unaware that she’s making stuff up, even if she doesn’t think the matter is important enough not to make stuff up about. The situation with the park is different in degree from the hypothetical murder but not different in kind. Thus it’s reasonable to call her a liar even if she made the statement that the park was “intended for neighborhood children” merely because she’d confused the feverish, forcibly-ordered, homeless free urban dreamscape in her head with the actual City of Los Angeles.