Reverend Andy Bales, CEO of Skid Row’s Union Rescue Mission, has recently been dragged pretty thoroughly on social media for his unconscionable collaboration with hired killers sent by Donald Trump to implement what is sure to be an appalling and probably genocidal plan for some kind of final solution to this City’s inability to house its residents as well as his tone-deaf support of the very worst local psychopathic housedwelling politicians.
His responses as far as I have seen have been mostly of two types. First of all he denies that Trump wants to put homeless human residents of Los Angeles into concentration camps even though there actually aren’t that many people that Trump doesn’t want to put into concentration camps and the list, along with the capacity of the camps, grows larger each day. Second he accuses everyone who criticizes him of being gang-affiliated drug/sex traffickers who oppose the Trump/Bales plan because it’s likely to cut into their gangs’ drug/sex profits.
And I don’t have much to say about the second trope other than the really obvious “EEW GROSS pls shut up pls!” But it turns out that there is something important to say about the first. Yesterday, Friday, November 22, 2019, Bales appeared on KNX Radio and was interviewed by Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson about his collaboration with Trump. You can listen to the whole segment here, and there is a complete transcription below. But Feldman and Simpson asked him about the concentration camp thing.
Simpson asked in particular about concerns that “the police could be used, that there would be like a roundup. What do you say when you hear people say those things?” And Bales has a reason to doubt that Trump is going to round people up and put them in camps. It’s a stupid reason, but it is a reason. And it’s not at all reassuring. The reason, says Bales, that Trump is not going to round up homeless people and put them in camps is that there are no camps. That, he says, is our problem, that we don’t presently have camps:
… where would we take anybody? If there’s a sweep, where in the world would anybody be taken? We have to create places to take people and that’s the problem right now in Los Angeles. We do not have anywhere to take people who want to seek shelter. You have to create the shelter first and then you’ll have a place to take people.
Which of course speaks reassuringly to neither the abject depths of Trump’s evil nor the sanity of Bales himself. Possibly Bales is confusing concentration camps with houses, but we can be sure that Donald Trump and his minions aren’t. And obviously there actually are concentration camps. And even if there weren’t, building them isn’t ever the problem. They can be built fast.
Turning one part of the human race into raw material for jobs programs for another part is a core component of precisely the kind of populist fascism that Trump exemplifies. The best possible interpretation of Bales’s collaboration with Trump is that he’s blind to the fascism and the worst is that he’s complicit with it for his own purposes. Neither is good.
Continue reading Reverend Andy Bales Of Skid Row’s Union Rescue Mission Is Consulting With Donald Trump’s Homeless Hit Squad — Approves Of Their Disdain For Harm Reduction — Wants To Call Out The National Guard — Says That Trump Can’t Possibly Be Planning To Carry Out Sweeps To Relocate Homeless People — How Is He So Sure, You’re Wondering — Because — There’s No Place To Put Them If They Were Relocated — How Can Trump Be Planning To Relocate The Homeless If There Is No Place To Relocate Them To — That’s It — That’s His Argument — Feel Better Now That You Know Trump Isn’t Planning To Relocate Homeless Human Beings Into Concentration Camps Because There Aren’t Any? — Me Neither