The Myth of the Noble Vagrant

15 months ago, Anthony Mele was enjoying a meal with his family, his daughter sitting on his lap when suddenly a deranged homeless vagrant ran into the restaurant and stabbed him to death in front of his family.  This is just one of the recent horrors that are occurring with regularity. The homeless are overrunning southern California and the streets of the once clean cities are literally running with human waste carrying diseases like typhoid fever, typhus & tuberculosis. Doctors are saying it’s only a matter of time till the Black Death—the plague– is reported. Another case in Florida; a construction worker came upon a homeless man and offered him $15 an hour for a job as a yard tender for his company. The homeless man became angry, cussing out the man and demanding money, the man became so aggressive the police were called.

Why have things gotten so bad with the vagrant and homeless problem? Once it was just here in California but now is spreading across the Nation. The Left and Social Justice activists are obsessed with an idea I call, “The Myth of the Noble Vagrant”. Left-leaning politicians and activists when asked about the issue often refer to these people as “Down and out”, and think of them like the Hobos of the 1930s. In the ’30s our nation was in the midst of a terrible depression and many were made homeless, traveling on trains, working farms and waiting in soup lines. These men and woman worked hard and traveled intending to find work and a possible place to call home. They developed a system of simple symbols which they would write with coal or chalk to give fellow “Knights of the Road” directions, help, and warnings. They had their own code of honor and people understood this, realizing they were just nomadic workers, a sign of the times, in need of food and temporary shelter.

The difference between then and now is that the homeless of that bygone era were everyday people who had a run of bad luck, they were stockbrokers, bankers, small business owners, but they wished and hoped to get back on their feet. Politicians and activists are quick to say that it is the same with today’s homeless but this is not the case. According to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, 25% of homeless suffer from a severe mental illness, and 45% of homeless suffer from a mental illness of any kind. These stats were from 2015 so the numbers are likely even higher currently. On top of that, the former Governor of California released thousands of violent felons from the prison system and many of them have ended up homeless as well. Today’s homeless do not want jobs, most do not even go to shelters, and many, when interviewed by the news, say they love being homeless because “There are no rules”.

When I leave my home I can count sometimes 10-15 homeless just within a few hundred yards of my front door; these people are all dealing with mental illness, screaming at invisible people and talking to themselves, shaking fists to the sky (Just this morning I saw a Homeless man in his 20s doing handstands in the middle of an intersection). One night I went out to get a coffee and passed by a 31 flavors ice cream store, I saw a 6ft 3 homeless man who was over 300 pounds. He was stark raving mad and was in a fight with a handicapped parking sign, he was jumping and screaming at it, and in the end, rushed the sign wrapping his hands around it to strangle it. I just thank God that no family was out for ice cream that night.

L.A is fond of showing TV news reports that highlight the stories of down and out homeless who live in cars, and lost jobs, and indeed these “normal” cases do exist. However, they are few and far between. When one surfs the web you are unlikely to find the horror stories of the crimes committed by these vagrants, the lewd acts, the public urination, and defecation, and how the streets of L.A must be power washed to clean the human waste from them. The local media does not like these stories.

Our politicians are obsessed with the Noble Vagrant, they allow them to commit crimes and make it impossible for the police to arrest them for things everyday citizens would go to jail for. They say they need our help and compassion, and I concur, but these people are sick and need mental health treatment, and the criminals need to be removed from the streets.

“The Myth of the Noble Vagrant” is just that, a myth. One that is being idealized by our leaders. Our streets are being overrun by the criminally insane and mentally ill, with disease nipping at their heels but our civic leaders in their ivory towers refuse to see it. It is a warped ideology that is allowing this to continue and grow and I fear until the leaders of our cities open their eyes to really see the consequences, then we will be seeing many more cases like the horrific murder of Anthony Mele. The writing is on the wall for all to see if they chose to look, unfortunately, it’s not the simple symbols of a by-gone era but rather a terrifying look into the future of more horror to come.

Byron Lafayette is a journalist and author. He writes for Fansided and currently serves as Editor in Chief for Follow him on Facebook and Twitter 

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