Things That Matter

Man Caught Pooping In Safeway Highlights San Francisco’s Homeless Problem

A viral video of a man pooping in the aisle of a Safeway in San Francisco might seem funny or absurd if it wasn’t so emblematic of the city’s larger issue: homelessness. Footage shows a homeless man defecating in the supermarket and using a roll of toilet paper to clean himself up. 

San Francisco has had an issue managing the ever-increasing amount of human waste in the city. The issue cannot be separated from its homelessness crisis. According to ABC research, there are approximately 9,784 homeless people living in the city in 2019. 

San Francisco has a poop problem.

You can judge the man relieving himself in the video, or you can acknowledge his behavior as a symptom of San Francisco’s failing infrastructure. For example, this year alone, the city has received 25,000 complaints about human waste. San Francisco has even enlisted the help of a “poop patrol” that goes around cleaning up human feces throughout the city. 

Since garnering public disapproval, city Supervisor Matt Haney has implemented steps to ease the problem, but some might say they haven’t gone far enough. Three public restrooms were added in Castro, Soma, and the Tenderloin this month. 

“It’s horrifying for people to step outside and see poop smeared all over the sidewalk, we know it’s getting worse,” Haney told KRON 4. “We’ve seen a reduction in the number of reports of feces in the areas immediately around the pit stop bathrooms including the ones that are 24 hours. We obviously need more. We need to expand the number of these bathrooms and the hours.”

Government figures demonstrate a 35 percent increase in feces complaints from 2017 to 2018. According to the New York Times, homelessness rose 17 percent in San Francisco in 2018. 

The human feces complaints are such a part of San Francisco culture there’s a Twitter devoted to documenting the incidences. 

The Poop Scoop has an automated system that reposts complaints called in to the city’s 311 number. The current bio says in the last 48 hours alone 160 poop cases have been reported and 102 of those cases have been closed. The Poop Scoop’s website even has a map of the city sidewalks indicating where feces has been reported. 

“This is a national embarrassment, it is also many communities a disgusting, public health crisis, no one should be able to walk about and see poop smeared all over the place, no one should live in these conditions. It is not funny,” Haney said.  

While the city has proposed efforts to help the homeless, the wealthy have opposed many of these measures. For example, San Francisco’s rich did not want the city to build a homeless shelter near their affluent waterfront district. 

“Putting mentally ill people and people with drug abuse problems in residential areas is careless,” said Paneez Kosarian, a resident who opposed the shelter

Candice Elder, the founder of the East Oakland Collective, says people like to complain about the homeless but also reject the problem’s necessary solutions. 

“When people think about the homeless crisis, sometimes humanity goes out the window,” she said. “People say, ‘I don’t like what’s going on. I don’t want them near our school, get rid of them.’”

San Francisco’s homeless problem has even received the ire of President Trump. 

The President’s dislike for California, which is a Sanctuary city that stands against many of his administration’s policies, has been well-documented. While little has come of it, this September, the Trump administration threatened to cut San Francisco federal funding via the Environmental Protection Agency. The administration claimed that San Francisco violated environmental policies due to rampant human feces and used needles on the streets — caused by the homelessness issue. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom called the threat nothing short of political theater. 

“If joining and funding real solutions to homelessness, instead of political theater and points-scoring, are the Trump administration’s objective, California continues to be ready to engage,” Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for California Gov. Gavin Newsom told USA today, “the state has not been contacted by federal officials.”

The Trump administration proposed building camps in California to store the homeless, a move that made many advocates cringe. Herb Smith, CEO of Los Angeles Mission, which helps the city’s homeless met with members of the Trump administration. Smith felt they were uninformed about what caused homelessness and how to solve it. 

“Look, the Feds don’t have the authority to come in and arrest people for being homeless,” Smith said. “But my real concern about whatever might be presented is that it will include moving people around, traumatizing people and generally just exacerbating the level of human misery we already have.”

White Parent Shouts ‘Why Didn’t You Stay In Mexico?” At Father During School Meeting To Address Racist Incidents

Things That Matter

White Parent Shouts ‘Why Didn’t You Stay In Mexico?” At Father During School Meeting To Address Racist Incidents

MLive / YouTube

Far too often we talk of stories about racist White people caught on video berating people of color or calling police on them for mundane, everyday tasks. Unfortunately, this is another one of those stories but one with a level of irony that seems like it was completely lost on the man who hurled the racist insult.

Racism in the United States continues to tear apart communities – and, as this story shows, even in communities that are working to try and address the concerns of people most affected.

A viral video shows a Michigan dad asking a Latino man why he didn’t ‘stay in Mexico’ during a school meeting about racism.

A community meeting meant to address concerns over racism in a Michigan school district appeared to become proof of the problem after a white parent suggested to a Latino father that he shouldn’t have immigrated to the United States.

Adrian Iraola, who came to the U.S. from Mexico and whose now-grown children went through the schools in Saline, recalled his son’s experience of racism in the district.

“I went to his bedroom to say good night, and he was crying because of the abuse that he was enduring in this school system,” Iraola said at the school board meeting Monday in the largely-white district south of Ann Arbor.

Iraola was interrupted by a white parent, Tom Burtell, who said, “So why didn’t you stay in Mexico?”

Reactions from other parents in the room were mostly of shock and disgust.

The comment drew loud gasps and threw the February 3 meeting into pandemonium, with multiple parents yelling at the father to leave the meeting, some standing up, and one shouting, “That is disgusting.”

“That’s indicative of what our kids are experiencing: comments like that,” another father said.

However, at least one person seemed to come to Burtell’s defense saying that the meeting was a “platform for discussion,” to which Burtell responses, “That’s right.”

“Then explain yourself,” an audience member said to Burtell. “You interrupted [Iraola]. Take the mic.”

Iraola, still with mic in hand, then said, “He asked me a question, ‘Why didn’t I stay in Mexico?’ Because this is the greatest country in the world.”

But Burrell wasn’t done yet.

Credit: MLive.com / YouTube

During the meeting, Burtell also complained about discrimination being faced by white people.

“You think that … whites are the oppressors,” he said. “Here’s the evidence. You’ve got black racism all the time… try to be white and walk in a black neighborhood and see what happens.”

Even Burtell’s own son took to Facebook to call his father out for his racist comment.

Today my father asked a deliberately racist question at the Saline Area Schools diversity and inclusion meeting.His…

Posted by Matt Burtell on Monday, February 3, 2020

His comments were so provocative that Burtell’s son, Matt, condemned him in a Facebook post.

“Today my father asked a deliberately racist question at the Saline Area Schools diversity and inclusion meeting. His views of hate in no way represent my own,” Matt Burtell wrote. “I stand in solidarity with the refugees and immigrants of the world.”

The meeting was originally called to address racist bullying and taunts experienced by children at the school.

Credit: Nicole Hester / AP

The meeting had originally been organized to address instances of racism at high schools in the town of Saline, and a Latino father had taken the microphone to discuss how his son suffered from racist taunts in school.

SNL Did A Segment On How The Big Oscar Nominated Films Are About White Male Rage And It’s Surprisingly Spot On

Entertainment

SNL Did A Segment On How The Big Oscar Nominated Films Are About White Male Rage And It’s Surprisingly Spot On

Saturday Night Live / YouTube

Saturday Night Live’s Melissa Villaseñor enraged white males by singing a song about white male rage on the show. With the Oscars around the corner, SNL offered its own little analysis of the nominees during their ‘Weekend Update’ segment. In the skit Villaseñor discusses the biggest Oscar nominees and sings songs about how all the plots are based around, or sparked by (you guessed it) while male rage —and tbh, it’s kind of on point.

Villaseñor was brought on to discuss the big Oscar nominees and began by singing a song about Todd Phillips’ Joker.

In a visit to Colin Jost’s Weekend Update desk, cast member Melissa Villaseñor educated Jost on the Best Picture nominees, singing a silly and kind of accurate song about “Joker” and “The Irishman.” The song started off simply outlining the plot of the film until it took a turn; “But the thing that this movie is really about is white male rage, white male rage, white male rage.” The comedian then proceeded to sing a ditty about The Irishman and the tune ended with the observation that, in fact, the picture is also, actually all about white male rage.

Jost plays the straight man who disagrees.

Playing the straight man, Jost said of Villaseñor’s song: “It seemed like it was just a description of the movie, and then it took a weird turn into social commentary.” You can guess what happens when she moves onto Martin Scorsese’s Netflix masterpiece “The Irishman.”

When Jost asked how many more songs there were, Villaseñor said she had “a whole bunch”…

But said she would “combine them all,” rattling through nominated films that shared the narrative of “white male rage” such as “Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “1917” — while adding that “Little Women” director Greta Gerwig, whose film was not about “white male rage,” was snubbed for a best director nomination.

#WhiteMaleRage became a trending topic on Twitter.

The words, which were written by Villaseñor and SNL writers Dan Bulla and Steven Castillostruck a chord on Twitter, where the #WhiteMaleRage hashtag began trending and had over 14,000 tweets by Sunday afternoon.

As you might have predicted, the white men of the internet reacted, well, angrily.

As they tend to do, white men were busy being upset about people pointing out the obvious. #WhiteMaleRage wasn’t a suggestion up for debate. It was merely a fact. Take a look at the Oscar noms for Best Picture this year and tell us Melissa is wrong?

The irony was clearly lost on these people.

But some just couldn’t let go…

Other Twitter users found the skit pretty funny, and even agreed with the message.

This isn’t the first skit or celebrity to talk about the issues the Oscars continue to face. Just two years ago #OscarsSoWhite was trending across social media and it seems like the Academy has totally forgotten that controversy this year.

This tweet perfectly summed up what many were thinking…

Airing on January 25, last week’s “Saturday Night Live” was the 11th episode of the NBC sketch show’s 45th season. Oscar nominee Adam Driver was the host with the musical performance by Halsey. (Driver is nominated for Best Actor for his turn as a father fighting for custody of his son during a contentious divorce in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.”)