ACTIVISM/OPINION/POLITICS

Hollywood Walk Of Shame

Okay so let me get this right.

$4.2 million dollars is going to be used to fixed cracks in concrete that feature the names of celebrities who are either dead or they themselves are millionaires.

I don’t know about you, but something just doesn’t sound right about that, especially considering the fact that the very same slabs of concrete that are in question, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, also serve as a bed for thousands of homeless men and women who call Hollywood their home.

How about $4.2 million to go towards eradicating Los Angeles’ homeless problem?

How about instead of repairing the cracks in concrete, we put some money towards helping people fight their addiction to crack so that they can become productive members of society?

Considering the fact that many of the homeless also suffer from some sort of addiction, be it drugs or alcohol, I’d think that perhaps Absolut Vodka —who coincidentally is the first company to become a “Friend of the Walk of Fame” and will be given an honorary star thanks in part to their contribution to the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s restoration program—would want to put their “do good” money towards a much better cause than securing their name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The last time I checked, the streets of L.A. still had potholes the size of the space between our current President’s two ears, cracks wider than our camera ready Mayor’s smile, and a homeless problem that is growing larger with each layoff and increase in the price of gas—and don’t even let me get started on the state of Wilshire Boulevard. The one street in Los Angeles guaranteed to send your car that is if you’re still driving, to the auto repair shop for a wheel alignment or a new tire.

But the plot gets deeper, because after the Hollywood Walk of Fame undergoes it’s makeover, does that then mean that the homeless are again going to be silently and ever so discretely pushed out of the area like they were in parts of downtown Los Angeles with the opening of every new condo building?

I always find it interesting—yet sad, that we can find private money to fix things like tourist attractions but can’t find the money to help solve real issues like homelessness. And then our same elected officials turn around and ask for public money to fund issues like gang violence. At this point, I feel like if they can find $4.2 million for concrete, they ought to be able to come up with the same amount or more in private money to help fund California’s gang violence prevention efforts and stay the hell out of our pockets.

Walking over cracks in the sidewalk doesn’t bother me as much as walking over homeless people sleeping on that same sidewalk.

I’m just saying…

Jasmyne Cannick is a critic and commentator based in Los Angeles who writes about pop culture, race, class, sexuality, and politics as it relates to the African-American community. A regular contributor to NPR’s ‘News and Notes,’ she was chosen as one Essence Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World. She can be reached at www.jasmynecannick.com or www.myspace.com/jasmynecannick.


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Comments

July 25th, 2008 at 10:02 pm SweetSis says:

#1 Preach Jasmyne!

July 25th, 2008 at 10:34 pm Lottie Markus says:

That is a shame but you know these vets make up half the homeless folks! A cycle

July 25th, 2008 at 10:53 pm Jessica Hubbard says:

Folks can always FIND a way to waste money I swear

July 25th, 2008 at 11:01 pm Philip Giddings says:

Ought to be a law for mess like this this was a good blog I appreiacte the info

July 25th, 2008 at 11:04 pm Nubian CoCo says:

We are so blessed we have a car to drive and a bed to sleep in! Its sad why can’t we help these people It breaks my heart we are rich for the liquor but not the people! Ugh!!

July 25th, 2008 at 11:07 pm thelma says:

TAKE IT TO THE STREETS GIRLY !

July 25th, 2008 at 11:14 pm buttabrown says:

That’s some good drink but It ain’t worth all that LOLOLOL>… tell it ms cannick

July 25th, 2008 at 11:22 pm culturepop says:

You know I like your thoughts on this I tend to agree However I think private business has right to spend their money on whatever they want and it is great advertsing for them. But I also way why doesn’t the people in the goverment take over the responsibility

July 26th, 2008 at 7:35 am chica22 says:

“I always find it interesting—yet sad, that we can find private money to fix things like tourist attractions but can’t find the money to help solve real issues like homelessness.”
ME TOO. AND I FIND IT INTERESTING WE CAN SPEND BILLIONS A DAY IN IRAQ AND CAN’T AFFORD TO GIVE OUR VETS DECENT MED CARE AT HOME. WE COULD GIVE 1,000 EXAMPLES OF THIS YING AND YANG. THE SYSTEM WILL NEVER WORK FOR US TSO WE HAVE TO GET SELD-SUFFICIENT & NON-DEPENDENT FOR REAL.

July 26th, 2008 at 7:36 am chica22 says:

AND I LOVE YOUR ENDING. “I’M JUST SAYING” LOLOL. CLASSIC! KEEP SAYING IT SISTER!

July 26th, 2008 at 10:42 am rene perez says:

Another good one Jasmyne!

July 26th, 2008 at 11:13 am Sheba Babee says:

half the story ain’t even been told girl… keep speaking on it ma

July 26th, 2008 at 12:32 pm just2bee says:

I live in LA and Wilshire is truly a mess…. good blog girl

July 26th, 2008 at 1:26 pm mustbemagic says:

…and How bout pick up the damn trash too — Im saying though. This is dumb all that money!!!

July 26th, 2008 at 6:19 pm UncleD says:

Hell yea! Tell em Jasmyne. The powers that be can always find money to conquer their “probelms” and indulge their whims. I wonder if I was them, would I do the same?

July 26th, 2008 at 6:31 pm Elsa Harkins says:

I admit I always wanted to see the Walk of Fame. Doesn’t tourism do a lot for the LA economy? Helping the homeless - while a wonderful and much needed humanitarian effort - doesn’t help the city’s bottom financial line. Maybe thats the way the city is justifying it. Another way to look at it,

July 26th, 2008 at 6:50 pm Coretta Scott Queen says:

I like the way you think Ms Jasmyne. I won’t look at those Hollywood parties & premieres the same.

July 26th, 2008 at 7:04 pm Chatty Cathy says:

@ Jasmyne = Good Point
@ Elsa = Good Point

July 26th, 2008 at 8:28 pm Binta Rohan says:

I wanta be Jasmyne Cannick when I grow up.
Don’t let nothin slip thru the cracks!

July 26th, 2008 at 9:38 pm higherlove says:

@Binta I 2nd that! Every neighborhood shuld have a watchdog!!

July 27th, 2008 at 2:07 am ratty says:

hypocrisy knows no bounds

July 27th, 2008 at 8:40 am heatmizer says:

Ohh,,, the children we could educate with that loot! I hear you Jasmyne

July 27th, 2008 at 10:32 am ReNina Minter says:

Jasmyne well said. There are so many real issues that can be addressed with that money, but you can’t slap a bottle of Absolut Vodka on those issues.

July 27th, 2008 at 12:47 pm TellAll says:

Unapologetically
Young
Black
Female
i love it!

July 27th, 2008 at 2:41 pm gERALD j says:

TSK TSK

July 27th, 2008 at 2:59 pm dollsdaughter says:

Elsa makes a valid point. Sometimes our outrage doesn’t take into account factors beneath the surface. now I admit that most of the time there IS nothing bneath the surface. Its juts willy nilly disenfranchisement and prejudice. But to Elsa’s point it is a business - not the business of feeding the homeless but of promoting tourism through the stars on the cement.

July 27th, 2008 at 3:14 pm shinyjoy says:

who cares about the walk of fame anyway????

July 27th, 2008 at 5:07 pm Lizzie Bebber says:

I bet there are millions more examples of this kinds of wasteful spending all over the country! We should all bring attention - even though the corporations can do whatever they want its still just so wrong