Home News Readers sound off on homelessness stereotypes, Hamas tactics and first-name celebs

Readers sound off on homelessness stereotypes, Hamas tactics and first-name celebs

People without homes often look just like you

Staten Island: Overnight TikTok megastar Reesa Teesa has been on “Good Morning America,” “Tamron Hall” and ABC News. She’s getting the full Warholian allotment of fame and then some due to her viral 50-part video series, “Who TF Did I Marry?!”

However, in the midst of all this exposure, there’s been zero mention of the offensive and harmful comment that Reesa makes in Part 37. She turns the condition of being unhoused into a degradation by using the description, “He looked homeless… smelled homeless.” Excuse me?! There is no monolithic look or smell to homelessness. A legion of people believe the threadbare trope of an unkempt, malodorous person (with a cliché cardboard sign), and Reesa’s unkind comment further perpetuates that primarily false narrative.

Granted, there are street-homeless human beings who do have an appearance and scent that is undesirable according to societal norms. Perhaps the lack of focus on clothing and hygiene is due to an overwhelming concern for basic survival and safety. Reesa never replied to what I left in her comments section: [Sad emoji] As a formerly unhoused person, the “looked/smelled homeless” is hurtful, inaccurate stereotype, lotta ‘homeless’ folk work & look/smell just like you.”

There’s a lot of ways to define “homeless”: couch surfing, doubling up, struggling all day to get enough funds for an overnight motel, children getting ready for bed in their mother’s car. Someone who’s forced to sleep on her sister’s sofa could walk by in professional attire on her way to community college and you’d never know she’s experiencing homelessness. Reesa should issue an apology for disseminating a dangerous misconception. M.A. Dennis

Boots underground

Bronx: I find it ironic that when then-President Donald Trump wanted to deploy the National Guard to protect federal buildings during the George Floyd civil unrest, he was accused of heavy-handedness. When the governor of New York deploys them into the subways, there seems to be no problem. John L. Sullivan

Keep it real

Manhattan: Re “Beating child hunger with tastier school food” (op-ed, March 8): As a parent of a public school child, I rejoice over any focus on improving school lunches. Taking food from the mouths of needy kids in order to serve migrants always seemed like a raw deal. But if you tell me that kids are at risk of “going hungry” because they don’t have a choice between dumplings or frozen pizza, that’s a bit rich. If the Department of Education really wanted to serve nutritious meals (while reducing the profligate waste), they would stop all of this microwaved food and restore the kitchens that still exist in many schools. Real, nutritious food is freshly made and doesn’t come wrapped in plastic. Sarah Ferguson

Personal and private

Far Rockaway: It occurred to me after the IVF controversy that far too many people, once again, are in the OB/GYN examining room. You know — Supreme Court justices, state legislators, congressmen and -women, and scientists with no scientific background. When a woman is told to remove her clothing from the waist down, sit on the table, put her legs in the stirrups and push down to the end of the table, there should be only two people in that room. People outside that room should remain outside of a woman’s business. Vote for privacy and vote blue. Ora Reed

Not funny

Bayonne: Re the two comic strips you run on page 12 of your evening digital edition: “Bottom Liners” usually sucks but sometimes rises to mediocrity. “Bliss” is usually fair to meh, but Thursday’s, with the old couple heading toward a car driven by the reaper and one calling out, “Shotgun,” was out-and-out disgusting! Marty Wolfson

Sovereign choices

Fayetteville, N.Y.: In contrast to the letter headline “Netanyahu’s war sows seeds of future violence,” this is not Netanyahu’s war. Israeli leaders across the political spectrum speak with one voice to secure the return of the hostages and to stop Hamas from future violence. Voicer Oren Spiegler opines that Palestinians, having rejected every offer for sovereignty, will now magically live in peace when a state is imposed on them by the West. For peace to occur, they must abandon their “from the river to the sea” ideology. Palestinians have governed Gaza since 2005. They used billions in aid to prepare a massive subterranean battleground. Had they used the aid as intended, they could be a start-up nation today. Israel ensures that tons of humanitarian aid enter Gaza daily. The problem is distribution. The international organizations responsible for that need to do better. Let’s hope the U.S. will help in productive ways. Lynn C. Koss

Modern warfare

Bronx: Voicer Toby F. Block’s comments on warfare in Gaza are so absurdly archaic that I think about Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s opinion of the tactics of his Confederate opponent, in which he staunchly ridiculed Gen. John Bell Hood, chiding his “Napoleonic way of thinking.” What is Hamas supposed to do? Are they obligated to line up with dapper mufti uniforms like it’s the battle of Waterloo? How Napoleonic! Contemporary times deserve a modern attitude. If Hamas is supposed to abide by standards of ancient warfare, then Israel should act gentlemanly and afford them enough land to line up on a true battlefield and fight like men. However, Israel doesn’t play by normative standards of civilized behavior. Criticize all you want, but what’s fascinating about Hamas is that they insist on treating Israelis like adults even when Israel cries long and loud like bad children as they usurp Palestinian lands and kill Gazan people. Nick Smith

Legitimate strikes

Sea Girt, N.J.: Watching the battle footage Hamas records of its fighters and publishes daily on Telegram, they appear to target Israeli armored vehicles and soldiers in hit-and-run attacks while foregoing opportunities to take down Israeli medevac choppers with their RPGs. How many Red Crescent ambulances has the IDF obliterated? Conspicuously absent from Hamas footage are civilians, nowhere to be seen. They operate in areas the IDF has supposedly cleared. So, I call bull on the claims that Hamas “hides behind civilians” or uses “human shields.” They emerge from their extensive tunnel network behind IDF lines and strike military targets, in contrast to indiscriminate bombing and shooting of civilians. Believe the IDF if you like, but should we really trust the cat’s stories about the mouse? Garth Rutledge


Staten Island: Was Kamala Harris doing an impersonation of a seal at the State of the Union address? I didn’t realize she was that talented! Thomas Fraumeni Jr.

Frittered away?

Garwood, N.J.: Unemployment is at the lowest rate in decades, another good jobs report just came out, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he anticipates lowering interest rates soon, and the stock market continues at historic highs. Yet, the right and news outlets continue the B.S. that common folks are struggling to make ends meet. As a 70-year-old senior citizen, I’m in pretty good shape. No complaints, thanks to President Biden. Then I remember a report last month: The gambling industry made a record $86 billion in 2023! Can this be the reason that during a flourishing economy, people still claim they don’t have enough money to survive? Perhaps our state and local governments should start checking how many needy folks have online gambling accounts. I am as liberal as the day is long, but I’ll be damned if I approve of my tax dollars giving aid to folks who gamble it away. John E. Deichmeister

First-name stasis

Bayside: I have an aversion to people who use only a first name, most notably Roseanne (Barr) and Cher (Bono). Who does Cher think she is, anyway? Her husband, Sonny Bono, died tragically in a ski accident. The least she can do is carry his name and be called Cher Bono to honor him. This is how I feel, folks! P.S. I am not a fan of either Roseanne or Cher. Sarah Alboher

Uniform madness

Rego Park: Message to Phil Knight and the MLB owners: Why not dress the players in chiffon peek-a-boos, call them the New York Petunias or the Los Angeles Pansies, and play Billie Eilish over the PA system? Is everything game for your warped need for controversy? Jeff Rosenblatt


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