Yesterday, Clyde Haberman wrote this>
Here's the response I sent to the Times this morning.
I'm not sure as to the point of Mr. Haberman's smug, pompous piece in yesterday's Times. Was it to shame the demonstrators who felt passionately about Pale Male into diverting their attention to 'more important' issues? Or was it simply a sarcastic riff? Protesting outside of 927 Fifth was in no way prioritizing any issues. It was/is one issue among many, many issues about which people care deeply for whatever reason.
One must pick one's battles. I cannot bring peace to the mideast, or clothe or house New York City's homeless. But I can, and, according to what the Times is now reporting, have, participated in making a positive change in the story of Pale Male. Mr. Haberman asked the homeless man he saw if he needed shelter, and the man didn't answer. And if he had said yes? Would Mr. Haberman have taken him home with him? Given him money for a hotel? Or introduced him to one of the demonstrators in an attempt to guilt them in to helping, and, "true to the New York spirit, make them someone else's problem?" What, exactly, would he have done?
I've given leftover food from restaurant meals, and, once, leftovers from Thanksgiving that my sister-in-law wrapped up for me, to the homeless. While traveling last month, my husband and I picked up the check of an elderly senior citizen who was dining alone in the booth next to us. I have also volunteered in a soup kitchen and an adult literacy program. I do what I can and I choose my battles. Stories like Pale Male are what give us all hope that other, larger problems can be solved. They make us feel that we can, and should, make a difference.
This letter was derived in large part from my response to J-Wild's comment here.
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