The Los Angeles homeless crisis is a scam cultivated by the media and the political class for their own power and profit. So it’s rare that a piece like this LA Magazine feature appears that tears the scam a new one.
The focus is on a homeless encampment in Echo Park, a hipster enclave, where the “homeless” set up shop. And by homeless, they mean a model who appeared in a Lady Gaga video. This is the article that has lefties on Twitter screaming their heads off this week. They ought to be. It’s devastating.
Many of the locals not only took the encampment in stride, they embraced it, welcoming their new outdoor neighbors with baked goods and camping supplies, treating it less like a blight and more like a “happening.” After all, there’s a lot of sympathy for the downtrodden among this indigo-blue liberal enclave, especially for those who appear as conspicuously young and attractive as this hipster army…
At all hours of the day, streams of young women—many of them affluent, most of them white—turned up at the park’s makeshift kitchen, bearing loaves of bread, cakes, fresh fruits and vegetables, packaged meals, tubs of organic yogurt from Erewhon, bottles of Fresca, giant bags of ice and groceries and supplies. Compared to other nearby homeless settlements—like the one by the 101 freeway ramp—the growing Echo Park encampment, with its nighttime drum circles and festive air of social promiscuity, felt more like a campsite at a music festival.
“Frankly, I think they just like the party and have gotten on the bandwagon of ‘Let’s pitch a tent in Echo Park,’” says one neighboring homeowner. “I see groups of healthy young men down there kicking soccer balls, wearing Nike tennis shoes, jogging around the lake, riding bikes. They have cell phones. They have musical instruments. Some of the homeless people down there have cars. So there are various factions with various levels of need.”
Various levels of need indeed.
“We’re not the typical homeless,” says Davon Brown, 30, an ex-fashion model from Jamaica, New York, given to bizarre behavior and grandiose outbursts in which he compares himself to King David.
With his ripped torso and piercing green eyes, he could easily be imagined starring in a fragrance commercial. Which, in fact, he once did (for Lady Gaga’s Fame)…
Brown, the former model, was arrested and charged with “battery on a peace officer” after he and a half-dozen others scuffled with city workers who were attempting to clear the couches, mattresses, and outdoor grills that had proliferated in the park. As video of the incident went viral, the local head of the National Lawyers Guild took the case, and Brown became a media cause celébrè, the subject of a flurry of positive news stories. The fame that had eluded him as a model, he was now earning as “a champion of rights for the homeless people of Los Angeles,” as Brown’s publicist describes him. That’s right, his publicist.
You can’t be homeless in LA without a publicist.
Together with the socialist activists who have set up base here, Brown and other camera-friendly residents manage media relations for the park’s residents. But they enlisted the help of Jhon, a 42-year-old Little Rock native who zips around the park on a $900 Lectric XP bicycle. Jhon is the self-appointed camp superintendent…
There’s also a CashApp account run by a 26-year-old former philosophy major named Ayman Ahmed who lives in a tepee with a “Bernie Sanders for President” sign in its mesh window…
Jhon, however, is not the camp muscle. That job belongs to a group of multi-ethnic ex-cons and other toughs with names like Gorilla, who occupy the northern heights of the park. They’re reputed to be occasionally brutal in their methods. One day, for example, a group of female volunteers from a nonprofit came to the park to hand out donations. But they hadn’t secured prior approval from the camp commandants, so one of the bruisers allegedly showed up with four associates, grabbed the donations, destroyed the volunteer tent, and expelled the visiting women from the park….
The usual circus was soon underway with virtue signaling and posturing by the wealthy lefties who infest the DSA.
Jed Parriott, one of Street Watch’s self-appointed spokesmen, took to the cameras to crow about the group’s unexpected victory. “We need to be really telling these property owners, ‘Sorry, you’re going to have to tough this out,’” Parriott proclaimed in an interview with KABC-TV News. “I’m sorry that you don’t like that you have to see this, that you have to see poverty. You’re going to have to see it right now until we get permanent housing for everybody.”
The reporter interviewing him failed to note that Parriott, a 39-year-old white guy with a head of blond curls, wasn’t a resident of Echo Park (he owns a home in Silver Lake) or that he’d arrived at the protest in a BMW X5 or that his father was a producer on Grey’s Anatomy.
Fight the power. Fight the man. In a BMW X5. And to hell with the people who actually put money into their homes.
Jeff Giles, a 65-year-old physical therapist who has lived in a condo overlooking the park for more than 32 years, is one of the few who is willing to go public with his reservations. But he says his opposition has made him something of a neighborhood pariah. One elderly neighbor whom Giles has known for decades stopped talking to him after he spoke out at a community meeting. Like many other home owners in his middle-class neighborhood, Giles sank most of his savings into his mortgage, and he worries about the impact that the encampment will have on his life-long investment. But his neighbor was unmoved by his concerns. She told Giles that her commitment to the homeless is so absolute that if the value of her own condo drops, she’d consider it her contribution to the cause.
I suspect one of the DSA’s cars could pay for Giles’ homes, but the Democratic Socialists of America aren’t selling their cars to house the bums.