Michael Keane (North Bennington)

We Need Critical Thinking on Homelessness

Joe Gervais is a candidate for one of the seats in Bennington District 4. I am a resident of North Bennington and do not vote in District 4. However, I read Mr. Gervais’s column in the Bennington Banner today, 10/28/22. I have a few problems with it. Let me tell you why.

Mr. Gervais says that the ability to do critical thinking and problem-solving is lacking with the current administration’s approach to homelessness and many other problems plaguing the state and the nation. I’m not sure which administration Gervais is referring to, that of the state of Vermont, or the federal administration.

He then lists only two “root causes” of homelessness: addiction and mental health problems. Gervais fails to mention corporate downsizings, mergers/acquisitions, corporate restructurings, technology advances, competition, lack of required skills/education that also lead to loss of jobs & loss of industries. They also cause loss of income, loss of status/pride/sense of self, AND loss of a place to live. Gervais also overlooks a frequent problem in parts of our country, region, and state: the lack of available, affordable housing options.

So, something significant in Gervais’s point of view is missing, at least for me.

Mr. Gervais seems to base his viewpoint on an article from The Epoch Times and a statement from a certain Bruce Chapman, founder and head of the Discovery Institute (based in Seattle) calling the current homelessness problem “Dickensian.”

I take issue with Mr. Gervais’s column because he cites only The Epoch Times and the Discovery InstituteThe Epoch Times is a far-right international multi-language newspaper and media company affiliated with the Falun Gong religious movement. It promotes far-right politicians in Europe and has been a principal supporter of Donald Trump. Its news sites and YouTube channels have spread misinformation and conspiracy theories such as QAnon and anti-vaccine misinformation.

The Discovery Institute promotes, among other things, the principle of intelligent design, a variant of traditional creationism, while attempting to discredit the teaching of evolution in United States public high school science courses.

Michael A. Keane

North Bennington