Hawaii Lawmaker Takes Sledgehammer to Homeless People's Carts

In the latest act of cruelty against the disadvantaged, Tom Brower, a Democratic member of Hawaii’s House of Representatives, has decided to take homelessness into his own hands by destroying the shopping carts many use to store and transport their worldly possessions.

According to the hammer-swinging representative, his aggressive acts are a “practical [way] to clean up the streets” in his district of Oahu. He believes the carts contain “abandoned junk” and although he has yet to attack a cart while a person is pushing it, he hasn’t ruled this out as a means of combating homelessness and what he deems thievery.

Brower, who’s been elected to five terms to represent Oahu’s 23rd District, is receiving some backlash regarding his actions. Mary Grambs, executive director of Mental Health America of Hawaii, states, “His message to the public is that it’s OK to commit acts of violence against homeless people, against vulnerable people. It’s OK for vigilante justice.”

But Brower doesn’t stop at wreckage; he’s also taken to waking the sleeping destitute and telling them to “Get your ass moving.”

His belligerent behavior raises a few questions. What would Brower say to someone doing the same to his belongings or attacking him in a similar manner? But more important, what on earth is Hawaii thinking, letting one of its representatives run around smashing property? Oh wait, this is the same state that has the highest rate of homelessness in the U.S. and rather than build more shelters or programs, has decided to spend more than $100,000 on one-way flights for its homeless population to get off the islands.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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