I really liked Cynthia Nixon in Sex and the City. She was always impeccable, smooth, cutting, gorgeously turned out, and she has great hair. She dropped off my radar when SATC fizzled out. Apparently she is dipping her toe into NY state politics, which is all well and good, except she is clearly so buffered by privilege she cannot see the wood for the trees.
New York is mirroring San Francisco in escalating crime rates. San Francisco has seen a rise in shop lifting, which has become systemic and organized, and as a result I have noticed prices spiralling. I paid a vast amount for a pack of female sanitary protection napkins and some soap. You see someone has to pay, and it is the honest and poor that cannot afford to subsidize these gangs of thieves that seem to hit drug stores on a daily basis. It is a small and dark joke that we check to see if the local Walgreens has been emptied today, before we go, since we do not want to stumble into a nasty scene.
Cynthia, in her little Soho bubble with it’s multimillion dollar apartments, suggested in a tweet that it was inhumane to ‘lock up’ items in CVS and to prosecute shoplifters. If you are interested in exactly what she said, here it is:
Why doesn’t she donate her money to a food bank? Why doesn’t she set up a charity to help struggling families? Why should some hard working people, who are also struggling, subsidize repeat offenders who sell this stuff off, and gangs which make the city so much less safe?
I completely agree with not criminalizing poverty and desperation, but this is not what is going on. If there are no consequences to criminal actions – and shoplifting is not a victimless crime – then of course crime will spiral. The consequences of this in SF this year are that 17 Walgreens in SF have closed. That means that people who find it hard to travel many blocks to get their prescriptions and the kind of things Walgreens sells, now struggle.
We no longer have a Walmart even in Oakland. Shops are closing down because they cannot take the losses, which means a loss of jobs, and a spiral of poverty and desperation. Crime is breaking both New York and San Francisco (and Chicago and Miami who are above the list before SF in shoplifting theft crimes this year), and that is far from compassionate.
It is a total drag to have to call over an associate in Safeway or the drug store, ask them to unlock a cabinet, they then take away the item, and put it with customer services. You then tell the checkout worker which items you have, and they go and find them. I’ve taken to writing down a list of things as I get them unlocked, and my shopping takes much longer than it would have done.
It is ok for the rich to have compassion, these things don’t affect them. They can live in safer areas, they can afford inflated prices, and are not the ones running these shops and losing so much money to organized crime. Compassion is cheap to people who have such privilege. Meanwhile, down here with the rest of us, it is a constant and alarming struggle to stay safe and just survive, and things are not getting better. How about some compassion for the victims? How about not equating poverty with criminality? Make things better, instead of shrugging shoulders and accepting lawlessness.
Things had better get better before I turn into a wicked Republican, and that would be no good at all.