The two of us — one, a formerly homeless, formerly incarcerated New Yorker and the other, the state assemblywoman for the district where the terrible crime took place — began the week at a vigil in Kimlau Square to mourn the loss of four community members who were murdered over the weekend. We prayed for the speedy recovery of another who was badly injured. All of the victims were homeless and sleeping on the street when they were brutally attacked.
We have already seen a response of fear-mongering and victim-blaming among members of the political and economic elite. But rather than point fingers at the individuals involved, or propose supposed solutions that further criminalize poverty, we need to recognize who and what is really to blame.